A Killing in China Basin

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Overview

First in the brand-new DI Ben Raveneau crime series
Many consider homicide detective Ben Raveneau to be at the tail end of his career – not least his ambitious young partner, Elizabeth la Rosa. But Raveneau’s long experience proves invaluable during the pair’s investigation of a murder in San Francisco’s China Basin district. The body of a young woman has been found in a derelict building, her ankles and wrists tied. Who was she, and what was she doing there? The more Raveneau ...

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A Killing in China Basin

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Overview

First in the brand-new DI Ben Raveneau crime series
Many consider homicide detective Ben Raveneau to be at the tail end of his career – not least his ambitious young partner, Elizabeth la Rosa. But Raveneau’s long experience proves invaluable during the pair’s investigation of a murder in San Francisco’s China Basin district. The body of a young woman has been found in a derelict building, her ankles and wrists tied. Who was she, and what was she doing there? The more Raveneau uncovers, the clearer it becomes that the dead girl was involved in something sinister indeed . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Russell (Redback) introduces an emotionally wounded San Francisco homicide inspector, Ben Raveneau, in the promising first of a new series. Ben, whose Marine son died in Iraq eight years earlier, and his partner, Elizabeth la Rosa, a recent transfer from the vice squad and a rising star in the department, investigate the strangulation of a woman found bound in an abandoned building in the city's rundown China Basin neighborhood. When Carl Heilbron, a walk-in, confesses to the crime, Ben suspects Heilbron is playing a sick game with the police. Meanwhile, colleague Ted Whitacre shoots himself to death, apparently in the face of untreatable cancer. That shortly before his demise Ted reported being stalked by Cody Stoltz, a former prison inmate he'd help send away for murder, raises the possibility that his suicide was staged. The author cleverly resolves the complex plot threads and makes his lead compelling enough to warrant future books. (Oct.)
Library Journal
San Francisco homicide detective Ben Raveneau has two cases holding his attention at the moment. There's the Jane Doe found strangled in an abandoned building. Then he's troubled by the death (suicide—not!) of a retired colleague who had told Ben he thought a newly released former felon was stalking him. Of course, the cases connect, and the death toll mounts. Ben is not so sure about his young partner, Elizabeth la Rosa—the feeling's mutual—but they build a tenuous trust out of necessity. Gradually, they piece together a chilling tale of credit fraud and identity theft that will have you second-guessing all the way to the dramatic end. VERDICT With more twists and turns than Lombard Street, Russell's complex plot makes for a pulse-pounding police thriller. Since I devoured all of Russell's John Marquez (Redback) titles, I'm thrilled to meet his new protagonist in this series debut. Working the streets of SF, Raveneau brings old-school knowledge to investigations and learns a few new tricks himself.
Kirkus Reviews

After four action-packed procedurals starring California Fish and Game Warden John Marquez (Redback,2011, etc.), Russell moves to the big city for a more traditional but equally powerful tale of crime and punishment.

The discovery of a bound and strangled Jane Doe in an abandoned building in San Francisco's China Basin partners veteran Inspector Ben Raveneau with Elizabeth la Rosa, who's been taken under the wing of Deputy-chief Edith Grainer and made a Homicide Inspector at the tender age of 32. Raveneau's distracted from the case by the release from prison of computer wizard Cody Stoltz, who served five years for shooting his friend John Reinert. Stoltz insisted the shooter was a mugger who happened onto the scene of the buddies' quarrel over Erin Quinn, Reinert's wife and Stoltz's lover. Inspectors Ted Whitacre and Charles Bates saw the evidence differently, and a jury agreed with them. When Whitacre, dying of cancer, dies in what Raveneau thinks a suspiciously timed suicide and Bates's wife is struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, Raveneau has to suspect Stoltz, who says he's innocent but taunts Raveneau with how pleased he is. Equally creepy is Carl Heilbron, the body-shop technician who walks in, confesses to the Jane Doe murder (though he can't supply the name of the deceased and gets crucial details wrong), then changes his mind and walks free. The intricate plot will lead to more killings, more discoveries of malfeasance and a lot more questions for Raveneau.

The plot is upstaged by the brooding characters, good and evil, the snappy rhythms of Russell's sharply observed prose and the promise of Raveneau's return.

Booklist
A plot that’s chock-a-block with red herrings and unexpected twists, an appealingly hard-bitten hero, and plenty of action make this solidly written police procedural a good choice for all fans of the genre.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780727880543
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kirk Russell lives in Berkeley, California. He is married with two daughters and is the author of the highly-acclaimed John Marquez crime series and Ben Raveneau thrillers.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 29, 2013

     don't know why it took me so long to read this thriller. Great

     don't know why it took me so long to read this thriller. Great start by Kirk Russell on a new series. I'm a sucker for a mystery in San Francisco, a place that the author knows well and leads us through the mists in an interesting mystery. Can't wait for the next novel in the series

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