The Lost Witness (Lena Gamble Series #2) [NOOK Book]


With his novel City of Fire, Robert Ellis debuted a dynamic new character in Los Angeles detective Lena Gamble, but also captured a vivid picture of the city of Los Angeles. Readers and critics made City of Fire an instant phenomenon, as the book became a Los Angeles Times bestseller and was named a top summer read by People magazine, USA Today, and The New York Times.

Now Lena Gamble is a cop held in disgrace by department ...

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The Lost Witness (Lena Gamble Series #2)

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With his novel City of Fire, Robert Ellis debuted a dynamic new character in Los Angeles detective Lena Gamble, but also captured a vivid picture of the city of Los Angeles. Readers and critics made City of Fire an instant phenomenon, as the book became a Los Angeles Times bestseller and was named a top summer read by People magazine, USA Today, and The New York Times.

Now Lena Gamble is a cop held in disgrace by department higher-ups for the explosive way the Romeo case played out, though she’s still hailed as a hero by her colleagues for catching the killer. For her punishment, she hasn’t handled a real murder investigation in eight months. When the chief finally tosses her a case, she’s thrilled until she gets a look at the scene and realizes he’s probably setting her up to be exiled once and for all: The victim is unidentified, and there are no witnesses, and no leads. Just the body, chopped into pieces and dropped in a Dumpster—gruesome enough to ensure that once again the media will be following Lena’s every move.

Robert Ellis delivers another high-speed, commercial, powerful read, featuring one of the most engaging and vibrant police characters on the shelf today.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this suspenseful sequel to City of Fire, LAPD detective Lena Gamble is assigned to investigate the gruesome killing of a local prostitute who has been dismembered and left in a Dumpster. The chances of solving the case look hopeless-until a mysterious witness sends Gamble critical evidence, thrusting her into a quagmire of corruption and danger. Eanna Hurst delivers an excellently paced reading, shifting between pitched gun battles, contemplative musings and simmering suspense. Her focused performance brings Gamble to life, allowing the author's flawed and fully rounded character to emerge. A good listen that will scintillate thriller fans. A St. Martin's Minotaur hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 1). (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Certain powerful and corrupt individuals, some of them with the LAPD, arrange an efficient murder. Then, curiously, the department assigns the case to a detective whom they think will mess up the investigation. Two problems emerge: Robbery-Homicide Detective Lena Gamble (City of Fire) has no intention of failing, and there is an unknown witness helping her. The grisly murder of a Jane Doe, found expertly butchered in a Hollywood dumpster, seems unsolvable. But Lena, with evidence mailed to her by the witness, traces the victim's death to a restaurant parking lot that fronts a prostitution ring. LAPD top brass, politically savvy power brokers, and a medical researcher are heavily invested by this point and increasingly desperate to suppress any incriminating evidence. Morality is not high on their list, and the body count rises. Doggedly, Lena cuts through all the corruption, defies her superiors' orders, and, of course, puts herself in danger repeatedly. Ellis's elaborate puzzle is a nail-biter to the final page. Great LA settings enhance this high-speed thriller. Recommended for all popular collections. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ10/1/08.]
—Teresa L. Jacobsen

Kirkus Reviews
Money buys a cover-up. Still coming to grips with her brother's murder six years ago, still in disfavor with the higher-ups at L.A.'s Parker Center for embarrassing them last time out (City of Fire, 2007), Lena Gamble is assigned the gruesome Cock-a-doodle-do homicide, a case Chief Logan and Lt. Klinger fervently hope will bring her down. The corpse's face has been mashed and her body surgically dismembered. Was she one of the Cock-a-doodle-do whores killed by a john? Lena's investigation leads her to billionaire Dean Tremell, head of Anders Dahl Pharmaceuticals, who spends his money tidying up after his profligate son Justin and greasing politicos and researchers to ensure his firm's solvency. Meanwhile, the victim's identity remains illusive; the woman she was claiming to be had actually died several years before. An anonymous tip from a witness-in-hiding sends Lena down more blind alleys. Internal Affairs keeps her under surveillance, and a reporter offers information, than reneges. More will die unpleasantly while the author reels off some potboiler plot tricks that eventually lead to two escapes and bring Lena to share a rueful glass of superior wine with a former adversary. Lots of tech support-shoe prints, handwriting samples, etc.-for fans of procedurals and CSI to savor, along with enough bodies, buckets of blood and double-crosses to agitate conspiracy buffs, but interesting mainly as a possible screen vehicle for a distaff Bruce Willis. Agent: Scott Miller/Trident Media Group
From the Publisher
Praise for Robert Ellis’s bestselling novel

City of Fire

 “A gripping, spooky crime novel.”—The New York Times (A “Hot List” Pick)

“A no-holds-barred, barn burner of a thriller that blends Los Angeles–style crime fiction à la Michael Connelly with pulse-pounding Dean Koontzian psychological suspense.”—Chicago Tribune

“My kind of crime novel. Gritty, tight, and assured. Riding with Detective Lena Gamble through the hills of Los Angeles is something I could get used to.”—Michael Connelly

“A scorcher.”—Baltimore Sun

“I just discovered Robert Ellis. This book is terrific.”—Janet Evanovich, People

“This book is fast, gruesome, and twisted, like a scary Jodie Foster movie. Ellis makes it easy to be terrified.”—Library Journal

“A complex portrait of the flawed but righteous Lena by Ellis makes this sure-footed police procedural something special.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Ellis vividly evokes Hollywood as a place of burning desires, where the boundaries between good and evil are blurred beyond distinction. Ellis’ prose is crisp, and his plot moves at a good clip.”—Booklist

“Robert Ellis’ brisk, complex City of Fire is hot stuff. Ellis excels at vivid writing and the expert plotting keeps the reader off-kilter…L.A., which is written about so often, seems fresh in the hands of an original storyteller such as Ellis.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“The story is tight, the characters alive.”—Publishers Weekly

City of Fire begins like a roller coaster, building tension, anxiety and fear. Then it plunges at full speed, spiraling and twisting through scenes that will have hearts pounding and fingers flying through the pages. But there is no smooth braking to a stop in this book. It careens to the end and of suspense.”—Mystery Scene Magazine




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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429921688
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/3/2009
  • Series: Lena Gamble Series , #2
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 219,464
  • File size: 348 KB

Meet the Author

Robert Ellis is a former filmmaker and political media consultant from Los Angeles. He is the author of three bestselling crime novels, Access to Power, The Dead Room, and the critically acclaimed City of Fire, which also garnered praise from authors as diverse as Michael Connelly and Janet Evanovich.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 25, 2009

    More Lena Please

    Here is what Robert Ellis does better than anyone writing in his genre today, he doesn't cheat. No 'deus ex machina' or any other devices that drive readers crazy. Robert plays honest with his audience and honest with his story.

    His Lena Gamble is an interesting, original, complicated character.

    More than a thriller, in _The Lost Witness_ Ellis mixes our current culture with pointed criticism of who we are as a society.

    It's a great fun read, as well as a CSI tour of the LAPD. This is obviously a guy who knows the City of Angels and loves/hates it as much as you do.

    Bottom line: with every chapter Ellis leaves us wondering... what happens next?

    That's the gold standard for a writer. And a pure pleasure for a reader.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Terrific thriller with awesome characters & plot twists

    Robert Ellis's second book in the Lena Gamble series starts off with a bang and just keeps going. A bit less grisly than "City of Fire," Ellis grabs you with compelling characters and a story that will keep you guessing to the very last page. Just when I thought things began to come together, Ellis lets the floor drop out with a series of twists so shocking, I was thoroughly surprised and delighted.

    If you like suspense and crime fiction, you should try "The Lost Witess." A great book to break up the day and very entertaining.

    I'm really looking forward to reading more in this series featuring Detective Lena Gamble in Hollywood.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2009

    Robert Ellis is Great

    I am just starting this book so can't really "review" it, however I wrote because I strongly suggest you read City of Fire first. This is his second book with Lena Gamble; one of the main characters in this book. I had never read Ellis before, saw The Lost Witness but decided before indulging in the HB I would read City of Fire first, glad I did! Before I was half way through I was up at B&N buying Lost Witness! I am an avid mystery/murder reader and usually guess who's who by the middle of the book. City of Fire had me guessing until the end. I am sure Witness won't disappoint, I will write after I finish it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    an excellent police procedural

    LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division rookie detective Lena Gamble did well on her first case that reminded her of her brother¿s murder (see CITY OF FIRE), but she is taken aback when her supervisor, Lieutenant Frank Barrera assigns her to a visible nasty case. Someone left a dismembered female corpse inside a Hollywood a dumpster. The police inquiry into the Jane Doe brutal murder went nowhere until an unknown apparent witness leaves the cops with the victim¿s driver's license and a thumb drive displaying the kidnapping.<BR/><BR/>Dedicated Lena follows the clues while her superiors follow her. When she begins to scrutinize icons, her boss warns her to back away quietly. Lena refuses continuing her investigation into two men with ACCESS TO POWER; the son of a pharmaceutical company CEO owner and a doctor who knew the victim while seeking the unknown LOST WITNESS who remains in hiding even as the cop fears the killer will cone after this key person.<BR/><BR/>THE LOST WITNESS is an excellent police procedural filled with reasonable twists that will have the audience enthralled with what comes next. The investigation is superb as the obstinate dedicated Lena gambles her career and perhaps her life to finding the anonymous witness and subsequently the vicious killer. Fans will appreciate Robert Ellis¿ fine look at Hollywood through the lens of murder.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2009

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    Me Either

    I haven't read the book either, but if that is no longer a requirement for Barnes and Noble reviews, well, let me just say that I too think the book is probably wonderful. What value are reviews from people that haven't read the book?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 23, 2009

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    Posted February 12, 2009

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