Wednesday, February 2, 2022

ARC Review: L. A. Burning by D. C. Taylor

L. A. Burning

D. C. Taylor
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (February 8, 2022)

Description: An ex-con hits the streets of L.A. to find her twin sister’s killer. Is it a mission of justice—or a quest for vengeance?

Cody Bonner, identical twin, daughter of a major movie star, a teenage street kid in Los Angeles, a bank robber at nineteen, and a prison inmate at twenty. When she’s released after six years, she returns to L.A. with a purpose: to learn the truth about her sister Julie, who washed up on a Malibu beach a year earlier. The connection between the twins was so powerful that the day Julie died, Cody collapsed in the prison yard. Now that bond is driving her to seek justice—at any cost.

Using bootleg skills she learned in prison, Cody begins to peel back the layers of mystery. Her search leads her to the darker alleys behind the dazzle of the film business, and into the world of high-powered agents, high-priced call girls, and men with a taste for sexual violence. As she homes in on her mother’s powerful agent, Harry Groban, a man with ugly accusations of abuse in his past, Cody becomes more deeply enmeshed in the life she left behind as a teenager: her mother’s star power, her former classmates-turned-producers, glitzy parties, and a handsome former love who knows all the players. Is Groban at the center? Could there be others who had a hand in Julie’s murder?

As Cody gets closer to the truth, another ghost from her criminal past is stalking her—one that could put her back in prison for years.

My Thoughts: Cody Bonner has just been released from prison. She's the daughter of an Oscar-winning movie star, identical twin sister to Julie, street kid, and bank robber. While she was in prison, her sister Julie, an up-and-coming lawyer, was murdered and her nude body found on a beach in Malibu.

Cody is determined to find out who killed Julie and why. Between catching up with former classmates who are now in the movie business and learning about the dark underside of LA with its kinky sex, Cody is also dealing with a cop who is convinced that she committed some bank robberies in LA before the one she was caught for in the Midwest. Stckley was in one of the banks moments before it was robbed and is now obsessed with proving that Cody was the robber. She was but is hoping to keep him distracted the few months until the statute of limitations for those crimes kicks in. 

This was a fast-paced and engaging story about a young woman determined to find justice for her twin. I really liked Cody who had matured from an aimless youth to a strong woman while she was in prison. Of course, learning Muay Tai and being educated by the prison librarian who was in for murder did help Cody become the person she was meant to be. 

The story had lots of twists and turns and was filled with gritty realism. 

Favorite Quote:
I owed Julie, not that it would do her any good. But I owed it to her anyway. Julie's murder gave me the liberating gift of rage, purpose for a life that had had no purpose. Was I looking for justice or revenge? Was I looking for redemption? Maybe I'd know the answer when I knew who had killed her and why.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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