Line of Vision by David Ellis

David Ellis was born on 1, January 1967. He is an American author of crime thrillers and is also an attorney working in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He has worked in both the public and private sector since his graduation from Northwestern Law School which is a private American law school in Chicago, Illinois. Located in the North Side’s Streeterville, it is one of the twelve constituent schools of Northwestern University. He has served as Counsel to the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. Ellis was be sworn in as the youngest-serving Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court for the First District in 2014. He currently lives outside Chicago with his wife and three children.

Line Of Vision, was David Ellis’s first novel, published in 2001, and it won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel by an Line of VisionAmerican Author.  In 2009, his book The Hidden Man debuted Ellis’s series character, Jason Kolarich. This character has appeared in many of the authors subsequent novels. However, he co-authored a novel with best-seller James Patterson. Guilty Wives was released in March of 2012 and the duo have since co-authored Mistress too.

This story enthralled me from the beginning. I really enjoyed the fresh approach that Ellis uses as a story-telling technique. The reader watches the action unfold through the eyes of the main character and thinks they know what has happened. This book starts out brilliantly. The narrator is stalking Rachel, the wife of a well-known surgeon. One night, during dinner, as he watches from the woods behind her house for her evening flash but he sees the surgeon begin to beat Rachel. Marty breaks into the house, and the next thing he knows, he is hiding the body of the husband whom he has murdered. Now investment banker Marty Kalish is a man with something to hide.

Marty does everything to conceal his tracks. As it was very cold, Marty was wearing a ski mask, and he hauls off the body of the doctor. Rachel is senseless on the floor. His idea is make it look like a kidnapping. He then begins to set up an alibi, but he is constantly second-guessing himself and stumbling. The police are catching up on him and his David-Ellislover, Rachel, is in the frame so Marty confesses to the killing. A nice touch is that he is telling the story.

Facing the death penalty, Marty assembles a small legal team and tries to find a way to save both himself and Rachel. Everything is not as it seems. It is not clear what really did happen on the night of the murder. Marty certainly appears credible and as the narrator tells us right off he did it and even confesses, but as the police investigation continues, there is no body, no gun, no physical evidence connecting Marty to the killing.

David Ellis creates a spellbinding narrative drives Line of Vision into areas of character where courtroom dramas rarely venture and, like all the best thrillers, keeps us waiting till the very last page to discover what actually happened. When the trial begins and Ellis uses his legal knowledge and does a great job of recreating the trial scenes. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read more books by David Ellis.

Valerie Penny


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