Eve Diamond, fictional LA Times San Gabriel Valley beat journalist, finds herself in mortal danger repeatedly as she pursues scoops on high-profile murder investigations in the Southland.
The author of this crime novel series, Denise Hamilton, has written more books than I can store with others on the small Glendale authors’ Bookshelf. (She’s also written more books than I have time to read now – so this review is limited to her five Eve Diamond novels.)
Hamilton draws readers into Eve’s character with side stories on newsroom politics (although her turn of the millenium writing about the newsroom has a nostalgic air – I couldn’t find a San Gabriel Valley bureau on the LA Times website). She also drafts her novels’ scenes of LA communities and subcultures with authentic language and examples most locals will appreciate.
A former LA Times reporter, Hamilton says on her website that she wanted to be a foreign correspondent, but finally realized that a Southern California reporting job fit her interest. Crimes she covered here often involved immigrant communities and their behind-the-scenes political, financial, and criminal struggles.
Her fictional counterpart, Eve Diamond, investigates Hong Kong “parachute kids” in The Jasmine Trade; Mexican Spanglish rap music culture in Sugar Skull; Cambodian/Asian child and drug smuggling operations in Last Lullaby; media glorification of Latino gang culture in Savage Garden; and Russian organized crime operations in Prisoner of Memory.
Hamilton’s works have been featured at several Glendale venues, including the Glendale Library. Her next local appearance will be at the South Pasadena Public Library.
A complete list of Denise Hamilton books is here.