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Shutter by Ramona Emerson
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Shutter (original 2022; edition 2023)

by Ramona Emerson (Author)

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3912264,751 (3.88)22
"Rita Todacheene is a forensic photographer working for the Albuquerque police force. Her excellent photography skills have cracked many cases-she is almost supernaturally good at capturing details. In fact, Rita has been hiding a secret: she sees the ghosts of crime victims who point her toward the clues that other investigators overlook. As a lone portal back to the living for traumatized spirits, Rita is terrorized by nagging ghosts who won't let her sleep and who sabotage her personal life. Her taboo and psychologically harrowing ability was what drove her away from her hometown on the Navajo reservation, where she was raised by her grandmother. It has isolated her from friends and gotten her in trouble with the law. And now it might be what gets her killed. When Rita is sent to photograph the scene of a supposed suicide on a highway overpass, the furious, discombobulated ghost of the victim-who insists she was murdered-latches onto Rita, forcing her on a quest for revenge against her killers, and Rita finds herself in the crosshairs of one of Albuquerque's most dangerous cartels. Written in sparkling, gruesome prose, Shutter is a blood-chilling debut from one of crime fiction's most powerful new voices"--… (more)
Member:bsuff
Title:Shutter
Authors:Ramona Emerson (Author)
Info:Soho Crime (2023), 312 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:to-read

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Shutter by Ramona Emerson (2022)

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» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this Edgar nominee for fist novel. The details about Navajo culture and the crime scene photographer job took what might have been a basic ‘ “I see dead people” story and elevated it a bit. Can’t wait to see what the author does in the future ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
I loved the Native American viewpoint of this story, and the characters were fun and interesting! The storyline was something different, and grabbed my attention. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Shutter! ( )
  bearlyr | Oct 31, 2023 |
The story follows a Navajo police photographer almost literally to hell and back. Rita Todacheene sees dead people. Since most of her attempts to talk to someone about her special power while she was growing up on the reservation ended in disaster, she has tried to keep it to herself during her five years with the Albuquerque Police Department. Her hard-earned peace is shattered by the death of Erma Singleton, the manager of a bar owned by Matias Romero, her common-law husband. Although Detective Martin Garcia, who is less than ambitious, has decided to call the case closed and has gone on record saying that Erma death was from she fell from a highway bridge, and her body was struck by the truck that hit her on the roadway below. Erma, however, oh yes, she quite vocal even though she is also quiet dead... insists that she was pushed from the bridge. She previously had asked Rita to help me "get back to my baby". She emphasizes that request by telling Rita. "If you don't help me, I’ll make your life a living hell.” Since Rita is a civilian employee, she has few resources for starting or conducting any type of investigation. It seems that Erma, even dead, is not without some strange powers....and she opens a portal that unleashes scores of ghosts, all clamoring for justice or mercy or a few words with their loved ones they left behind. The nightmare then propels Rita forward, with things like her taking photos of Judge Harrison Winters and his family and their dog, who then are all shot and killed in what Detective Garcia calls a murder-suicide. Then something unexplained shows up that links these deaths along with Erma’s, to the drug business of the Sinaloa cartel. All this is interwoven with repeated flashbacks that shows Rita’s early years on her Navajo reservation and in her Catholic grade school as she struggles to come to terms with this "gift" that she never asked for or wanted that feels more and more like a curse. I found the character of Rita, and her Navajo background, as well as her being a forensic photographer for the Albuquerque police department, fascinating as well as educational. Her unique talent helped to make this story exciting and almost believable.... but who can say? What I did find a bit confusing was telling the story in the present time in one chapter, and the past in the next one. I really liked the idea of giving each chapter a title that referenced a particular camera, or camera setting, and even something to do with a computer was a good touch. Overall...I really enjoyed this novel. ( )
  Carol420 | Oct 11, 2023 |
I wish the author had told a different story, than she did.
This is the authors first book and she can definitely write well, and clearly knows about photography.
The problem was there are two different storylines told in alternating chapters, and while the one about Rita growing up and living with her grandmother was really good, the story of a series of murders and how the ghosts of the victims haunt the main character- Rita, was idiotic.
Crime writing is definitely not something she should continue writing, at least based on this book. ( )
  zmagic69 | Jul 8, 2023 |
There were things I really liked about this -- the life of a forensic photographer is compelling, horrifying, exhausting. Rita's backstory growing up on the Navaho reservation is interesting and complicated. Her voice is great.

I'm not sure I would read a second if this turns into a series -- the gore level is high, the visuals are disturbing, and Rita just seems so passive in her own life. It makes sense, with the way the story is told, and she certainly seems to be getting a handle on that as the book progresses, but it's got a core of tragedy that makes the book heavy going at times. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 20, 2023 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ramona Emersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Litman, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Grandma, Minnie S. Emerson
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Souls don't scatter like the rest of the body.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Rita Todacheene is a forensic photographer working for the Albuquerque police force. Her excellent photography skills have cracked many cases-she is almost supernaturally good at capturing details. In fact, Rita has been hiding a secret: she sees the ghosts of crime victims who point her toward the clues that other investigators overlook. As a lone portal back to the living for traumatized spirits, Rita is terrorized by nagging ghosts who won't let her sleep and who sabotage her personal life. Her taboo and psychologically harrowing ability was what drove her away from her hometown on the Navajo reservation, where she was raised by her grandmother. It has isolated her from friends and gotten her in trouble with the law. And now it might be what gets her killed. When Rita is sent to photograph the scene of a supposed suicide on a highway overpass, the furious, discombobulated ghost of the victim-who insists she was murdered-latches onto Rita, forcing her on a quest for revenge against her killers, and Rita finds herself in the crosshairs of one of Albuquerque's most dangerous cartels. Written in sparkling, gruesome prose, Shutter is a blood-chilling debut from one of crime fiction's most powerful new voices"--

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