Ellis, Robert 1954-
Ellis, Robert 1954-
Born January 8, 1954, in PA.
Writer. Media consultant with Campaign Group for more than ten years. Also worked as a writer, producer, and director for film and television, including projects with National Geographic.
New York Film Festival award.
Access to Power, Pinnacle (New York, NY), 2001.
The Dead Room, Kensington Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.
City of Fire, St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2007.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Robert Ellis was first attracted to drama and political intrigue surrounding the legal system at an early age. As a youth, he wrote short stories influenced by the goings-on at city hall and his readings of authors John Buchan, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dashiell Hammett, and Colin Wilson. Ellis's passion for crime drama also traversed the film genre where he equally enjoyed Alfred Hitchcock's portrayals of mystery and suspense. Ellis's film interest continued into his adult career; he took on responsibilities as a media consultant after gaining experience writing, directing, and producing film and television materials while living in Los Angeles, California. Winning a New York Film Festival award for his work with National Geographic, Ellis combined his passions for fiction and film into myriad creative projects such as commercial media and, more notably, his three novels: Access to Power, The Dead Room, and City of Fire.
Ellis's debut novel, Access to Power, reflects his substantial media experience and combines political intrigue with a style that Publishers Weekly called "crisp, punchy prose." The narrative explores the realm of political advertising and uses murder and scandal as further plot complications. The Dead Room, Ellis's second work, is a "fast paced, brisk novel with an engrossing plot and well-developed, well-placed characters," according to Mystery Reader reviewer Jennifer Monahan Winberry. The reader follows attorney Teddy Mack as he investigates several deliberate murders in an effort to prevent the conviction of an innocent man. Likewise, City of Fire, wherein Detective Lena Gamble leads the reader through the intricacies of investigative police work in Los Angeles, garnered critical praise for Ellis's attention to character and detail. "His characters are credible and complex," noted Booklist reviewer Allison Block, and a contributor to Publishers Weekly commented, "The story is tight, the characters alive and the … end refreshingly uncharacteristic of female protagonists," referring to Detective Gamble's cunning intensity. Although John Holt stated in his article for the California Literary Review that Ellis dedicates more narrative space to action than setting in City of Fire, he summarized: "There seems to be more than enough mysteries and curiosities to make the book work and work quite well."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 1, 2007, Allison Block, review of City of Fire, p. 30.
Books, July 7, 2007, "Hot Stuff: Southern California Wildfires and Haitian Voodoo Play Roles in Two New Thrillers," p. 8.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2007, review of City of Fire,
Library Journal, March 15, 2007, Teresa L. Jacobsen, review of City of Fire, p. 62.
Publishers Weekly, July 2, 2001, review of Access to Power, p. 57; April 16, 2007, review of City of Fire, p. 29.
Mystery Reader,http://www.themysteryreader.com/ (December 23, 2007), Jennifer Monahan Winberry, review of The Dead Room.
Official Website of Bestselling Author Robert Ellis,http://www.robertellis.net (December 22, 2007).