LOST HILLS by Lee Goldberg


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Veteran TV writer and fiction collaborator Goldberg (Killer Thriller, 2019, etc.) auditions a tough, ambitious rookie LA County detective determined to ride a triple murder hard—if it doesn’t destroy her career first.

After stepping up when she was off duty to take down an action-movie star who was smacking his girlfriend around, Eve Ronin suddenly found herself catapulted to the county sheriff’s Robbery-Homicide Division, where the cases are high profile and her male peers are low tolerant. Minutes after she and Detective Duncan Pavone, her older, fatter, more dispassionate partner, shrug off a borderline killing that really belongs to the LAPD, they answer a distress call from a neighbor of aspiring actress/actual waitress Tanya Kenworth to find Tanya, her two children, and her dog missing from their Topanga house, which is awash in blood. As she’s searching the woods around the house for clues, Eve is jumped by a hairy monster she can’t even identify as human before she’s knocked out—an incident she improbably decides to keep secret from Duncan. There’s plenty of convincing evidence that the family was killed, dismembered, and taken away but no evidence that points to any particular suspect. Tanya’s ex-husband, Cleve, seems to have been hours away in Merced when his estranged family vanished, and her ex-boyfriend, Jared Rawlins, was entertaining his rebound hookup. As if determined never to be off duty again, Eve works around the clock to find and pursue new leads, but instead of impressing her colleagues, she just convinces them that she’s a ruthless careerist. Nor do her efforts sit well with her endlessly critical mother, who can’t understand why she looks so disheveled during the TV interviews that make her the face, and eventually the leader, of the investigation. At length, Eve’s tireless work identifies a suspect she arrests, but although he fits the evidence to a T, his smug self-assurance makes her worry that she’s screwed up. And she has, though not in the way she thinks.

An energetic, resourceful procedural starring a heroine who deserves a series of her own.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5420-9380-4
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2019


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