Narrator: Nicol Zanzarella
Series: Eve Ronin #1
Published by Brilliance Audio on January 1, 2020
Length: 6 hrs 41 mins
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A detective’s brutal first case could make or break her career in an exhilarating thriller by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Goldberg.
A video of Deputy Eve Ronin’s off-duty arrest of an abusive movie star goes viral, turning her into a popular hero at a time when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is plagued by scandal. The sheriff, desperate for more positive press, makes Eve the youngest female homicide detective in the department’s history.
Now Eve, with a lot to learn and resented by her colleagues, has to justify her new badge. Her chance comes when she and her burned-out, soon-to-retire partner are called to the blood-splattered home of a missing single mother and her two kids. The horrific carnage screams multiple murder—but there are no corpses.
Eve has to rely on her instincts and tenacity to find the bodies and capture the vicious killer, all while battling her own insecurities and mounting pressure from the media, her bosses, and the bereaved family. It’s a deadly ordeal that will either prove her skills…or totally destroy her.
At heart, Lost Hills is a police procedural. Eve is new to the homicide division, having been promoted more due to sway public opinion than because of her actual skills. This is her first major case and it has the potential to make her a star or to go terribly awry. The crime is gruesome, and a lot more bloody than most books I read.
Eve is tough and intelligent. She knows fate threw her a good turn with the new job and she’s determined to prove she belongs. She’s no-nonsense and super dedicated. She’s paired with an older detective who is close to retirement. He provides some of the funnier moments, but he also supports her when it seems reasonable, lends his experience and authority to the investigation, and reminds her to do things like eat and sleep. He believes in balancing life and the job, which is an example she clearly needs.
This is police work that doesn’t depend on lab results. They match car types, make phone calls, interview people. There’s not a convenient figure print or DNA sample that gives away the murderer. It’s hard to put down. Even though it seems like all the family is dead, there’s still a sense of urgency in finding the killer and Goldberg keeps the tension high.
And the end – I don’t want to give it away, but it was definitely memorable. I knew Eve would solve the case and survive, but Goldberg did a good job of making me worried. He makes the setting and events so real, but also like it would make a great movie too, so I’m not sure how to put it. Real in a too real kind of way? Does that make sense?
The ending fit so well. Eve got her position do to a viral video and the final moments of this case provide another video. I’m looking forward to the next in the series. After this case, I think her superiors and co-workers will have to admit that she deserves to be there.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: