Review: Payoff provides surprises in Lee Goldberg’s latest

Lost Hills

“Lost Hills,” Thomas & Mercer, by Lee Goldberg

In Lee Goldberg’s “Lost Hills,” deputy Eve Ronin is a media star, thanks to a viral video of her arresting a movie star who was behaving inappropriately. With the eyes of the public and her superiors watching her every move, Ronin needs to tread carefully while also learning the nuances of the job. When Ronin and her almost-retired-but-already-moved on-in-spirit partner Duncan Pavone arrive at the home of a reported missing woman, things go south quickly. They find a scene with blood everywhere, but no sign of any bodies. Where did she disappear along with her kids and dog?

The obvious suspects all have alibis, and soon Ronin begins to question the evidence. Answers are elusive, and her search for them could prove harmful to her health. She already doubts her abilities, and she tries to hide her insecurities while pursuing justice.

Goldberg brings out the best of the growing genre of crime in the Los Angeles arena. The landscape and the atmosphere of the region play a key role in making this novel a success. Eve Ronin makes a stellar lead character for what appears to be the beginning of a crime series. The payoff provides some surprises as well as a satisfying resolution.