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.
... not only the first book in what promises to be a superb series — it's also that rare novel in which the formulaic elements of mainstream police procedurals (blood, violence and forensic science) share narrative space with a unique female protagonist. All that, and it's also a love letter to the chaos and diversity of California ... The first thing that makes Lost Hills different from the dozens of procedurals that are published every month is that Goldberg shows us the brutal aftermath of murder. This is a novel full of blood, where forensic experts discuss slashed throats, stabbing, and dissecting bodies in a bathtub. There is a lot of research behind Goldberg's words, and that brutality and cruelty lends an emotional heft to the killings ... an enjoyable read that shows Goldberg, a two-time Edgar Award winner, at the top of his game. The prose is lean and the pacing is superb. There is no filler here; every sentence earns the space it occupies on the page. The dialogue is never boring and always helps push the action forward ... There are a lot of series out there, but Eve Ronin and Goldberg's fast-paced prose should put this one on the radar of every crime fiction fan.
... a clever and likable lead detective, a supporting cast of both hardworking and lazy cops, wisecracking (and occasionally ribald) station house banter, a smattering of quirky characters, a fast pace, a faithful depiction of investigative techniques, and a writing style as precise as a sniper’s rifle ... Goldberg based Lost Hills on a real murder case. His interviews with detectives and blood spatter analysts who helped solve it clearly contributed to the book’s authentic portrayal of police work ... Ronin proves herself more than worthy of her job title with an astounding and selfless act of heroism...She also proved herself worthy of a series of future Ronin novels the author has planned.
... a cop novel so good it makes much of the old guard read like they’re going through the motions until they can retire ... Detecting prowess aside, the real appeal here is Goldberg’s lean prose, which imbues just-the-facts procedure with remarkable tension and cranks up to a stunning description of a fire that was like 'Christmas in hell.'