reviewed by Pam Guynn
Movieland by Lee Goldberg is the fourth book in the Eve Ronin police procedural and crime thriller series and is set in and near Calabasas, California. It’s full of action and amazing characters, as well as some humor, and this reader couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.
Dispatched to a break-in, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Robbery-Homicide Detective Eve Ronin and her soon to retire partner Duncan (Donuts) Pavone get an urgent call that hikers have found a woman shot in nearby Malibu Creek State Park, once the setting of many Hollywood movies and TV series. Duncan fears this is just the latest in a series of sniper attacks that began before Eve came to the Lost Hills police station. However, officials refuse to see a connection and tell them to focus only on the current case.
Eve is an energetic, ambitious, and compelling main character and definitely someone you can root for. She works tirelessly, makes a few rookie mistakes while learning her job, but has clear goals and good instincts that influence the plot. Her motivations seemed believable, with well-drawn and appropriate emotions. Many of her co-workers feel she didn’t earn the promotion to detective. Additionally, the way she challenges things sets others on edge and affects them and her. Reading the first three novels in the series provides the reasons for this added drama. Duncan’s character has more depth in this novel. While the case is not straightforward, Eve and Duncan move forward with seeking the truth and justice for victims. Several secondary characters from previous novels show up in various supporting or antagonistic capacities, along with several new ones to lend a freshness to the story.
The writing is terrific and well written. Readers easily become mentally and emotionally involved with the characters as well as the story. Visual and auditory imagery comes through vividly. The plot is absorbing and intriguing with a storyline that definitely packed a punch. Themes include justice, rules, corruption, egos, assault, murder, and integrity, coupled with forensics, good instincts, and solid, basic police work.
Overall, this is a tense, gritty, and engaging novel with wit, suspense, action, and some great twists as well as some violence. It is fast-paced and action-packed. If you enjoy excellent crime thrillers and police procedurals, then I recommend that you check out this one. This series should be read in order since Eve’s background and prior cases are important. I am looking forward to finding out what happens on Eve’s next case.
Thomas & Mercer and Lee Goldberg provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for June 21, 2022.