With the New Year coming around the corner the time to make resolutions is upon us. But I’m not really one for patience. What I want to do, with this blog at least, is make it a little more focused, and a lot more full. Sunday Morning Stuff will continue as the place for me to talk about the “other” stuff in a casual sense: what I’m reading, listening to, playing, and watching. On occasion I’ll still dip my toe into the running pool because I want to write about that but do I want to start a whole running blog?
What I want to talk about more alongside the classic stuff that I take on with Classically Lacking every other week is books. I’ve started reading a whole lot more, specifically a whole lot more new stuff that I would like to, you know, write Some Words On.
So, here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to write some words on some books.
Starting today, with Lost Hills by Lee Goldberg.
Here’s the deal. I’m not familiar with Goldberg. I’m not familiar with the detective genre. I read wide and far, but that means that in terms of genre I fail to get particularly deep.
So why did I even pick this up?
Because Amazon gave it to me for free as part of the pre-release goody Prime Members get. I slapped it on my Kindle because…why not?
And I don’t regret it.
Lost Hills is the first in a series which revolves around Eve Ronin, a detective who is promoted into the Homicide Department of the Lost Hills PD in Los Angeles after a video of her putting a celebrity arsehole in his place (on the ground) after she spots him striking his girlfriend goes viral.
In her first big case she finds a family home turned into a slaughterhouse, but the bodies are missing. With the department on her back, and her partner gearing up for retirement, Eve is up against the wall to prove herself and solve the case.
It is a rapid read, a real digital page turner. The prose did not strike me as anything out of the ordinary, and the pages are populated with characters who you have – whether you read detective novels or not – seen before. Even Eve. Although she is charmingly plucky and sharp and under no doubts that luck has played her part in getting her into her new position. I wouldn’t go so far to say originality is overrated but in a novel like this it was nice to know who I was dealing with early on.
It is then, mostly meat and potatoes stuff.
However, the villain of the piece is a real creep, poisoned with a deep and misplaced love of a classic Hollywood movie. I found him to be an inspired and un-nerving character, and was pushed towards the finale by my desire to see him brought to justice. That finale is a searing conclusion which ramps the action into a grand, blockbuster scale that I was hardly expecting.
As impressions go, that ending sure left a good one on me.
Which leads me to give it, on my indefinably loose scale, a PRETTY GOOD.
Which translates to a 3 STARS on Goodreads for those looking for a more quantifiable score.