Lee Goldberg has been writing crime novels for a while but I’ll be honest – I’ve never read one before now. With all the hype around this book coming out and the promise of a strong-and-real female lead, I was quick to get my hands on it. I was not disappointed.
Lost Hills reads like most crime novels. There are the same cliché-ed relationships and the bad guy is somehow just like all the other bad guys and every now and then some dad humor is sprinkled in to keep you from feeling a sick person who can only be entertained by a tragic story. I think these elements are what makes crime fiction such a successful genre and there’s some comfort in knowing that the good guys will win and justice will be served.
Where Lost Hills stood out to me was the honest highlighting of the flaws in our justice system. The limitations on law enforcement and prosecutors exist for good reason. They often work to keep innocent people from being unfairly punished for crimes they didn’t commit when those investigating crimes get tunnel vision. When these limitations are relaxed (or dismissed), innocent people suffer for it and those guilty of the crimes get more time to act out. However, these limitations can also restrict law enforcement from catching the right criminal when there’s little else to go on. We have to deal with both downsides if we want to have a balance between keeping our communities safe and preserving our own basic human rights.
I also really enjoyed the story’s focus on the club-like mentality of law enforcement offices – not just gender, but age, and experience too. It’s a well-written book and draws most of its detail from an actual case; which is always the best way to write crime fiction if you ask me. Some parts are definitely gory and others get a bit repetitive. The resolution is good though and once it’s over, you don’t feel like you need 400 more pages to be satisfied with it – which is something I very much like. I would recommend it to those who don’t have a lot of time for reading and who enjoy a good vs. evil tale for the modern-day.
What is your favorite crime novel (true or fiction)? Let me know in the comments below, at email@example.com, or on social media, always, @hollyandoates.