Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Book Review: Gated Prey by Lee Goldberg (Eve Ronin #3)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Eve, interesting characters
Cons: Plotting, while good, could have been a little stronger
The Bottom Line:
Crime behind a gate
Two cases for her to solve
Overall, it’s good

Who is Preying on Those in Gated Communities?

I have never found gated communities to be a draw, even when I lived in one.  But I had never thought about the implications for the police in solving crimes that take place in them before reading Gated Prey by Lee Goldberg, the third in his Eve Ronin series.

As this book opens, Eve and Duncan Pavone, her partner with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, are undercover in a gated neighborhood hoping to draw out the home invaders who have been targeting these communities in recent weeks.  When their trap springs, Eve and Duncan find themselves in a dangerous situation that leaves them with more questions than it does answers.

Since their superiors feels that the case is wrapped up, Eve and Duncan find themselves called to the scene of a stillbirth in another gated community.  However, this case doesn’t appear as simple as it first appeared either.  Will Eve be able to wrap up either case to her satisfaction?

I’m used to books with a main plot and a sub-plot, or even two dueling plots.  However, in this case, the two stories weren’t presented side by side.  Instead, we focused on one, then the other.  Yes, they are tied together in some ways, but it still felt off to me.

That’s not to say that either story was bad.  They were both interesting cases, although they didn’t quite have the twists I would expect.  Still, they kept me reading, and I wanted to see if I was right about what was going on.  I also appreciated this modern twist on a locked room mystery.  In this case, it was a locked community mystery, and part of what Eve was trying to figure out was how the crimes were being committed.

Eve is an interesting main character.  She is principled, which I like, but maybe a bit too principled.  I am beginning to see some cracks in that, which is a good thing, so I’m hoping to see her mature a bit in future books in the series.  Duncan could come off as a cliché, but he manages to have some depth to him that keeps him from falling completely into that trap.

There are multiple references to the events from the last book.  That only makes sense because what happened there is going to follow Eve for some time to come.  I definitely recommend you read these books in order.

Since this series is a police procedural and not a cozy, be aware that there is a bit more language, violence, and sex than in the cozies I typically read.  A few things were borderline in good taste in my opinion, but they were minor overall.

Eve Ronin continues to entertain, and I enjoyed this book.  I’m glad to know another book is coming soon since I am very curious to see how her career processes after the events in Gated Prey.

Enjoy the rest of the Eve Ronin Mysteries.

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