Lee Goldberg’s Bone Canyon Brings Back Homicide Detective Eve Ronin in a Thrilling Read

Wildfires in the Santa Monica Mountains lay bare charred and scattered bones. The investigation is assigned to Eve Ronin, the youngest homicide detective in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. When the remains are identified belonging to a woman who disappeared six years ago, Eve finds herself tackling a cold case that quickly becomes very hot, threatening to implicate several of her fellow officers. 

This is Lee Goldberg’s second mystery featuring Ronin and the character and plot lines are as intriguing and sharp as ever. (Read a review of Ronin’s first outing, Lost Hills.)

Eve earned a promotion and the moniker “Deathfist” after she subdued a man she saw assaulting a woman in a restaurant parking lot. The action was caught on someone’s cellphone and when the man was identified as Blake Largo, an actor who plays the action hero Deathfist, the video quickly went viral. The sheriff’s office, battling a black eye from allegations its officers were beating prisoners in the county jail, pounced on Eve’s newfound celebrity to promote her to the Robbery-Homicide Division. Eve accepted her new assignment, but she continues to turn down offers from Hollywood agents and producers who want to make her TV’s next female crime-fighter. Initially Eve was vilified for jumping the line ahead of more experienced officers. But after she rescues three children during her last case, she’s beginning to earn the respect she deserves.

All that could change if Eve’s investigation leads to the arrest of several detectives in the Lost Hill’s Sheriff’s station in Calabasas. The missing woman, Sabrina Morton, had been partying on the beach with a group of men who had been surfing. She woke up hours later with no memory of what had happened other than knowing she had been raped. She walked into the nearest police station, and was quickly transported to a hospital where a rape kit was taken. A few days later, her memory returning, she went back to the beach to show people the sketch of a tattoo she had seen on the calves of the men. When it turns out that the tattoo – two surfboards, a gun, and a great white shark – is one worn by half the deputies at the Lost Hills station, Eve knows she’s on dangerous ground.

Fortunately, Eve’s partner, Duncan Pavone, nicknamed “Donuts” and 100+ days away from his retirement, continues to school her and watch her back. Eve’s ability to investigate is hampered by a wrist injury she sustained during her last case which requires regular session with Mitch Swayer, the physical therapist from hell. She also constantly dodges phone calls from her family: her mother, Jen, a fading actress, and her father, Vincent, a director, who continue to pressure Eve about a possible TV series, seeing themselves as participants and beneficiaries. Since Eve still bears scars from her childhood – her father abandoned the family and never paid child support – she tries to keep her parents at arm’s length. She’s closer with her half siblings (they all had different fathers), but lifestyle differences continue to intervene.

Eve’s love life does get a pick me up when she works with Daniel Brooks, a forensic anthropologist, called in to collect, identify, and catalogue the bones. His job becomes more complicated, and Eve’s investigation more important, when a second set of bones is discovered.

Bone Canyon is well paced with enough action and twists and turns to keep the pages turning. Goldberg not only writes novels but also TV shows, including the popular Monk series with Tony Shaloub. Can a series with Eve Ronin be in the future? 

Bone Canyon
Lee Goldberg 

Top photo: Bigstock

About Charlene Giannetti (436 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her last book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "Life After You," focusing on the opioid/heroin crisis that completed filming on February 1, 2020. Charlene divides her time between homes in Manhattan and Alexandria, Virginia.