As the book begins, Eve and Duncan are conducting a sting operation in a 4,500 square-foot mini-mansion in the fictional Calabasas gated community of Vista Grande. The assignment is to bait and catch a group of armed robbers plaguing the community. Eve and Duncan must understand the method of how the robbers are passing the guards undetected if they have any hope of catching the culprits. Thankfully, the sting operation brings the criminal network to fruition, but two of the criminals are killed in the conflict and another escapes to a crowded store. This exciting opening scene sets the stage for Goldberg's twisty narrative to come alive with colorful characters and the obligatory investigation and turbulent aftermath.
By this third novel, readers are aligned with Eve's strong resistance to police corruption and the political upheaval that most of her cases create. One of the most endearing and entertaining aspects to this series is simply watching the young, talented homicide detective ebb and flow through the bureaucracy, endless red tape, and deep criminal channels that seem to envelope society.
Like a riveting multifaceted procedural mystery (John Creasey's excellent Gideon comes to mind), Goldberg's narrative doesn't just present one case for readers and heroes to solve. Instead, Gated Prey presents a number of different story-lines involving not only the home-invasion robbery angle, but also the death of a newborn baby, the aftermath of a deputy's suicide, and Eve's adjustment to a new Captain. All of these elements create a wonderful smorgasbord of crime-fiction that continues the same level of excellence we've come to expect from this new series.
Gated Prey is another stellar installment in the wildly entertaining Eve Ronin series and a further testament to Lee Goldberg's strength as a creative, innovative storyteller. Highly recommended.