Saturday, June 24, 2023

Malibu Burning by Lee Goldberg Book Review

About the Book:

Hell comes to Southern California every October. It rides in on searing Santa Ana winds that blast at near hurricane force, igniting voracious wildfires. Master thief Danny Cole longs for the flames. A tsunami of fire is exactly what he needs to pull off a daring crime and avenge a fallen friend.

As the most devastating firestorms in Los Angeles’ history scorch the hills of Malibu, relentless arson investigator Walter Sharpe and his wild card of a new partner, Andrew Walker, a former US marshal, suspect that someone set the massive blazes intentionally, a terrifying means to an unknown end.

While the flames rage out of control, Danny pursues his brilliant scheme, unaware that Sharpe and Walker are closing in. But when they all collide in a canyon of fire, everything changes, pitting them against an unexpected enemy within an inescapable inferno.

My Review:

I enjoyed this novel highlighting the activities of wildfire fighters and fire investigators. The heroes are two fellows who compliment each other well. Their interaction is entertaining, their dialogue is fun and they have skills that, working together, allow them to go after the bad guys. The villain is an interesting character, a con with a heart.

This is a great novel to read during the fire season. I always like to learn something when I read fiction and here I learned a great deal about wildfires, such as how they move and how the weather factors in. I also learned about arson, some techniques and about motives. After a prologue, the narrative jumps around a bit, from present to previous events. The back flashes help set up the current action but the style is a bit awkward.

Goldberg's writing style is good, however. There is plenty of action balancing insights into characters' lives. This book releases September 1, 2023. That will be at the time when the fire season ramps up with the dry winds increasing. It is an entertaining and informative novel.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Lee Goldberg writes books and television shows.

His mother wanted him to be a doctor, and his grandfather wanted him to go into the family furniture business. Instead, he put himself through UCLA as a freelance journalist, writing for such publications as American FilmStarlogNewsweekThe Los Angeles Times SyndicateThe Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle.

Goldberg broke into television with a freelance script sale to Spenser: For Hire. Since then, his TV writing & producing credits have covered a wide variety of genres, including sci-fi (seaQuest), cop shows (Hunter, The Glades), martial arts (Martial Law), whodunits (Diagnosis Murder, Nero Wolfe), the occult (She-Wolf of London), kid’s shows (R.L. Stine’s The Nightmare Room), T&A (BaywatchShe Spies), comedy (Monk) clip shows (The Best TV Shows That Never Were) and total crap (The HighwaymanThe New Adventures of Flipper).

He’s written and produced TV shows in Canada (Murphy’s Law, CobraMissing), England (Stick With Me Kid, She Wolf of London) and Germany (Fast Track: No Limits). His mystery writing for television has earned him two Edgar Award nominations from the Mystery Writers of America.

His two careers, novelist and TV writer, merged when he wrote the eight books in the Diagnosis Murder series of original novels, based on the hit CBS TV mystery that he also wrote and produced. He followed that up by writing fifteen bestselling novels based on Monk, another TV show that he worked on. His Monk novels have been translated and published in Germany, Poland, Thailand, Japan, Turkey, and many other countries.

Goldberg lives in Los Angeles with his wife and his daughter. You can find out more at

Thomas and Mercer, 304 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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