Cover Image: Malibu Burning

Malibu Burning

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Member Reviews

Lee Goldberg does it again! He is the master of a good quick and intriguing read. His stories are devourable, and luckily he is smart enough to write them as series. Like his character of Eve Ronin, you won't want these characters to be a one off in your life. Arson investigation is such a great and under used topic in crime fighting/investigation novels, and Goldberg's use of it is perfection. Can't wait for #2!

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I love everything I’ve read by Lee Goldberg. The firefighter aspect, especially with the convicts detail (which I didn’t know, but makes sense because they usually get to do some kind of work detail with good behavior) was an interesting storyline. I was drawn into the characters and hanging on the edge of my seat for what would come next. I can’t wait to see where this series takes us.

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Malibu Burning
By Lee Goldberg
Review and Rating 3 ⭐️

I’m a big fan of Lee Goldberg’s Eve Ronin series and his writing in general so I was excited to receive this book as an ARC. Usually I feel like Lee Goldberg’s writing is fast moving and action packed so I was surprised to find myself having quite a difficult time getting into the first third of the story. It just dragged to me and I had difficulty connecting with the characters or plot. The action soon picked up just like a usual Goldberg story and we were off! I did enjoy the usual California setting and found the arson investigation/ firefighting theme very interesting. This is the first in the Sharpe & Walker series and though Eve Ronin will remain my favorite, I am willing to give them another try! 3 ⭐️

I want to thank Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Book Rating Key
⭐️ Not Recommended
⭐️⭐️ Readable Book
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Good Book
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Excellent Book
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Near Perfect Book
***Note*** I seldom give ⭐️or ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ratings. If I feel a book is a ⭐️sometimes I just prefer to not finish reading it and not rate it. As for 5 ⭐️books, I think of those as books I would want to take with me to a deserted island 🏝️, and this means I read a whole lot of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️star books. Happy Reading!

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this eARC.

I don't know what it is about arson and fire-related crimes, there is just something captivating about the subject.
Are in an award winning author such as Lee Goldberg, and you have a combo that is tough to beat.

Recommended for mystery fans across the board!

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I've come to be a big fan of Lee Goldberg's Eve Ronin series over the last few years, so I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of Malibu Burning. I loved it! I was a big fan of the characters and the storyline was fun and fast. I couldn't decide who to root for!

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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As a fan of Lee Goldberg’s Eve Ronin series, I was keen to give this book a go. Loved the Malibu setting and the fast-paced storyline and glad to see this is going to be the start of a new series so we get to meet the key players again. Another winner from Goldberg.

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This is a super-quick read--tightly plotted and paced, with never a dull moment. I loved how well the horror and beauty of wildfires is conjured in Goldberg's work--it made for a thrilling read, especially made interesting by the two main characters, Sharpe and Walker. I look forward to reading more in this fascinating new series.

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I love Lee Goldberg’s books because they are full of nonstop action, unexpected twists and fantastic plot lines. Malibu Burning did not disappoint. It had all of that and it’s the beginning of a new series with two great new characters, Sharpe and Walker. Great read!

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Malibu Burning by Lee Goldberg is another enticing mystery from the author. With a setting in a California fire and a mixture of thieves, arson investigators and firefighters all converging around the purposefully set fire, the action just goes on and on. I hope to see more of Sharpe and Walker as they are a fun duo to read about.

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This book was my first foray to Lee Goldberg's writing.

The story was fast-paced but was able to actually set-up the premise and give the reader the time to get familiar with the characters as well as the how fire fighting and arson investigations go. The characters were fleshed out and what drives them and make them tick was laid out for the reader to see.

I struggled to like the characters and that dampened by enjoyment of the book.

Overall it's still an entertaining read and I do recommend to people looking for something for a fast and entertaining read.

A solid 3.5 stars.

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Malibu Burning: A Sharpe & Walker Mystery
By Lee Goldberg
Thomas & Mercer
September 2023

Review by Cynthia Chow

Eight years ago, con man and thief Danny Cole made the “mistake” of allowing his conscience to override his greed. After a brilliant bank robbery scheme that targeted a cartel went off without a hitch, Danny chose to save a drowning man’s life instead of making the perfect getaway. Even as he’s sentenced to prison Danny continues with a backup plan, requesting that his lawyer have him spending his time in a state prison with access to a prison convict firefighters’ program. It’s a brutal, dangerous job, something Danny sees up close when one of his fellow prisoners is killed while saving the home of a multimillionaire who refused to evacuate.

In the present and having fulfilled his sentence, Danny immediately begins plans for revenge that will also deliver a hefty payout. Gathering together his crew with the skills of being muscle, the computer-savvy-guy-in-the-chair, the getaway driver, and more, Danny crafts a plan that will use his acquired firefighting skills to pull off the most elaborate and brilliant undiscoverable home break-ins. Danny also enlists a meteorologist mourning the loss of her husband, as the callous treatment by the government and medical system makes her susceptible to his offer to seek their own form of justice. What none of the team know is that hot on their trail are two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives who suspect that Danny is somehow responsible for the theft of a $100,000 firefighting drone with an even bigger plan in place. To be more precise though, it’s actually the former US Marshal Walter Sharpe who suspects that Danny has not reformed from his bout in prison, which is not too surprising since Sharpe was the one responsible for catching him in the first place. Unfortunately tagged with the nickname Shar-Pei due to his name and his well-earned wrinkles, Sharpe drags his new partner Andrew Walker along as they attempt to decipher Danny’s actions and stop him before he pulls off the biggest swindle imaginable.

While Danny Cole’s name does make it an easy leap to Danny Ocean, this truly does have the flair and caper cleverness of an Ocean’s Eleven thriller. The fun for readers comes as they gradually learn more about Danny’s plan and how it targets those who very much deserve to be fleeced. It was only Danny’s self-sacrificing act to save another – although to be honest, Danny’s actions caused the accident in the first place – that caused him to get caught, and it’s possible that his not being a completely greedy criminal could lead to his downfall. Sharpe’s dry wit and reluctant admiration for Danny allows the detective to become a Sherlockian mentor to Walker, who otherwise could have slid in the complacent attitude shared by many of his fellow officers. This cops versus robber plot never ceases to be entertaining, especially when both sides are so skilled and relatable. Even more compelling are the well-researched details concerning the California wildfires, the exploitation of the convict firefighter program, and the control over private firefighting companies. The admiration for those actually fighting the fires always comes through, as does the condemnation for those willing to sacrifice lives for property. Bestselling author Lee Goldberg allows his experience writing both humorous mysteries and more classical police detective thrillers shines through, as here he introduces a team of detectives as compelling as the criminals they hunt.

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Malibu Burning by Lee Goldberg
Sharpe & Walker #1

Fiery, fast paced, immersive beginning to a new series with great promise!

What I liked:
* Danny Cole: master thief, conman, a bit of a Robin Hood, charismatic, brilliant, strategic thinker, wealthy, and puts the humanity before money
* Walter Sharpe: arson investigator, intelligent, puzzle solver, experienced, looks for clues and facts to verify when investigating fires, willing to share knowledge, doesn’t jump to conclusions
* Andrew Walker: new to arson investigation after working as a US Marshall, married, soon to be a father, “hunter” who always gets his man, a bit of an adrenaline junkie…maybe
* The introduction to Sharpe & Walker and the foundation for their working together as a team – would like to know more about them
* Danny and the team he put together for the heist
* That rights that were wronged
* Being able to see the story and believing it would work on the big or small screen
* Being able to relate to the fires as I grew up in California and have experienced and seen fires like those described
* Knowing there is another book to look forward to in the series

What I didn’t like:
* Who and what I was meant not to like
* The fires and the damage they do – wish that Danny had come up with a less damaging way to achieve his goals – so many animals suffer as well as the land destroyed

Did I like this book? Yes
Would I read more in this series? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC – This is my honest review.

4-5 Stars

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Malibu Burning is a great start to what I’m sure will be an awesome series. With this story we get a look into the fire services of California and the different aspects they handle. I absolutely love the twists and turns with Lee’s writing that keep you guessing all the way through. I can’t wait to read the next book!!

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I loved it. So much fun. Inventive and foolhardy but endlessly entertaining with both heroes and antiheroes to root for. Brimming with fantastic characters and great personalities, smart and amusing conversations, and non-stop activity. Time jumps, POV shifts, and multiple plots lines brilliantly rolled out at a perfect pace, steadily moving everything to a fiery convergence. It’s everything I love in a thriller with an action packed and satisfying ending. Highly recommend.

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I requested this novel from NetGalley for a few reasons – this author has an extensive backlist, it’s the start of a new series, and I’ve never read a novel featuring arson investigators.

It’s clear the author did extensive research on fires, their causes, how they spread, etc. I learned quite a bit, and it’s pretty terrifying stuff. I now have even deeper appreciation and respect for first responders.

When Andrew Walker’s very pregnant wife requests he make a career change that guarantees him more time with his family, he trades in the title of US marshal for arson investigator. He’s paired with Walter Sharpe, a shrewd investigator with decades of experience. I enjoyed the rapport between them and how they each bring valuable skills to the table. Something I missed was more information about Sharpe. Much is revealed about Walker’s life, but I finished the book knowing next to nothing about Sharpe. Maybe the author has plans to focus more on his character in future novels.

The “bad guy” is con man and master thief Danny Cole who has a history with Walker. He’s pretty likeable and has a grayish code he lives by. His heart is surprisingly in the right place depending on the circumstances. There are several people in his crew, and I admit to getting some of them confused.

This is a tension-filled story that moves at a brisk pace. It may require some suspension of disbelief at times, but is still an engaging read that will keep you flipping the pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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If you're seeking a pulse pounding adventure with suspenseful fire investigation, this is your book. The action builds from the beginning and doesn't let go. It's a short read packed with thrills and an inventive plot. Looking forward to more enjoyable books by Lee Goldberg. My thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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I really enjoyed this book as I have previous books by Lee Goldberg. It felt like a perfect mashup of two of my favorite new tv shows - Fire Country and Will Trent. Goldberg's writing is crisp and fast paced. The characters are believable, the story exciting and impossible to predict the outcome.

Sharpe and Walker are interesting characters and I'll look forward to seeing them in future books.

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This is a fantastic book that kept me engaged in spite of my connections to wildfires this summer. I liked the dynamic of Walker and Sharpe as they learned to work together on a confusing case. Danny Cole was unique as he conned the system while having a heart. It will be interesting to see if he continues to feature in the series. The crew were great and the con was genius. I am excited to read on when the next book comes out.

I received an arc via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

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This is going to be a great series. I thought the plot was original and interesting. I couldn’t wait to see what happened when the criminal started scheming. I could not put it down and had to finish it in a weekend. I cannot wait for the next one.

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Thank you Lee Goldberg, Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC e-book. This is my first book I have read by Goldberg and I really enjoyed it. The book was well written and well researched I think among other crime mystery books it is definitely making its way up there. It was a great read some of the arson talk I felt was a bit over kill and I did tend to skip a few parts because I just wanted to get back to the action but overall a great book.

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