City of Prey: An Ava Gold Mystery (Book 1) - Blake Pierce

City of Prey: An Ava Gold Mystery (Book 1)

By Blake Pierce

  • Release Date: 2021-08-10
  • Genre: Women Sleuths
Score: 4.5
From 263 Ratings


As the first female detective in 1920s New York City, Ava Gold has a lot to prove. But when a serial killer strikes, Ava finds herself up against an enemy more terrifying than she could ever imagine.
“A MASTERPIECE OF THRILLER AND MYSTERY. Blake Pierce did a magnificent job developing characters with a psychological side so well described that we feel inside their minds, follow their fears and cheer for their success. Full of twists, this book will keep you awake until the turn of the last page.”

--Books and Movie Reviews, Roberto Mattos (re Once Gone)

CITY OF PREY (An Ava Gold Mystery—Book 1) is the debut novel in a long-anticipated new series by #1 bestseller and USA Today bestselling author Blake Pierce, whose bestseller Once Gone (a free download) has received over 1,000 five star reviews.

In the rough streets of 1920s New York City, 34 year-old Ava Gold, a widower and single mom, claws her way up to become the first female homicide detective in her NYPD precinct. She is as tough as they come, and willing to hold her own in a man’s world.

But when a psychotic serial killer unleashes a rampage, murdering young women across the city, Ava will have to search the dark canals of the twisted killer’s mind if she has any hope of hunting him down. With psychological profiling still in its infancy, and mocked by most, Ava will be even more alone as she follows her instinct, and hunts him down in a dangerous game of cat and mouse.

Just when it seems the stakes couldn’t be higher, Ava comes to an awful realization: she herself may be the next target.

Amidst the speakeasies, jazz clubs, mafia-run prohibition rings, horrific mental asylums and dangerous back alleys of the city, can Ava achieve what all the men cannot: enter the sick mind of a killer, and stop him before more women die?

A heart-pounding suspense thriller filled with shocking twists, the authentic and atmospheric AVA GOLD MYSTERY SERIES is a riveting page-turner, endearing us to a strong and brilliant character that will capture your heart and keep you reading late into the night.

Books #2-#6 are also available!


  • City of prey

    By MDTAW
    Fantastic mystery Exciting entire book
  • City of Prey

    By Pins4
    Great read! Likes the characters and the issues they bring up! In the end she does figure it all out and the ending is great!
  • Great Read

    By jb191919
    I’m not typically a fan of books set in the past, but this was a great read, just like the rest of the stories from Blake Pierce. Would recommend!
  • Amazing book!

    By labbydi
    I've read books in various series written by this author but this book was the best I've read by him and I enjoy his writing. I'm not usually a fan of stories set in decades prior to my birth but I believe I am a convert. Great characters, interesting storyline, and a good grasp of the dialect of the time. Can't wait for the next one! Ava Gold a recent widow of a cop killed in the line of duty takes on the challenge of joining the force to make New York City's streets safer for her son and the citizens of the city. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

    By Lesli_Silva
    The setting is New York City ten years after the 19th amendment passes when women have secured the right to vote but little else. Ava Gold is a former jazz singer who has just lost her husband, a highly regarded police officer, and there are no leads to his killer. At her husband’s graveside, Police Captain Douglas Minard asks if there is anything he can do to help Ava and her young son. In a moment of emotional blackmail, determined to find her husband’s killer and fill his shoes as her son’s hero, Ava demands a job with the police. What follows is a glimpse into the social confines women faced and the determined and creative manner in which Ava bypasses them. Using her connections in the speakeasies, skills with her fists taught by her boxing instructor father, and intuition that leads her to investigate inside insane asylums, Ava hunts for the “Hatchet Killer” terrorizing the city. I have read over 80 books by Blake Pierce. This story was a little slow to start, but give it chance. Once Ava works her way into the police department and develops an ally in Detective Wimbly, you will be glad you stuck with it. One of my favorite parts of the story, and an example of Pierce’s chilling writing, is when Ava visits a man in prison that her husband arrested to gain insight into the mind of a murderer. As Blake Pierce does in some of his series, he leaves this story with a draw that make us desperate for the next book. Ava’s work is not done; her husband’s killer is still out there.
  • A Can’t Miss Atmospheric Thriller

    By jpeer moon
    City of Prey by Blake Pierce is a new series featuring Eva Gold. It is set in the 20s during a time when women had earned the right to vote but still fought to gain the right to stand side by side with their male counterparts in the Police Force. New York City was rough and crime rampant. Enter recently widowed Eva Gold, who lost her husband while he served with the men in blue. Eva pushes to gain a spot in the same squad room where her husband earned a reputation as an honorable and heroic cop, an all-around nice guy. Little does she know she’s expected to stay in the background and blow a whistle if she sees trouble. Eva is no willowy bystander. Her drive and determination get her into trouble with her new boss. However, when she sees a murderer and takes chase, it’s only the beginning of a rampage that will provide an opportunity for Eva to prove herself, if she doesn’t get killed first. Utilizing her connections in the jazz clubs and desire to understand the killer, Eva tries to enter his mind to find a way to stop him. The stakes have never been higher for NYPD’s first female homicide detective. Can she live up to the expectations from others as well as those she has put upon herself? Find out in this atmospheric thriller. If you enjoy Blake Pierce novels, this is a can’t miss new series.
  • Great new series

    By dcdm taylor
    City of Prey is the first book in a new series by Blake Pierce and introduces us to a new character, Ava Gold, a widow and single mother determined to find her husband's killer. What better way than to join the police force where her late husband worked! However in the 1920's women had only recently been given the right to vote so, of course, she encounters many men who are unhappy with her career choice and who want to cause problems for her. I really love her father, a former boxer, who is proud of his strong daughter and supports her decisions.
  • The Start of Another Fantastic Series by Blake Pierce

    By leszmm01
    This is the start of another GREAT series by Blake Pierce. It’s a little slow to start but it is the first book in the series and there’s a lot of background to layout. City of Prey is a time period piece where women’s just won the right to vote but still aren’t considered equals. Ava Gold, is a recently widowed wife of a cop and wants a job to follow in his footsteps. It starts off as her way to cope with his loss and move on but quickly learns she is a natural and ends up hunting the current serial killer terrorizing women of the city. In true Blake Pierce fashion, the story has an open ending that makes you not want to wait to continue the series.
  • new attitudes?

    By Bend in like a Bohemian
    the widow of a policeman finds a way to put her jazz club connections, her deductive reasoning and the boxing skills she learned from her dad to use a fascinating foray into the world of women police in New York in the earliest days I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
  • Great Book!!!

    By Blong2480
    I enjoyed this book like all the Blake Pierce books.