Formats available: hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook
Series: In Death #41
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on September 15th 2015
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Publisher's Website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Bookshop.org
Eve Dallas tracks a couple whose passion is fueled by cold brutality in the newest crime thriller from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Obsession in Death and Festive in Death.
When Lieutenant Eve Dallas examines a body in a downtown Manhattan alleyway, the victim’s injuries are so extensive that she almost misses the clue. Carved into the skin is the shape of a heart—and initials inside reading E and D . . .
Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don’t ever intend to part again. Ella-Loo’s got dreams. And Darryl believes there are better ways to achieve your dreams than working for them. So they hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone—an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. A desire for Darryl. And a desire to kill again.
As they cross state lines on their way to New York to find the life they think they deserve, they will leave a trail of evil behind them. But now they’ve landed in the jurisdiction of Lieutenant Dallas and her team at the New York Police and Security Department. And with her husband, Roarke, at her side, she has every intention of hunting them down and giving them what they truly deserve . . .
I read this in the car while we were coming back from Cincinnati. It had me so completely absorbed that I zoned out and left my poor but wonderful husband to do all the driving with no good radio stations for a large chunk of the way. I was bad but the book was good.
The story here is always two-fold. On the one hand, we have a case of a spree-killing Bonnie and Clyde who make the mistake of coming to New York City and continuing their spree on Eve Dallas’ turf.
The second story is, as always, the continuing adventures of the family that Eve and Roarke have created – their friends and and Eve’s colleagues and cops at NYPSD Central. The line between friends, colleagues and subordinates has blurred so far that it is usually hard for Eve to figure out which is which, especially since she never thought she would have anything other than colleagues kept at arm’s reach.
The case is a particularly nasty one. A couple of spree-killers have discovered that torturing and murdering a victim sends their sex life into overdrive. They aren’t really all that smart, but they really are scary. They are also very, very lucky, and they’ve found a formula that works for them all too well. Pick a lonely spot. Entice a victim. Knock them out, throw them in the trunk, and carry them off to whatever flop they have secured for two days of fun and torture, until they kill their prey and dump the body far from wherever the crime took place. Then they move on down the road, heading for New York.
And that’s where Eve gets involved. Ella-Loo and Darryl decide to take up residence in New York City, where Eve and her merry band of murder cops have all the latest equipment and a whole lot of savvy about what makes people kill, and how to catch the ones that do.
A clock ticks during this story. Ella-Loo and Darryl have picked up what looks like their first NYC victim, and everyone involved in the case knows that Eve has at most 48 hours to find the lover/killers before they dump this body and grab another one.
So as Eve hunts down her prey, she tracks back through all the places that Ella-Loo and Darryl have struck, and in the process discovers a couple of places where small-town law enforcement preferred to hope that there was no murder, in spite of the evidence, rather than bring down a whole lot of federal oversight. There were too many times when these two killers could have been caught, long before their spree stretched to 24 bodies and counting.
A lot of heads will roll in a lot of places, but first Eve has to catch the killers before they rack up more bodies on her watch.
Escape Rating A-: This was one of the good ones in this series, because the race to find the killers remained front and center during the entire story. Long time fans do get some marvelous moments with the crew, and we do get to see how everyone is doing and what’s happening in their lives. But the focus of this story is always on finding Ella-Loo and Darryl before they finish their grisly business.
We also see how much police work has changed between our now and Eve’s 2060. In NYC, there is a lot of technology, a ton of resources, and a tremendous number of places where the killers can slip up just because they don’t know how much of live in NYC is observed by cameras. Which doesn’t help a whole lot until Eve has a clue of who they are looking for and where to look. Basic investigative work is still basic.
At the same time, we get a glimpse at police life outside NYC, where it doesn’t seem like things have changed all that much. One of the local law enforcement officers along Ella-Loo and Darryl’s route to questionable glory has never been satisfied with the accidental death verdict on a couple of their early victims. Deputy William Banner arrives from Oklahoma to tell Eve everything he knows, and everything he suspects, in the hopes that she can finally get justice for all the victims. He’s able to help the team deal with a lot of law enforcement agencies back home that don’t want to expose their mistakes to big city cops like Eve.
The FBI is going to be digging itself out of its part in this screw up for months, and that’s a good thing. As this case progresses, and we see who failed whom, we want them to eat their share of crow in this mess.
In the end, good triumphs, evil gets its just desserts and Eve and her crew go home to fight crime another day. The ending of the story is marvelously cathartic, as one of the regulars gets a much deserved boost just in time to let the accumulated tension out of the reader and the story.