Other J. D. Robb reviews available in the Archives.

 
New York to Dallas
by J. D. Robb
(Putnam, $27.95, V) ISBN 978-0-399-15778-3
*****
This is the latest In Death novel featuring Lt. Eve Dallas, her husband Roark and her New York City Police Department cronies in the mid 21st century.  Readers should be on notice from the author's variation in her title style that this story will be a departure from the usual crime solving experiences.

On a day at work being consumed by paper work, Eve is confronted with a terrified Tray Schuster who reports his girlfriend is being held hostage and that the criminal is asking for Eve personally. Finding out the address sends a chill through Eve, as it was in this apartment that she met Isaac McQueen,"The Collector" of very young girls, and a killer.

Eve had just completed the police academy and was working another case when her intuition had her push McQueen to the point where she discovered the 22 young girls he had collected and chained. It was at that point Capt Feeney had her transferred to him, and his mentor relationship began. McQueen went to prison and her career in homicide began.

Eve discovers McQueen is no longer in prison, having killed a guard to escape, and realizes the girl she rushed to save was merely  \McQueen's message to her that he is back and intends to take her out. She starts, of course, with the contacts McQueen clearly needs to enable him to escape. Meanwhile McQueen has fled to Dallas and has recaptured one of the girls he had taken before. Her twin sister had also been a victim and she is now with the Dallas Police.

The sister receives a taunting note from McQueen who demands that Eve travel to Dallas and get there within eight hours. Fans will know that Dallas is not a good place for Eve emotionally.

The tracing of contacts and squeezing some for more information has put Eve a step ahead when she gets to Dallas with Roark by her side. As she delves further into McQueen's activities and confederates, she encounters his current female partner, and finds her to be a “person of interest" to Eve in her prior life in Dallas as a child.

From this point,Eve is spiraling emotionally and the real story is Eve and her confrontation with her past. The author does an admirable job of utilizing all the bits of information revealed slowly in novel after novel to construct almost a psychological profile of one who has to confront what her heroine must now acknowledge. Revealing the parts of the problem in this review would seem unfair to the author as she has built it so carefully throughout this entire series of thirty-two full length novels.

New York to Dallas is consistent with all prior novels in this series with respect to the general police practices followed in solving crimes; but it is the personalizing of Eve's past that makes it even better than the others.

--Thea Davis


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