Eve has seen this crime scene before: the artfully arranged body of a young brunette, arms spread, palms up, body marked by the signs of prolonged and painful torture. Carved into her torso is the time it took her to die - in hours, minutes, and seconds. And on the third finger of her left hand has been placed a silver ring.Eve is catapulted back to a case nine years earlier, when a man the media tagged "The Groom" put the city on edge with a killing spree that took the lives of four women in 15 days. Eve and her partner, Feeney, her friend and mentor, couldn't stop him before he disappeared, only to resurface in other parts of the world to kill and kill again. But now The Groom seems to have come back to where he started.When it turns out that The Groom's most recent victim was employed by Eve's billionaire husband, Roarke, she brings him onto the case - a move that proves fitting when it becomes chillingly clear that the killer has made it personal. The corpse was washed in products from a store Roarke owns and laid out on a sheet his company manufactures. With the Groom's monstrous return, Eve is determined to finish him once and for all. Familiar with his methods, she knows that he has already grabbed his next victim. But his sights are set on the biggest challenge of his illustrious career - an abduction that will test his skills and that promises to give him satisfaction as he's never known. Time is running out on another woman's life...and for Eve.More
"[O]ffers a satisfyingly novel mélange of suspense, sex, forensics and heroics." (Publishers Weekly)
"This offering in Robb's series showcases Susan Ericksen's versatility and strong characterizations. Her delivery is well suited to the suspense and humor that are so much a part of this series." (AudioFile)
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Dancing on the wrong side of the edge
Only the premise. Well, okay, maybe not that drastic, but that's my shoot-from-the-hip response. Generally, it's easy to accept a certain amount of graphic violence in a procedural cop story. It goes with the territory and when done properly is also an indicator of an authors ability to present that material in an exciting, logical and artfully descriptive way without being gratuitous. It's a thin line and generally Robb / Roberts dances skillfully down that line - the graphic material is so organic you don't really notice. Unfortunately, for me at least, this one strays on the wrong side of that razor edge - razor being the operative word, along with blow torch, hole punch and other assorted toys. It was just too much.
As always, the relationships, the witty banter, the arguments / resolutions and of course the pure unadulterated steam were the best parts of this one. In this case though, the bad guy, his methods and madness were not as entertaining or dynamic as the usual villain. He was simply, disgustingly twisted. Worse than being a disturbing character, he was boring.
The Thrilling Conclusion of course but any time Eve has to touch the baby is a hoot and this obligatory Mavis / baby scene is no exception.
It almost inspired me to move on to the next one without finishing it, but I stuck it out and I'm mostly glad I did. While I personally feel this one could be skipped, if you don't mind the unsettling graphic parts, this is another fun-filled romp through the life of Eve, Rourke and the Whole Wacky Crew at the NYPSD.
One thing I noticed in this one was what seemed to be a new depth to some of the subordinate characters. We get a new glimpse into the thoughts of Rourke and Feeney especially and to a lesser extent, Peabody. Subtle, but still noticeable.
- N. Hopkins
Fantastic as usual.
- Mary Kelley Oakley