Lt. Eve Dallas, of the New York Police Security Department, celebrates January 2061 by tangling with an unusually well-organized mass murderer. Make that murderers.
There are actually two people behind the sniper killings of three skaters at Central Park’s Wollman Rink. The older of them lays plans, gives directions, and sets a limit on the number of targets; the younger one, after briefly arguing for more victims, obediently pulls the trigger. When a New York cop is among the five fatalities in a second shooting spree in Times Square, the case becomes more personal. Eve, who, in an improbable but satisfying bit of detective work, has already located the East Side hotel room where the killers set up shop for the first round, now theorizes that most of the victims are camouflage for the targets they really wanted to hit. Unlike real-life spree shootings, which are depressingly resistant to such neat and tidy explanations, these two episodes, and a third, even more bloody massacre outside Madison Square Garden, fit Eve’s bill exactly, and it’s a real pleasure watching her identify and track down the mastermind and his apprentice. At that point, however, the breathlessly paced story seems to run out of steam, and the last movement, in which Eve plays legalistic games with the two perps she’s captured—the only truly memorable characters here apart from the heroine—to ensure that both of them will remain in prison for the longest possible sentences, seems a mite overlong itself.
Not much state-of-the-fantasy-art high-tech this time, and no wonder: shaken readers will instantly recognize the contemporary American landscape, filled with trigger-happy vigilantes and the firepower they need to make themselves famous, beneath the futuristic trappings.