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by J.D. Robb

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-399-15778-3
Publisher: Putnam

Lt. Eve Dallas (Treachery in Death, 2011, etc.) returns to her troubled roots when she goes up against a sex killer with a taste for tweens and a personal interest in her.

Twelve years after his life sentence for raping and imprisoning several of his alleged 27 victims, Isaac McQueen, aka the Collector, is on the loose again. After making his escape from Rikers Island, he returns to his old apartment, takes the couple renting it hostage and demands that Tray Schuster convey the news of his escape to Eve in person within an hour on pain of serious damage to his girlfriend Julie Kopeski. Tray’s anguished visit is only the first of many episodes in which McQueen threatens the officer, who put him away, with a lingering, X-rated death. But he’s not content simply to taunt his old nemesis. Sylvia Prentiss, the drug addict who helped him escape, outfits his latest torture chamber in faraway Dallas and helps stock it with fresh meat. McQueen’s first victim is a familiar face: rape counselor Melinda Jones, who’d already been rescued once before from his clutches. His second is Darlie Morgansten, a 13-year-old who’s more in his sexual line. Together with her megamillionaire husband Roarke, Eve flies to the city that gave her her name to confront both the monster she caged once before and the prison-house of her own tormenting childhood memories.

Roarke and his attendant computer wizards make so many vague, conveniently timed discoveries that the detection is never convincing. But the cat-and-mouse suspense when Eve and McQueen go up against each other is intense.