Lt. Eve Dallas celebrates the final week of 2060 and her own 40th appearance (Concealed in Death, 2014, etc.) by matching wits with a killer who wants to be her friend in the worst way.
The first favor the murderer does Eve is getting into the posh apartment of criminal defense attorney Leanore Bastwick, who certainly had showed Eve little respect in court, garroting Bastwick, cutting out her tongue and leaving a mash note for Eve on the wall of the murder scene. Police psychiatrist Dr. Charlotte Mira advises Eve that the person who signed the note “YOUR TRUE AND LOYAL FRIEND” might well try to cement that friendship by eliminating Eve’s lesser friends, but the next victim is anything but. It’s illegal substances dealer Wendall Ledo, poked to death with a pool cue in his tawdry bolt-hole. An unsuccessful third attack on overbearing photographer Dirk Hastings seems to promise a break in the case, but although two eyewitnesses survive to describe the perp, their descriptions couldn’t be less helpful: “One saw a man, one saw a woman.” Is the true and loyal friend whose only way of bonding with Eve is killing her enemies really a woman? And is it someone uncomfortably close to Eve, maybe even someone who works for the New York Police and Security Department? As the minutes tick down to 2061, Eve races to protect her nearest and dearest while the killer ponders whether there isn’t some other way to get her attention.
More futuristic tech than usual but little suspense, less mystery and a generic culprit. Even Eve’s final confrontation with her prey, normally a strength of this venerable series, is a letdown. Happy New Year.