J. D. Robb, Author, Nora Roberts, Author writing as J.D. Robb. Berkley $7.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-425-19158-3

The latest entry in Robb's series of feisty futuristic mysteries (after Portrait in Death) delivers. This time, Lt. Eve Dallas shows up to investigate the grisly killing of a New York City prostitute only to find a note from the killer on the body. Signed "Jack," the note taunts Eve by name and affirms what she has already guessed—that the murder was specifically planned to imitate Jack the Ripper. Purchasers of the costly foreign stationery that the killer used—a crime writer, a top diplomat and a famous musician—become Eve's suspects. As she investigates them, a second killing occurs, this time in the manner of the Boston Strangler. Aided by her faithful second-in-command, Peabody (who's nervously awaiting her detective's exam), and supported by her handsome husband Roarke, Eve scours both the country and the past for clues. The solution to the puzzle is far less intriguing than the copycat-killer premise, and readers might wonder why detection in the year 2059 is so low-tech—where, for example, are DNA and forensic testing? As always, however, Robb's delightfully snappy dialogue, playful sexuality and whirlwind pacing will keep readers captivated. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/25/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
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