J. D. Robb, Author , writing as J.D. Robb. Putnam $21.95 (338p) ISBN 978-0-399-15171-2

Though not as gripping as the previous installments in Robb's mid–21st-century In Death series (Remember When , etc.), this new offering showcases her many talents. New York policewoman Eve Dallas is on the trail of a serial killer who strangles his young female victims with a red ribbon and removes their eyes postmortem. Dallas and her longtime partner, Detective Peabody, pursue the criminal with wisecracking vigor and old-fashioned police work, assisted as well by Eve's handsome husband, billionaire businessman Roarke, and a beautiful psychic who volunteers to share her chilling visions of the murders. Naturally, the determined Dallas gets her man, though her toughness is shaken along the way by memories of her own childhood abuse, the murderer's vicious attack on Peabody and a surprising 11th-hour revelation. The Thomas Harrisesque mystery resolves rather simply, and the story gets less of an energy boost than usual from the romantic power play between Eve and Roarke and the edgy sci-fi detail that made the earlier books so distinctive. (In fact, the Manhattan of 2059 is oddly old-fashioned, with more homey crafts stores than the New York of 2004.) Nevertheless, the book is a sassy, smart-alecky read, possessing the warm characterizations and witty dialogue that have earned Robb/Roberts her huge and loyal readership. Agent, Amy Berkower at Writer's House. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/26/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
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