Friday, September 9, 2011

Review -- New York to Dallas

New York to Dallas
In Death, #33
By J.D. Robb
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: September 13, 2011

J.D. Robb captured my attention---as thoroughly as Eve Dallas catches criminals--- back in 1995 with Naked In Death, the first book in her In Death series. Sixteen years later, I am still captivated, and New York to Dallas, book 33, had me turning the pages as fast as my eyes and hands would allow. This time Eve must confront her past before it destroys her present and future.

Isaac McQueen is a violent pedophile who Eve was responsible for putting behind bars when she was just a rookie cop fresh out of the Academy. After twelve years in Rikers, McQueen has escaped and is determined to make Eve pay for sending him to prison. He begins by breaking in to his old apartment and tormenting the young couple who lives there. McQueen ties up and rapes the woman and beats up the young man then sending him to Eve telling her to come to the apartment. When Eve and her team reach the apartment, McQueen is gone, leaving behind the sobbing young woman who now has a tattoo of a blood red heart with the number 27 inside just over her left breast---McQueen's calling card, labeling her the twenty-seventh victim of his. He also tells the young woman to give Eve a message:

"He said to tell you that you owe it all to him. It's time to pay up."

It's not long before Eve receives another message from McQueen; He's in Dallas, and he's taken a hostage, Melinda Jones, a twin and one of the his last victims. One of the girls that Eve saved when she arrested McQueen. Melinda is now a rate and trauma counselor attached to the Dallas police department, where he twin sister Bree is a detective. It's time for Eve to head to Dallas, the city that gave her her name, the place of so many traumatic memories of the abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of her father. While those memories still haunt her, Eve must face her own demons if she is to stop McQueen, once again, before he becomes the face in another innocent child's nightmare.

The first of this series not to have "In Death" in the title, New York to Dallas is not your typical "whodunit" since the reader knows the criminal's identity up front. And while McQueen is the type of criminal that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck, it is Eve's journey to hell and back that makes this book a page turner with a capital 'P'. The horrors of Eve's childhood shaped her and made her the cop and woman she is today, just as the heinous childhood that her husband Roarke had made him the man is. And what a man! It's no secret that Roarke is one of my favorite heroes of all time. He's gorgeous and rich as sin, and those are pluses, but it is unwavering love for Eve that makes him practically perfect in my eyes. Her pain is his, and watching him stand by her, giving her the strength and support she needs to overcome the nightmares from her past, just ripped my heart to pieces....and then put it back together.

She heard him murmur to her, a mix of English and Irish that so lifted her heart. The words, the sound of his voice, moved her beyond passion, beyond need and held her in the open arms of love.

She'd hurt him, more, so much more that the ugly scratches. She'd seen his face, the shattered look in his eyes when she'd come back to herself. He suffered, she knew, when she went to that place. Those wounds needed tending, too. Helping him heal, feeling him take what she could give, closed her own wounds again.

Hands down, this is, in my opinion, one of the best series ever. The futuristic setting, incredible action, and phenomenal cast of secondary characters are icing on the cake, but the constantly evolving relationship between Eve and Roarke is the cherry on the top. The In Death series is not to be missed! Here's hoping Ms. Robb keeps giving us more Eve and Roarke for a long time to come.

~ Gannon

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  1. J.D. Robb always hits the mark with me.

  2. this is one of those big series that I need to start but havent had the time to! lol I'm thinking of trying to read the whole thing during this year's holiday break though that still might not be enough time with how slow I read:P

  3. God, how I love Eve and especially Roarke. Thank you for the great review because when I first saw the title I didn't connect it to the In Death series.But I agree with hoping JD Robb gives us more of Eve and Roarke for a very long time.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  4. Bella, it is a huge series, but take your time and savor them all. It's so worth it. :-)

  5. God, how I love Eve and especially Roarke.

    Carol, so do I!!

  6. Gannon, I am SO freaking jealous that you've already read this book! I can't wait for it. I had a hunch it wold be both wrenching and, ultimately, fulfilling, and your review confirms that.

    I completely agree with you that while rich and gorgeous are nice, it's empathy, love, and commitment that make Roarke so great.

    Eve has evolved through the series, with her nightmares less and less frequent. I wonder if this book will close out that part of her life for good, but I guess we'll need to read future books to find out.

  7. I'm a huge Nora Roberts fan, but I don't read her J. D. Robb books. I read a few, and I know enough to understand that the characterization is brilliant. This series is always my go-to example when I talk about the difference in liking a book and admiring it. As a writer, I admire what NR accomplishes in her Robb books, but as a reader, police procedurals/futuristics are not my cup of tea.

    Evidently the word verification concurs with your review, Gannon. My word veri is "alist." LOL

  8. I completely agree with you that while rich and gorgeous are nice, it's empathy, love, and commitment that make Roarke so great.

    Nancy, it's just one of the many things I love about Roarke...and there are MANY! LOL

  9. As a writer, I admire what NR accomplishes in her Robb books, but as a reader, police procedurals/futuristics are not my cup of tea.

    Janga, my mother-in-law was a huge Nora fan, but she could never get into the J.D. Robb books. My mom, on the other hand, loved them. :-)

    Evidently the word verification concurs with your review, Gannon. My word veri is "alist." LOL

    Love it! *g*

  10. Thanks for the review. I used to like this series, but I must admit I've stopped reading it. While Rourke is great, after the 10 or so books I read, I felt that Eve wasn't growing. She has this tough girl persona that rarely softens even with her friends. I know it's suppose to mask her vulnerability, but it's a bit off-putting. I'll try another book one of these days.

  11. I have a couple of JD Robb books here but just haven't got around to reading them must do that soon

  12. Penfield, I think Eve will always come off as being tough and abrasive, but Roarke has definitely softened her rough edges. When it comes to her friends, that's where I've always seen her soft side show up.

  13. Virginia, there are so many books in the series to read, so whenever you get time to read yours I hope you enjoy them.

  14. I've read almost all of Nora Roberts books, but haven't read any of these JD Robb/Eve Dallas books. Should I start at the beginning of the series?

  15. I was working at the library when this series first came out. It sounded good, but I didn't start it thinking it would be 3 or 4 books long and I'd read them all together. That backfired. At some point I am going to have an Eve Dallas festival, and read all the books straight through.
    Thanks for the review.