A ghost from the past is back...
Isaac McQueen, a dangerous pedophile Eve arrested mere months out of the Academy, has escaped from prison and wants to continue the work she'd interrupted twelve years ago. He also wants revenge on the cop that put him in a cage...And the confrontation will force Eve to face her own past as more ghosts appear.
Oh, wow. That's pretty much all I can say at this point, having just finished the book.
It was everything I came to expect from a book in this amazing series; suspenseful, dramatic, intriguing, intense, with strong whiffs of danger, and tugging at all possible heartstrings.
The story was an emotional experience for the heroine and for the reader as we all experience it alongside her, feel her pain, her fear, the confusion of a child still buried in her psyche, and understand just what Roarke is going through.
It was raw, it was painful, even heart-rendering at times...And it showed us that some people will stand, pick themselves up, dust themselves off and go on, no matter what.
I loved the way the story was structured, the way Eve at the beginning felt like a fish out of water since she was out of her usual environment, without her usual "entourage", but slowly got her game back on and hit her stride, one big metaphor for how she acted in the case, echoed in her behavior, her thinking patterns, and her investigative skills.
At first, she was lost, a little shaky in her confidence, got a lot more shaky with everything that surfaced during the investigation, but in the end rose above it, put what happened to her to rest (as much as it is even possible), and conquered her subconscious fears to finish what she started, almost where she started with the big showdown almost bringing her life full circle.
It was weird not having the usual gang present, beyond a few 'link contacts, creating that sense of isolation, of displacement Eve felt, in the reader as well. But she had Roarke there through it all, the one person in the world who truly understands her, who gets her, and who stick no matter what crap she throws at him. It was nice seeing them alone together with all the hiccups, the fights, the emotional baggage that's been toned down in the recent books, and it was, as usual, amazing observing their relationship, the ever-growing and ever-strengthening bond between them.
Yes, the suspense aspect, the villain, the motive, the gruesome things he did and thought, were intense and gripping, but the real center of the plot were the characters, their interactions and especially the relationship between Eve and Roarke.