A young woman meets the concrete in front of her apartment building. It looks like self-termination, until Lieutenant Eve Dallas enters the woman's apartment and finds a scene of seduction; wine, romantic music, rose petals on the bed...And the ME finds a deadly date rape drug cocktail in the woman's blood. Security disks prove one thing—the death was an accident and the disposal of the body a panicked reaction.
Soon, another young woman is found dead, obvious signs of violence on her body lying in the middle of a seduction scene. The security disks tell a complete different story. The perpetrator, once again wearing a disguise, relished the thrill.
He's either gained an appreciation for death, or the police are dealing with a split personality. Eve is sure he'll strike again, but when, and who will be the next woman seduced to her death?
This particular story was absolutely awesome. A fast-paced, chillingly intense page-turner with the two parts of the story—investigation and the villain's POV—running side by side. The mystery of whodunit and why wasn't a mystery for long, but the process of how Eve and Co. gathered evidence, ran possibilities, and in the end, bagged their man, was gripping nevertheless.
It's always a pleasure reading the investigative process and procedural, but in this case, with the added knowledge of the villain and the motive, the pleasure was even greater and the reading experience rather exhilarating.
Reading the parts with the villain, knowing the thought process, the "game", if you will, from the get-go, provided added value to the story, especially from the psychological perspective, since the reader was granted additional and deeper insight into the mind and reasoning of the killer. A chilling glimpse into a sociopathic mind.
As levity to the dark mystery/suspense main arc, we got three heapings of romance. The first was, obviously, Eve and Roarke with their peculiar, but effective dynamic. Their relationship is always a pleasure to read, whether they're loving or fighting (or sometimes both at the same time), but this time, there was another layer to it all, first with the scare on the morning of the bust with Roarke going in almost full-panic mode because of a little fever (the guy is so ridiculously overprotective), and the silent understanding on Eve's side on the necessity of taking a break (for both their sakes).
Then, there were Peabody and McNab finally taking the big step. I loved Roarke's coaching of McNab, the advice and the insight, and how apparently Roarke's protectiveness seemed to have rubbed on McNab, alongside the brawling instinct. ;) I still wish Peabody would just tell him the truth and put him out of his misery, but at least the two of them are on the right path.
The third, and most special for me, was the budding romance between the LC and occasional informant Charles Monroe and Louise Dimatto, the good doctor we met in Conspiracy in Death. Even though we only got three scenes with the two of them, the chemistry was through the roof (they produced more sparks than Peabody and McNab in all their scenes so far, if you ask me), and I'm really looking forward to reading how their story and relationship (please, let there be a relationship!) progresses and how Charles's choice of profession fits in.
A gripping, intense, slightly scary at times, fast-paced story with a perfect balance between darkness and light. Loved it.