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New York to Dallas    by J. D. Robb order for
New York to Dallas
by J. D. Robb
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When Eve Dallas was a raw rookie in uniform, she single-handedly brought down a monster named Isaac McQueen who'd kidnapped, confined and raped dozens of young girls. He should have been safely locked away at Rikers for the rest of his days. Mere hours after his escape he sends Eve a disturbing message - and a challenge to follow him to Dallas. She knows she has no choice but to go after him, despite McQueen's surprising knowledge about her childhood - and the fact that forcing her to face her nightmares might well destroy her.

Roarke would rather his wife hand over the case to someone else, but he knows Eve won't back off. She's deadly determined to bring down McQueen a second time before he brutalizes even one more girl. Together she and Roarke head to Dallas to lead a team of investigators who are equally determined to put McQueen back into a cage.

This latest could have been great, but instead was mediocre. Robb drops too many of the essential plot elements that make this series such a stand-out, particularly secondary characters like Peabody, McNab, Sommerset, etc.. All are an essential part of Eve's investigative team and often add lighter moments to the dark cases Eve's assigned.

Moving her out of her comfort zone of New York and basing her in Dallas (the city where she was born, and brutalized and raped by her alcoholic father) does add a dark twist of the knife, as does the introduction of another important character from her childhood. Unfortunately, though, this character was written off without adequate resolution and ultimately, McQueen's character and the investigation that leads to his eventual takedown, ended up being rather redundant to a couple of Eve's previous cases.

New York to Dallas certainly adds more depth to Eve's character as she's forced to face her darkest nightmare. As a whole, though, and based on the title, (the only one without the in death suffix) I'd hoped for more of shake-up this time around.

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