Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb

New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death, Book 33
Publisher: Putnam
Genre: Futuristic/Mystery/Suspense New York to Dallas Cover
ISBN: 9780399157783
Blue Ribbon Rating: 5 out of 5
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J.D. Robb Reading Order

In the mid-twenty-first century, NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas is facing possibly her worst nemesis yet: paperwork. Just as Eve finds herself wishing for a murder that would spring her from paperwork hell, something worse comes along.

Isaac McQueen – a violent pedophile Eve took down not long after she became a police officer – has escaped prison. McQueen seems more than eager to get back to raping and torturing young girls, but he’s added an additional target to his list: Eve. McQueen’s sick cat-and-mouse game will take Eve and her husband Roarke from New York to Dallas, where the demons of Eve’s past will collide with the terrifying danger that taking down McQueen presents.

Enter the explosively exciting world of Eve and Roarke in NEW YORK TO DALLAS. Author J.D. Robb brings the full gamut of emotions to the table in NEW YORK TO DALLAS and readers are sure to experience every one. I laughed, I cried, I sighed, I smiled, I relaxed and curled up with the book, then I tensed and sat up straight as I eagerly turned the pages.

As one might expect from the lack of “In Death” in the title, J.D. Robb shakes things up in NEW YORK TO DALLAS. Taking Eve out of New York doesn’t just equal a location change. She’s in unfamiliar territory, doesn’t have her partner, her squad, her commander or the familiar resources she’s used to. It was interesting, for me, to see Eve in such a situation. What’s more, Dallas isn’t just any location. As fans of the series know, Dallas is where Eve’s life was irrevocably changed. I won’t provide any spoilers, but it should come as no surprise that the ghosts of Eve’s past – a past she’s thought she’d mostly come to terms with – are added to the strain of trying to capture McQueen. I loved the character growth this aspect of the story brought to Eve, even as it broke my heart. And it wasn’t only my heart breaking. Roarke, Eve’s husband, is with her every step of the way. Not only do we see more of his character development come about – and I won’t say why or how – but the progression their marriage makes in NEW YORK TO DALLAS is simply beautiful to watch. In many ways, Eve and Roarke make a unique couple. But one of the things I love most about them as husband and wife is the fact that they have the “everyday” little problems couples have, not just big ones; they have to cope with both in this book.

A host of new characters are seamlessly introduced in NEW YORK TO DALLAS. I grew to love them almost as much as I do Eve and Roarke’s friends. Two of McQueen’s victims, in particular, grabbed my attention – and Eve’s – and it’s not just their courage which captivated me, but what they show about Eve that makes me hope I’ll see them again.

There’s a reason Ms. Robb’s dynamic IN DEATH series is still wildly popular more than forty books and novellas in. The books may be set in the future, but the themes of love, friendship, loss, pain, survival, courage, hope, despair, good and evil are universal. Too, the strengths, flaws and quirks of Eve, Roarke and their friends makes the characters not only loveable, but relatable.

NEW YORK TO DALLAS is the thirty-third full-length novel in the IN DEATH series, but Ms. Robb weaves in enough background for readers new to the world of Eve and Roarke to follow along. Fans of the series will, however, be in for a special treat, as there are so many moments in NEW YORK TO DALLAS that show just how far Eve and Roarke have come.

Ms. Robb brings her A-game to NEW YORK TO DALLAS. Love, intelligence, hard work and twisted-as-hell evil are a brilliant combination in the hands of someone like Ms. Robb. She has the ability to make even a predictable surprise plot twist feel like a sucker punch to the gut. That ability to bring forth such strong emotions is why I’ve been a fan of J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts for more than half my lifetime and why I continue to look forward to each new book of hers. NEW YORK TO DALLAS is captivating from beginning to end, and I finished it eager to see where Ms. Robb takes Eve and Roarke next!

Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.