My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Eve Dallas’s loyalties are one again put to the test when her husband’s oldest friend and closest confidant, Summerset, is framed for a series of murders targeting acquaintances from his shared past with Roarke. As the evidence against him accumulates, Eve must put aside her animosity for the man in order to capture a brilliant yet deranged killer guided by a warped sense of vengeance.
Roarke’s criminal past is front and centre in this installment and readers are treated to some compelling detail and insight into his life as a street urchin turned minor mobster in the Emerald Isle. The fact that he managed to escape the horrors of that world with his soul more or less intact is a testament not only to his strength of will, but also to his capacity for love and loyalty.
The events of the case also bring the relationship between Summerset and Eve to the fore. While they have consistently been at odds with one another, there have also been the occasional glimpses of understanding and perhaps even respect between them. These, however, are put to the test as Summerset must reconcile his contempt for the police and the realization that his hopes for Roarke’s future will never materialize with the fact that Eve is in their lives to stay.
The investigation is one of the more gruesome in the series this far as the killer is not averse to torturing his victims in horrendous ways. There are some excellent twists and turns although it is possible to follow the clues and figure out the villain’s identity.
All in all, an entertaining read and I look forward to seeing more of Eve, Roarke, Summerset, Peabody and the colorful McNab in the future.