I stayed up late last night to finish this book. It was entertaining, and having the gang back for another case is most of the time fun. Without the holidays, the story centered more around the case, which I was thankful for. However, all though I had a good time reading this installment, it left me unsatisfied and wondering if I should continue with the series (book #42 is out in February 2016).
What I liked
1. Eve's interactions with her squad - I saw two sides of Det. Baxter that hasn't come up in previous books; those sides show a less than always slick and that sometimes the job can get to someone. Eve giving Peabody a primary on a side case (that comes back around to the main case) and leaving her alone shows Eve's growing confidence in Peabody as a detective, even when Peabody herself doesn't think she is up to the task. Then there is Trueheart, who is studying/testing for his own detective shield - both Eve and Baxter show both concern and confidence in their guy. Det. Carmichael and Santiago's road trip through the American South helped break the case wide open; Eve made sure they were back in NY in time to take part in the final bust, as they deserved some credit for the collar. The one scene where Eve gives Feeney a present and they act true to character was heart tugging.
Overall, Eve is not just a damn good murder cop, she is a damn good boss too. Her emotional intelligence may falter sometimes, but she is a cop's cop and will go to bat with any of her people.
2. I am finding I like the non-holiday cases better than the cases that happen during the holidays, especially those winter holidays. This mystery seemed more realistic and thought out because it didn't have that holiday crunch time rush to it.
3. How rape and tortured were handled. Trigger warnings need to be stated before reading this book. Graphic descriptions of rape, torture, and child/spousal abuse.
What I didn't like
1. YET ANOTHER serial killer plotline. I am sick of serial killers and their random victims. I want a mystery with one or two deaths and the killer had real or twisted motive for offing the very targeted victim. I want a real mystery! Also, I don't care to know anything about the real Bonnie and Clyde, so why should I want to read a fictionalized future version of that couple? Boring.
2. Side characters not getting any page time. This would have been a great case for Charles (former LC, now sex therapist) to give his expert opinion on and maybe work with Dr. Mira. Not a peep from him. It feels like the author has begun shrinking the world to just cops and Roarke. But the fun in reading this series is the experiences and friendships outside of the cop shop/murder business. And those friends have been invaluable to cases in previous books. Not even a brief appearance by Nadine, and you would think serial killers going on a cross-country killing spree would net the attention of 2060 NY's most celebrated murder reporter.
3. That stupid running joke about how Eve couldn't get the concept of time zones. Not funny at all. If you are smart enough to capture killers, many of them high-profile media cases, you are smart enough to figure out time zones.
Overall, an average installment to the series. 3 stars.