It's Christmastime in New York, and this year Lt. Eve Dallas hopes to have a less stressful holiday. But then an unwelcome face from the past turns up. After killing her abusive father in self-defense, 8-year-old Eve went into foster care, where she fell into the hands of Trudy Lombard, who wasn't physically abusive, but the emotional scars she inflicted still resonate.

Trudy suddenly turns up, claiming she wants to restart a relationship with Eve, but both Eve and her billionaire husband, Roarke, suspect otherwise. Sure enough, Trudy tries to put the squeeze on Roarke, threatening to release information about Eve unless he pays millions. In disgust, Roarke kicks Trudy out. But days later, Trudy is found murdered. Now, for the sake of Trudy's bereaved son, Eve has to put aside her feelings and find the killer of a woman who had many victims of her own.

There are so many layers to the fascinatingly complex Eve that it's always a thrill to peel another away to discover more about this amazing woman. That this series remains utterly compelling is a testament to the storytelling genius of Robb. (Jan., 352 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith