Sneaking downstairs at 2am to get a drink saves 9-year-old Nixie Swisher's life. While she sits in the dark, two men enter her house and methodically murder everyone there. Despite her terror, Nixie manages to call the police.

For Lt. Eve Dallas, finding the terrified girl covered in her parents' blood brings back flashbacks of her own past. Eve radically overrides child services and hides Nixie in her fortress-like home. Positive that Roarke's security is the best, and despite her own animosity toward the man, Eve turns to Roarke's butler, Summerset, to help this traumatized child. It's a good move, as the killers quickly demonstrate they won't stop until every last Swisher is dead.

Robb's latest novel in the In Death series is the most gut-wrenching and emotionally intense to date. Having to deal with a child whose life has been shattered forces both Eve and Roarke to examine their own feelings about children. (Feb., 384 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith