There is one point in the book where Peabody looks up dazed and and says 'I feel like I am drowning in a sea of data.' I could relate because the middle third of the book was so densely procedural that it didn't feel like enough action was happening but rather a cascade of a lot of information and names.
The first part of the book was really good. A happy hour in a trendy, yet friendly bar ends with 80 people dead. They all suddenly turned on each other in a rage and using forks, bottles, fingernails, furniture---whatever was on hand --- they slaughtered each other. Twelve minutes after the inexplicable onset of the rage, they all lay dead.
What could cause a room full of friends, co-workers, lovers to suddenly want to kill each other? After tests show that the people were infected with some sort of airborne toxin, Eve is sure that the killer isn't quite done and she is rightfully worried about how widespread this could become.
Outside of the laggy middle part, there was a lot to really like about this book. In some ways it felt like old home week with lots of shout outs to old cases and series continuity. As I was reading it I could not help but immediately think of Loyalty in Death and the terrorist group known as Cassandra in that book as this act seemed very reminiscent. And sure enough Eve and Roarke also bring them up as well as they are working through the case.
Eve also finds herself working with a member of The Homeland Security Organization (not to be confused with current real-life Homeland Security), an agency she distrusts incredibly after discovering they'd had her father under surveillance all the time she was in his care as an abused minor and did nothing to help her. This was a great call back to Divided in Death.
She also brings in Detective Strong one of the few clean cops from the formerly corrupt illegals division that Eve helped to clean up in Treachery in Death.
But most of all this book felt like a real indication that Eve is finally beginning to heal from all of her childhood abuse and parental trauma. Now that she fully knows who both her parents were and they are both dead, she is finally facing it head on and starting to try to deal with the trauma rather that just muscling through and attempting to overcome it.
There are also a lot of references to the Urban wars. So I am now even more intensely curious about them. The Urban wars run as a reference point in a lot of the books in the series and was by all account a really, rally awful time in this series' history. I'd love to see Robb pen a stand-alone "historical" that takes place during the Urban wars.
The last third of the book picks right up and becomes exciting again if only because it is always fun to watch Eve match wits with a villain and then finally mop the floor with them.