Author: J. D. Robb
Publication: Putnam Adult (February 23, 2010)
Product Description: Bart Minnock, founder of the computer-gaming giant U-Play, enters his private playroom, and eagerly can't wait to lose himself in an imaginary world, to play the role of a sword-wielding warrior king, in his company's latest top-secret project, Fantastical.
The next morning, he is found in the same locked room, in a pool of blood, his head separated from his body. It is the most puzzling case Eve Dallas has ever faced, and it is not a game. . . .
NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas is having as much trouble figuring out how Bart Minnock was murdered as who did the murdering. The victim's girlfriend seems sincerely grief-stricken, and his quirky-but-brilliant partners at U-Play appear equally shocked. No one seemed to have a problem with the enthusiastic, high-spirited millionaire. Of course, success can attract jealousy, and gaming, like any business, has its fierce rivalries and dirty tricks-as Eve's husband, Roarke, one of U- Play's competitors, knows well. But Minnock was not naive, and quite capable of fighting back in the real world as well as the virtual one.
Eve and her team are about to enter the next level of police work, in a world where fantasy is the ultimate seduction-and the price of defeat is death. . . .
My Thoughts: I love this series. I have to have each new one as soon as possible after it is published. And I have to read it as soon as possible when it arrives at my house. This 30th episode doesn't disappoint. I love re-entering the world of Eve and Roarke. Besides the locked room mystery aspect of this one, we see an exploration of relationships -- friendship and love. Eve is just figuring out what those mean to her and in her life. In the internal chronology of the series only 2 years have passed since the first book - Naked In Death - even though 15 years have passed here in the real world.
Both Eve and Roarke are fascinating characters with strengths and flaws. I want to know more about them. Heck, I'd like to meet them and have dinner with them and get to know them. They are very real to me.
Robb explores how technology changes over time but how humans remain much the same. This quote reflects that (without being too spoil-ery):
"The human body stays pretty much the same, right? Technology changes and science advances. This one? She started out tough, so that's her advantage. Now it's up to science and technology to pull it out."I love catching up with the secondary characters. Peabody is always interesting as Eve's partner and friend. I was afraid that we wouldn't get a chance to see Mavis or Nadine or Trina (a beautician who might be the only human Eve fears) in this episode but Nadine's book release gave us a chance to see them all at the release party.
"Not just the body, but the spirit. Technology and science don't hold a candle to the human spirit. If hers is strong enough, she may stay not dead yet."
This video gives us a chance to hear Nora Roberts talk about the series:
Here is the second in a series of videos at Project Paranormal. (You can find them at YouTube.) I need to spend some time listening to all of them to find out more.
Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge