Author: J. D. Robb
Publication: Putnam Adult (November 2, 2010)
Description: An indulgence for readers: the new Eve Dallas novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author.
First it was a limo driver shot through the neck with a crossbow. Then it was a high-priced escort found stabbed through the heart with a bayonet.
Random hits, thrill kills, murderers with a taste for the finer things in life-and death-are making NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas angry. And an angry Eve can be just as an efficient and dangerous predator as the killer.
As time runs out on another innocent victim's life, Eve's investigation will take her into the rarefied circle that her husband, Roarke, travels in-and into the perverted heart of madness...
My Thoughts: This was another excellent addition to the In Death series. It begins as Roarke and Eve are on vacation in Ireland with Roarke's family. Eve gets involved in a murder investigation when one of Roarke's young cousins discovers a body near the park Eve commissioned built as a memorial to Roarke's mother. That case is really clear cut and easy to solve but shows that Eve sees the victim as a real person and not just a case to be solved.
Then the action shifts back to New York. Eve is called in on a weird case. A random stranger killed in a semi-public place with an unusual weapon. And then there is another victim with the same modus operandi. We get to see 21st century investigation techniques as Eve zeros in on the thrill killers.
The contrast here is between Roarke and Eve who see each person as real and as an individual and the killers who look at each victim as if they were nothing. I was struck by the contrast between the attitudes of some of the very rich in this book with the attitudes of the Browns in the Brides Quartet by Nora Roberts since I just finished reading Happy Ever After. The Browns believe in being useful and have a strong work ethic; the rich criminals in this book believe that they are entitled to do whatever they want to whoever they want. For them, life is a game and everyone else are just game pieces.
The identity of the murders is quickly revealed. The mystery in this one is finding the evidence to arrest and convict them. We see Eve and her team tracking down details and making connections. We also see how much Eve cares for the murder victims. Her sense of justice blazes through the story. While the criminals aren't particularly stupid, they are playing a game. They have to leave some kind of clues to draw Eve in. They have targeted her as they ultimate victim. Eve doesn't think of murder as a game at any time. Roarke is considerably less than thrilled to have Eve set herself up to encourage them to target her soon but he does understand Eve and understand why she does it.
I love seeing the relationship between Eve and Roarke develop. There were no big revelations in this one. But their day to day interaction shows a deepening love and knowledge of each other. I also like to see Eve's interaction with her friends. Her growth in this area from book 1 is really amazing. She has collected quite an assortment of friends and colleagues through the course of these books. I rather wish Mavis and Dr. Mira could have had larger roles in this story.
I recommend this book. I am not sure that I would advise starting the series with this one. I think a lot of the depth in the story comes from knowing the characters. You should take the opportunity to meet Eve and Roarke in Naked in Death (1995). They are wonderful characters.
He framed her face now, touched his lips to her brow. Then looked in her eyes and spoke in Irish.
When he smiled now it lit her up. "I said, you're the beat of my heart, the breath in my body, the light in my soul."
Moved to melting, she took his wrists. "Even when I'm the pain in your ass?"
"Particularly then." He turned to study the plaque. "It's lovely. Simple and lovely."