>> Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Writing under the name J.D. Robb, bestselling author Nora Roberts uses a futuristic setting to unfold a story that mixes touches of romance with darkness and violence. When Prosecuting Attorney Cecily Towers is found dead on a rainy night in New York City, Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas first follows a trail to her own lover, then finds herself in pursuit of a serial killer. As the death toll mounts, she sets herself up as bait to snare the culprit.This one's excellent, an A+.
Ok, I love later In Death books, where Eve and Roarke are a more "settled" marriage couple, but I must say their relationship was much more exciting to read about in early books such as this. Here they are not yet completely sure of the other, and this makes for some great tension and some genuinely stomach-clenching moments. The tension is one I always love. It comes from Eve being wary of accepting her feelings for Roarke, and of accepting Roarke's all-consuming love for her. There's a wonderful scene when they reconcile after a fight about this, which makes it very clear how crazy they are about each other and how they each need the other. Ahhh.
Something else that is more evident here in the early books and that I like is the world-building. I later books the world is already well described, so there is less detail, but here we have things I especially enjoy, like little throw-away details which don't serve to further the plot, but just to give us a little bit of colour. For instance, at one point Eve goes to a certain part of the city and there is a little paragraph mentioning how the NY brownstone buildings had all suddenly fallen to pieces in the early 21st century, so they had had to be condemned and razed.
I really liked seeing for the first time characters that would either become important (like Peabody) or would appear at least a couple of times more (like Crack). It was fun, like watching an obscure old movie and spotting an actor that would later become a huge star.
I was very interested in the suspense subplot here. It wasn't particularly hard to guess who the murderer was, but it was all fascinating anyway. Plus, I appreciated the fact that this was a case which Eve investigated pretty much on her own, without having Roarke take over. She got to a solution simply by relying on good detective work, not on illegal electronics or Roarke's connections.
An excellent book, where every aspect is perfect and they all work together flawlessly.