* Prices may differ from that shown
This is the fourth book in the '... in Death' series by J D Robb, also known as Nora Roberts. Nora Roberts is best known for her romance novels but with this series she turned her attentions to crime, albeit with a healthy dollop of futurism and romance thrown in. Being the fourth in the series, there are many references to events which have taken place in previous books and I suggest that anyone who has not read the three earlier Eve Dallas books, begins with book one, Naked in Death. Although I will write briefly about this particular book, this review is more about the series as a whole. It is definitely one worth reading.
Synopsis: It's 2058 and Lt Eve Dallas of the New York police homicide division is preparing for her marriage to Roarke, a mega-billionaire and arguably the most gorgeous man on or off the planet. However, she has to put her plans on hold to deal with her latest murder investigation. The victim is a top model who will stop at nothing to get what she wants, even another woman's man, and the other woman in this fatal triangle is Eve's best friend and, now, chief murder suspect.
I have been a fan of this series since book one. Nora Roberts surprised a great many people with this change in literary direction and her ability to write a gory crime thriller and as the series has progressed, her writing of crime fiction has improved still further. The futuristic setting adds an additional element to the mix and her world building is well within the bounds of possibility if not probability, my only quibble being that I doubt that so much technological change will be achieved in the next 48 years. I feel the books would have more credence were they set a century or so into the future.
Having read the previous books, I've come to know and like the central characters created by J D Robb, and Mavis, who is one of her most colourful creations, takes centre stage in this one. Mavis and Eve go way back. In fact, Eve has arrested Mavis on more than one occasion developing a friendship along the way. Now Mavis is legit and beginning to gain some success as a singer. She has recently begun a relationship with a dress designer and with Eve's big day on the horizon, they go to Leonardo's studio to look for a wedding dress where they run into Pandora, a supermodel, who has also been enjoying Leonardo's attentions.
I don't want to give away too much of the story but it's no great stretch to realise that Pandora meets a sticky end and Mavis suddenly finds herself as the chief suspect.
Of course, Eve can't solve the crime alone and she calls upon her trusty colleagues, Peabody, Feeney, Dr Mira, and also Roarke who, as a bad boy turned good, bestrides both sides of the law. There is also a large cast of other regulars who pop up in this book, and indeed throughout the series.
The beauty of this series is that with each book, we learn a little more about Eve who has blocked out much of what happened during her traumatic childhood. She began as a tough cop with no friends and no social life and a less than happy past but over the course of the series she has acquired a lover, soon to be husband, and a circle of friends, that I've come to know and care for. In this book, as in the series, we learn more about the secondary characters' lives too, all of which adds dimension to the world of Eve Dallas.
The futuristic setting is a great way of getting around the issues of police procedure, which lends authenticity to present day crime fiction, for who knows what laws or police rules and regulations will be around in fifty years' time. The whodunit element is good and often keeps the reader guessing until the last few chapters.
Nora Roberts via her J D Robb persona has created a believable world, peopled by interesting and appealing characters, all wrapped up in a darn good story. The series is now thirty-one books long with another two books due for publication this year (2010), and a couple of between-the-books novellas and short stories to boot, and it shows no signs of losing it's momentum.
This particular book is as fast paced and entertaining as the previous three and although there were a couple of books in the series as a whole which seemed to just stand still, overall this is one of the best crime thriller series I have ever read and I highly recommend it.
'She'd come to New York to be a cop, because she believed in order. Needed it to survive. Her miserable and abusive childhood, with all its blank spaces and dark corners, couldn't be changed. But she had changed. She had taken control, had made herself into the person some anonymous social worker had named Eve Dallas...' But in a few weeks she won't just be Eve Dallas, lieutenant, homicide. She'll be Roarke's wife. But Eve's wedding plans may have to be put on hold as her private and professional lives collide...The victim in her latest murder investigation is one of the most sought-after women in the world. A top model who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted - even another woman's man. And Eve's chief suspect is the other woman in this fatal love triangle - her best friend Mavis. Putting her job on the line to head the investigation, Eve discovers that the world of high fashion thrives on an all-consuming passion for youth and fame. One that leads from the runway to the dark underworld of New York City where drugs can fulfil any desire - for a price.