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OK but not as good as previous Eve Dallas novels
am 24. Februar 2014
Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of J.D. Robb's Eve Dallas novels and like many other fans I had been waiting impatiently for this 38th book in the series. I got it, I read it, I enjoyed it to a certain extent - but not as much as many other books of this series before.
I think that after writing 37 books of a crime series it can get difficult for an author to continue being ingenious, inventing surprising twists and turns in a crime plot and thinking up new crimes and types of perpetrators. J.D. Robb usually publishes two Eve Dallas books a year with the next one due August 2014 and now it shows that she had a hard time finding new inspiration. In reviews on Amazon.com there is even talk about a ghost writer! This new work lacks almost all of the ingredients that made most of the previous books so suspenseful and special:
- an element of 'Who done it?' From early on in the novel it is not so difficult to guess what happened and who was involved.
- a threat or danger to Eve personally or the people she loves
- a real antihero that you can hate because he/she is so arrogant, mean and selfish SPOILER In this case the killer is just a poor crazy guy the reader feels sorry for and who hasn't been a threat to anyone for a long time. In the end you want to tell Eve to leave good enough alone and to not persecute this poor sod any longer.
- a suspenseful hunt for the killer including showdown that makes you go on reading through the night. Here the showdown is rather an anticlimax.
- an evolving relationship dynamic between Eve and her husband Roarke. In previous books there were definitely more angst, more conflicts, more hurt feelings, more hitting close to home. Here everything is quite tame between Eve and Roarke.
What you do get in this book is same old same old:
- the exactliy 2.5 tasteful sex scenes between Eve and Roarke, none too explicit, everything left to the reader's imagination. The only thing that varies here is the location. A sex scene does not have to be explicit or go into too much detail to be hot, but the ones Robb writes only cause one physical reaction in me: yawn. The pattern is always the same. The bed scenes could be a little less roses, candles and flowers and a bit juicier, if you know what I mean.
- the usual good-natured banter and camaraderie between Eve and Peabody with a bit of McNab as a side order
- the usual good advice given by Mira
- the usual Christmas at Eve and Roarke's home, including decorating the usual tree in the bedroom
- Roarke's usual involvement in Eve's police work. How realistic is that by the way? The reasons for his involvement are sometimes far-fetched if not non-existent. He accompanies Eve to interrogate witnesses just because. Ok, we want him to be there.
- Speaking of things being realistic: if you slept an average of two! hours per night, could you work 16-18 hours with your mind razor-sharp as well as have an active private life getting together with friends, etc? Or is that just me?
- the usual sweating of witnesses in the interview room at Cop Central. Just in this case you don't feel that this is justified so much. I wasn't cheering Eve on, but started to identify more with the witness.
- a serial killer yet again
Don't get me wrong, I would buy this book again any time. I wouldn't want to miss it. If you are a J.D. Robb fan like me and have read all of her other books (which I strongly recommend to readers new to this series), then go ahead and buy this book. It's not bad, just don't expect it to be the highlight of the series. I enjoyed it enough to give it three stars, although the crime story is lame and a true spark is missing here.