New York Times
bestselling author Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb, continues her prolific string of hits with her latest installment in the In Death series of futuristic thrillers starring hard-boiled detective Eve Dallas and a quirky cast of characters, including Eve's husband, Roarke, who owns most of Manhattan and can be relied upon to bring all his considerable resources to bear to help his wife solve the case whether she wants him to or not, and Peabody, Eve's uptight assistant, who has an off-again, on-again thing going with the irreverent Officer McNab. This time Eve is on the trail of a serial killer--or maybe killers--who stalks young women looking for love in online poetry chat rooms. Once a romantic date has been arranged, the murderer sets the scene with roses, champagne, and candlelight, then serves his unsuspecting victims a lethal combination of date-rape drugs that takes them to the height of pleasure and too far beyond. But this killer is really clever, altering his look to become each victim's dream date. What a nightmare! Detective Dallas is on the case, chasing an anonymous psychopath with a twisted taste in romance. But Eve seems a little more fragile this time around, still plagued by the nightmare of childhood abuse. Is retirement from the business of crime solving in the near future for Detective Dallas? Robb has found a winning formula in the genre, so hopefully we'll see a lot more of peppery Eve Dallas. --Alison Trinkle
From Publishers Weekly
In the 13th installment of Robb's (aka Nora Roberts) futuristic In Death series (after Betrayal in Death), New York's Lieutenant Eve Dallas takes on a Casanova killer who targets young women via on-line poetry chat rooms. The killer sets the mood for murder with rose petals, candlelight and expensive wine laced with a deadly date-rape drug. The novel opens (as others have in the past) with Eve reliving the horror of stabbing her abusive father to death. The narrative then switches to another grim scene that of a woman who has been pushed from a balcony. With the technology available in 2059, identifying the culprit should be simple, but this killer is more inventive than most: he becomes each victim's fantasy man. To make Eve's job even more difficult, a psychological profile indicates that there may be two killers or one with a multiple-personality disorder. Robb sprinkles her narrative with the usual supporting characters: Roarke, Eve's rich husband, uses his state-of-the-art computers to assist her with the case; Peabody, Eve's assistant, is still dancing a sexual tango with Officer McNab; and Roarke's lofty but caring butler remains a thorn in Eve's side. Although Robb's energetic prose and hard-edged dialogue will keep readers engrossed, this installment offers little that is new or fresh. (Sept. 4)Forecast: Thirteen may very well be Robb's unlucky number. Although the recent revelation that J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts will prompt many new readers to pick up the latest book in the series, Robb's long-time fans may find that this well is running dry.
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