Some Spoilers may be included
* I have blogged about this book before here*
The phenomenal series set in a future New York City returns as NYPSD Lt. Eve Dallas hunts for the killer of a seemingly ordinary history teacher-and uncovers some extraordinary surprises. Craig Foster's death devastated his young wife, who'd sent him to work that day with a lovingly packed lunch. It shocked his colleagues at the private school, too, and as for the ten-year-old girls who found him in his classroom in a pool of bodily fluids-they may have been traumatized for life.
Eve soon determines that Foster's homemade lunch was tainted with deadly ricin, and that Mr. Foster's colleagues have some startling secrets of their own. It's Eve's job to sort it out- and discover why someone would have done this to a man who seemed so inoffensive, so pleasant . . . So innocent.
Now Magdalena Percell . . . there's someone Eve can picture as a murder victim. Possibly at Eve's own hands. The slinky blonde-an old flame of her billionaire husband, Roarke-has arrived in New York, and she's anything but innocent. Roarke seems blind to Magdalena's manipulation, and he insists that the occasional lunch or business meeting with her is nothing to worry about . . . and none of Eve's business. Eve's so unnerved by the situation that she finds it hard to focus on her case. Still, she'll have to put aside her feelings, for a while at least-because another man has just turned up dead.
Eve knows all too well that innocence can be a facade. Keeping that in mind may help her solve this case at last. But it may also tear apart her marriage.
Once again JD Robb delivers, but not maybe what her fans expected. When I blogged previously about this book before it's release, I was concerned for lack of a better word when I read the books description. It spoke of the marital issues Eve and Roarke were going to face and I just couldn't wrap my mind around how Nora was going to address the issue. Well she did and in a way that lets us her readers see how much emotionally Eve has grown since that first book. In the first few books of the series Eve struggles with accepting Roarke's love for her and with her ability to give that love back to him in return. We rode along for the ride as she said the words for the first time, as she struggled to balance her work and her life and we laughed as she tried to find that perfect Christmas gift for the man who has everything. I felt her pain when she had to go to Summerset and ask for his advice and laughed again as she realized she was supposed to get him more than one gift.
Eve has grown, from story to story, a little bit each time to come to this point. It was hard and I was admittedly in tears a few times as she struggled to hold onto what she had and to deal with her fear of losing the man she had come to love. It was a journey that Eve had to take and overcome in her own time and I admit that I was on pins in needles with Roarke as he fought with and for the woman he has always loved.
I found myself torn though out the story, I wanted to feel bad for Roarke because in all honestly he did nothing wrong. It was the circumstances and the motives behind Maggie's return that made it look bad for Roarke. Then of course other times I was mad at Roarke simply because he knows that while Eve is strong of body and intellect she is weak when it comes to things that touch her emotions.
One of the things I found surprising and I was not sure I was happy or not about was that the case itself took a back seat to the emotional story line of Eve and Roarke. So once things between them were on even ground again and she was once again back at her top performance level the case was slowly unraveled, and as it unraveled I found myself shocked once the killer was exposed.
In fact I was almost sick over it, I do not want to ruin this book for anyone, but I will say this Nora Roberts is where she is today because she crafts a story so rich and detailed that I did not see it coming. Not one little bit, I admit to being so involved in the trial and tribulations of Eve and Roarke that the case took second fiddle through most of this book, but all I can say is WOW! To say I was shocked just doesn't see to say enough.
So what the bottom line here, what works and what doesn't. Here goes.
As for what was missing, not much to be honest. I was a little sad we didn't see more of Peabody and McNab, Feeney, Commander Whitney, Mira and Mavis and Leonardo, but I guess it was hard to work them in. I mean this book was really all about Eve.
What works, in a word everything. Fans have been wanting Eve and Roarke to grow as a couple, for Eve to find herself and where she fits in her new life. To show her vulnerabilities and to love Roarke without question. She acknowledged her fears, the fact that she didn't want Roarke to one day regret his so called choice in loving and marrying her. What I think Eve finally realizes is that just like her it's not a choice she has to make or wanted to make, it is what she has to do. She loves Roarke as much as he clearly loves her.
I will probably always be a fan of this series and as long as JD Robb keeps writing them, I'll keep reading.
If you haven't started this series yet, you should. If you have and you haven't read INNOCENT in Death yet, then what are you waiting for, run and get a copy today.