Once again, tough homicide cop Eve Dallas speaks for the dead in her quest to bring murderers to justice.
Now, however, she faces her greatest challenge in the form of a killer who strikes with cold precision, surgically removing a different organ from each of his victims. But why would anyone want them? The victims were certainly not in the necessary organ donor level of health. Besides, who needs real organs, when artificial ones are so cheaply and safely available?
As Eve begins to investigate the medical profession, it becomes clear that she has definitely ruffled some powerful feathers. And, in a startling turnabout, she becomes the center of a controversial investigation that threatens to put a ruinous end to her career. Can she deal with this unexpected personal attack with the cool objectivity needed to foil a most unscrupulous villain?
Another stellar entry in the series. As Eve tries to track down a killer, she’s stuck as the object of an internal investigation brought on by a vengeful, jealous officer. When the cop ends up dead, Eve becomes the prime suspect. And although IAB, Whitney, and Tibble all agree that she’s innocent, they have to suspend her pending the outcome of the investigation.
This truly devastates Eve like nothing else could. Her entire identity is wrapped up in being a cop, bringing order where there is none. But through the investigation, we see how many friends Eve has amassed and how loyal they are to her. As Eve arrives home in a cab, Roarke, who has been waiting for her, has this reaction:
“… he felt a bolt of fury lance through him. They’d taken her vehicle. Bastards.
He wanted to race down the steps, rip open the door, to bundle her out and carry her away somewhere, somewhere she wouldn’t hurt as he could only imagine she hurt.
But it wasn’t his anger she needed now. He came down the steps as she got out of the cab. And she stood pale as death in the hard winter light, her eyes dark, glazed, and he thought, impossibly young. (Great imagery, no?) The strength, the tough edge she wore as naturally as her weapon, was gone.
She wasn’t sure she could speak, that the words would push through her throat, it burned so. And the rest of her was numb. Dead.
“They took my badge.” Suddenly it was real, the brutal reality of it punched like a fist. And grief gushed up, hot, bitter, to spill out of her eyes. “Roarke.”
“I know.” He was there, his arms hard around her, holding tight as she began to shake. “I’m so sorry Eve. I’m so sorry.”
“What will I do? What will I do?” She clung, weeping, not even aware that he had picked her up, carried her inside into the warmth and up the stairs. “Oh God, God, God, they took my badge.”
“We’ll straighten it out. You’ll get it back. I promise you.” She was shaking so violently, it seemed her bones would crash together and shatter. He sat, tightened his grip. “Just hold onto me.”
“Don’t go away.”
“No, baby, I’ll stay right here.”
… “They made me nothing again.”
He looked down at her face, into her eyes, hollow and heavy. “No, Eve.”
“Nothing.” She turned her head away, closed her eyes, and escaped.
God, how heartwrenching is that? Robb puts you right inside their embrace.
And Summerset has the line that perhaps, brings the entire situation home. “Roarke, I insulted her and she… apologized to me. Something must be done.” I admit I laughed at the last bit.
There were some lighthearted moments as well, such as when Roarke and Eve have a snowman/snowball fight. Eve builds a big, muscled snowman, and Roarke, well…
“Yours has tits.”And so ensued a tremendous snowball fight.
“Yes, rather gorgeous ones.” Roarke stroked one snowy breast lightly. “She’ll lead your pumped-up slab of beef there around by the nose.”
Eve could only shake her head. “Pervert. Those boobs are way out of proportion.”
“A boy needs his dreams, darling.”
And when Eve discovers that Roarke, yet again, owns a company she’s investigating:
“Do you have to own everything?”
He considered a moment. “Yes,” he said and smiled beautifully.
… “Why do you have to own everything?”
“Because, darling Eve, I can.”
Once again, there is great chemistry between McNab and Peabody (whom he calls She-body). Love it! And a couple new characters are introduced: Louise, a doctor who runs a clinic, and Officer Truehart. Looking forward to how they are integrated.
The outcome of the suspense portion was never in doubt – the whodunit was quite easy to guess. The point of this one was to connect all the dots and clear Eve while completing the investigation.
Another huge step forward in Eve’s relationships with others. We see how uncomfortable she is allowing others to help her, but at their insistence, she accepts their assistance. At the same time, she completely opens up to Roarke; lets him hold her while she cries her eyes out. Which makes it all the more powerful.
Always something thought-provoking and new in Eve and Roarke’s relationship to examine. I thought I wouldn’t be held captive over several books dealing with the same couple, but I was mistaken. Robb continues to fascinate and hold me in thrall.
One last thought about Roarke, and I keep meaning to mention it with each review… I love that he’s portrayed as quite old-fashioned in some ways. He has the height of technology at his fingertips, and uses it immensely, no… ruthlessly well. But at the same time, he prefers real coffee; cooks real meat; uses real towels after a shower; and uses his 20th century outlawed guns. Such a dichotomy and an enigma. Loving it.