In this one, Eve has to track down a hitman. Different because we know from the start who the villain is, the reader follows Eve as she figures out the “why” and who hired him. I was immediately suspicious as soon as Roarke’s old friend Mick appears. I just knew he was tied into the mystery somehow.
I love this one so much because it's so rare that we see Roarke as vulnerable as he was and Eve so forthcoming with her affections... her love. She initiates the "I love yous" several times not only with Roarke, but with Mavis, too. She listened and offered advice to Peabody. She takes great strides in her relationships.
Someone is killing Roarke’s employees, and he takes it personally. They have to figure out why, but in the meantime, he is devastated, angry, and hurt. Eve has to initiate the caretaking for once, and she is uncharacteristically liberal with her affection.
“I can take care of myself.”
She expected to feel anger, resentment, or at the least, impatience. Instead, there was only concern. He, a man who rarely lost control, was on the edge of rage. And mired in grief.
She did something she had never done in public, never done while on the job with other cops looking on. She put her arms around him, drew him close, and held him with her cheek pressed gently to his.
“I’m sorry.” She murmured it, wishing she knew more of the art of comforting. “I’m so damn sorry.”
The rage that had been spitting into his throat, the burn scorching the rim of his heart eased. He closed his eyes and let himself lean.
Through all the miseries in his life, there’d been no one to offer him the simple soothing of understanding. It swamped him, washed away the worst edge of grief, and left him steadier for it.
Later, when Roarke lets Mick go, he reveals the following, and we see a bit of how Roarke sees himself, as he shares more of his past:
He wasn’t sure he himself knew or understood the all. But he could give her another part of it. “Your past comes to you in nightmares that try to eat you up from the inside. Mine, it lives in me. In corners of me. Do you know how many years it was before I ever went back to Ireland after I left? I don’t. And it was sometime after that before I ever stepped on a Dublin street. It wasn’t until you went back with me to bury my friend that I went again to that part of Dublin that birthed me.”
He looked down at his hands. “I used these, and my brain, and whatever else I could find to claw and steal and cheat my way out of that. And I left behind those who’d come through it all with me just as much as I left behind the dead bastard who’d made my life a misery. He damaged me, Eve, and might have made me what he was.”
“No.” She came forward then.
“Oh yes. He could have. Without the friends I made, and those pockets of escape I had with them, he would have. I was able to go my own way because there were those I could count on in the worst of times. When I took you with me to Dublin last year so I could wake and bury Jenny, I realized I’d never paid that back. I couldn’t have turned him [Mick] over, Eve, not even to you, and lived with it.”
When Mick dies, Roarke once again turns to Eve.
“Ah God.” Helpless sorrow flooded over him, into him. He could do nothing but rock, his bloody hand clinging to Mick’s while the sorrow drowned him. His eyes were stark, naked with it when they lifted to Eve’s.
While the business of law went on around them, she rose, signaled her men and the MTs who rushed into the room back. And went to her husband. Kneeling with him, she put her arms around him, drew him in.
Roarke laid his head on his wife’s breast, and grieved.
He was alone with his thoughts when dawn broke., From the window of his bedroom, he watched day tremble into life and whisk away the dark, layer by thin layer.
He’d hoped for rage, had searched for it. But he hadn’t found it. He didn’t turn when Eve came in, but the worst of the ache eased because she was home.
OMG. The way that Robb pulls you into their relationship is just outstanding. When I read that, it was as if my arms were closing around Roarke as well. And how far these two have come in their relationship, where Eve can publicly show her love for him – while on the job, no less – and he can so publicly show his weakness and lean on her. And her paragraph breaks. Perfectly placed. Fucking sighworthy right there.
Eve’s friendship with Peabody moves to a new level in this one as well, as she listens to Peabody’s McNab woes and very reluctantly offers advice. McNab’s jealousy of Charles comes to a head n this one, and Peabody is forced to man up and move on – neither of which she is very good at. So she turns to Eve, who actually steps up to the plate. Their working relationship and their friendship take huge strides.
Just a freaking fantastic entry.