Nora Roberts/JD Robb doesn't write a bad book, but I do wonder why she felt the need to rush this out - because that's what it felt like: rushed and shorter than most. Also, this year, she's not putting out her usual Halloween offering in the antho that comes out November-ish, so I expected a longer, more complex tale, before next February's offering, Calculated In Death.
This one in fact seemed a bit similar to another ID tale, with an hallucinogen/artificial airborne weapon, but still, I expected a great tale. I got a decent one, even though I had to go back and re-read a couple of pages when the baddie's identity was revealed, as I hadn't clocked how she'd drawn her conclusion. Yes, I am guilty of a touch of skim-reading, for the first time EVER, with an Eve Dallas tale, and I nearly missed it.
From there on, it was typical Eve - goad the suspect into giving you what you want, using mind games, but not, this time, a chance for the bad guy to thrown a punch first, so she could take him down, allegedly in self-defence. And yes, we've seen the bigging-up of the ego scenario more than once, and this time round, it was a bit tiring. However, that wasn't what made me rate this the lowest of any Eve Dallas tale I've read.
For me, the series isn't just about Eve and Roarke, but also about the myriad characters that form part of her posse that I've come to love, and in recent tales - discounting New York To Dallas, which they couldn't be in - they've all done a disappearing act. I mean, when was the last time that we interacted with Charles and Louise, or Mavis and family? What about hearing more about Morris and how he's getting on after the death of his lover? What about McNab? There were maybe 2 mentions of him, but he didn't even make an appearance. The last 2/3 books haven;t given so many of the characters page-time, just mouth-time.
I suppose that given it's book 38/39-ish, if you count the novellas in multi-author anthos (which are currently being re-released as Kindle solo edits) the series might be getting a little stale, but this one barely had any Eve and Roarke time, and when they did have some personal time, it was bland and mundane. None of the fire and passion that there is normally between them, whether they're making love or arguing over something. I do hope the next book picks up in every way, because the last 2/3 have been books I've borrowed from the library, not bought.