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I LOVE Eve and Roarke, but this 38th outing felt a tad...stale? It's a take on a Beverly Barton novel.
on 21 November 2010
This book was on offer at amazon for less than half the RRP, but I missed out on the offer by 24hrs, and was pretty bummed, but it was available without wait at my local library, and in the end, I am glad that I did not actually buy it, as it is not a Keeper.
It started off great, and I thought that I'd be in for the type of novel that I like - where we catch up with the previous characters that we've come to know and love, where we see personal relationships and interactions, but it wasn't quite enough (for me at least) of that. The book starts off with Eve and Roarke on vacation for 2 weeks, in Ireland with his family, and with them about to set off for Italy. Eve does something really thoughtful (especially so for her, not that she's not nice or thoughtful, but that work is her only obession other than Roarke) for Roarke, which actually brought a lump to my throat and which made it clear that she is now really accepting of herself as his wife, and all that that word entails. Then, in rural everyone-knows-everyone Ireland, a murder takes place and Eve is suddenly off of vacation, though only temporarily, so I was still ok with the tale at this point.
Next, she's back in New York and immediately a murder ensues, which again, I am fine with - after all, this is what the series is about. What I am not fine with is that by the end of the third chapter, we'd been introduced to several so obvious coincidences, so much cliche'd, predictable 'over-reacting' and 'over-acting' from some of the suspects that Eve checked out, that I sussed who the baddie/s were and where this novel was going. This hasn't ever happened to me so quickly in a JD Robb tale before. And yes, we get told straight away who Eve suspects, and then it was just a tale of tying events of the past in with what's happening in the present. Immediately what came to mind is the two-story-arc by Beverly Barton, in her Griffin Powell series (sorry, can't remember the titles, though one may be Murder Game, clue's in the title for IID too), so I totally knew where this book was going.
We get to see very, very fleetingly Peabody and McNab, Feeney, Charles and Louise and Dr Mira, there's a touch of dialogue with Mavis in a telephone call, mention of Bella crawling now, but no Leonardo. What I would have liked to have seen more of is those personal relationships that we have come to love with the characters that have paired off. It seemed as if P&M's relationship was exactly the same as in the other books i.e. no progress, and whilst we see Charles making breakfast for Louise whilst helping Eve with the case, it would have been nice to know more about how this seemingly-mismatched couple are living their HEA. I'd have loved a shot of Eve with Bella now that she's getting about - it would have been a laugh a minute to see Eve's panic.
Overall, I still quite liked it - because it's an Eve and Roarke novel, but I am glad that I did not buy it. I have, however, ordered the Christmas novella (in THE OTHER SIDE), due out on 30/11/10, as that's in an antho with several other good authors, and generally re-sells well. However for hardbacks, i.e. the annual Nov and Feb releases (2011 seems to be an exception to this rule, as what is classed as book 39 releases in Feb, book 40 in June and book 41 in Nov), I will rely on my library.