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Nothing new here
on 27 February 2013
It must be a challenge to JD Robb to come up with a new plot and some exciting action after she has written so many books about Eve and Roarke, and especially since since when knows that most readers who pick up this book will have read all or most of its predecessors. I have read all these books, most of them several times, and I have to say that I was disappointed with this installment as it lacked anything fresh or particularly exciting - I rather got the feeling that the book was written to a formula and that little original thought had gone into it.
When a book is the latest in a long series then you do expect and want something familiar and here we certainly have characters and elements which we have seen before : Truelove and Baxter, Dallas being scared of Trina, Eve being attacked physically, Roarke getting an opportunity to defend Eve, some good insult exchanges with Summerset, Roarke taking time to dress Eve appropriately whilst she throws scorn on fashion choices, Peabody and McNab, rich and spoiled people, and setting up the murderer using Dallas as bait. There is nothing wrong with any of this but there was nothing different and I had the feeling that the author had a checklist of things that she needed to get into the novel and that she was going to add nothing else.
The plot is centred around accountants, and I confess that I had a bit of trouble telling all the various suspects apart. Eve works out who the villain is about halfway through the story but she does so on receipt of information from Roarke so there is not really the opportunity for the reader to do the same. There are a couple of set piece action sections which are exciting and some good banter between the characters but there was no real tension to the story or any feeling of jeopardy for the main characters. There was also one disquieting moment where Eve ponders that the bad guy will disguise himself as a security guard and that to do so he may kill someone to take their place, this doesn't seem to worry her at all and the police make no effort to find out who might be targeted and protect them. We are also told, in passing, that someone has hacked into the police computers but that is never taken further and nor is the opportunity which Eve gives an ordinary police officer to participate in the investigation.
I found this book disappointing because it appeared to be written to formula, it had nothing new to offer the regular reader of these books and there was no real tension. I really wonder how long JD Robb can continue with this series unless she injects something very new and exciting into the established mix.