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In Death's Back on Form.
on 31 July 2005
Set in the futuristic world of 2059 Nora Robert's long running 'In Death' mystery series appears to have successfuly survived the transitive slump of Divided and Survivor to hardcover. Indeed, Origins the latest installment comes out swinging when Lt. Eve Dallas is called to the murder of revered plastic surgeon and philanthropist Dr Icove.
Eve is as delightfully cynical as ever and digs deeper into the profile of the sainted surgeon. Her instincts are confirmed, when mere days after the killing Dr Ivoce's son is murdered in the same fashion. The rabbit hole gets deeper as Eve realises that father and son are involved in some very shady side projects involving genetics. Soon Eve, billionaire husband Roarke and the secondary characters we know and love become embroiled in a nightmare of twisted science and revenge.
This was a thoroughly gripping and intriguing installment where Robb really makes the most of the futuristic world whilst moving the character development along. The mystery plot is as tight as it's ever been moving away from the serial killer of the month theme that has bothered some fans, and into political and moral machinations that take the current debate into genetics into new realms.
Eve's thoughts on the matter are no longer black and white and we see her softening her rigid code more into shades of grey. As ever In Death is a pleasing blend of humour and futuristic muder mystery romance, all the familiar elements are present. There are several wonderful scenes of Eve and Peabody's bitingly funny rapport back and forth, in particular I loved the exchange about Peabody wanting her nose fixed.
We get to check in with some familiar secondary characters including Morris the coroner, Crack, Dr Louise and Charles. Roarke in the middle of the madness attempts his first family reunion for Thanksgiving and it's a lovely touch to see him so vulnerable. I personally would have liked a bit more interaction with the Irish clan but it would have jarred with the overall darker tone.
There are some lovely scenes involving Eve and Trina but the standout moments have to be the argument between Eve and Dr Mira, and Eve and Roarke's horror at Mavis' insistence that they should be her birth coaches. Well worth every penny, just for Eve's reactions and possessiveness over her new long leather coat. A definite must read for long term fans and although not strictly stand alone a great start for new readers.