I really enjoy these books – even if I can’t quite believe I’m up to number 44 in the series (if you count the short stories). I don’t read them for depth or amazing plots with astonishing twists. I read them because I love the opportunity to hang out with Eve and Roarke. I generally read them quickly and find them easy, so all I have to do is sit back and enjoy myself.
I said a few reviews back that I take a lot of notes to help me remember stuff. With these, I don’t. It’s not about that (although if anyone can remind me which book included “Cassandra” I’d appreciate it). It’s pure escapism and enjoyment.
I found this to be one of the stronger books lately. It has a interesting plot (although I hope she doesn’t feel the need to keep upping the body count as there were a lot of dead people in this one), good character development for the regulars, especially as Eve addresses some of her issues from New York to Dallas. (Oh, I do love Dr Mira to bits.) There’s a twist at the end that I didn’t pick up – in fact I thought early on I had how the end was going to go down worked out, and I turned out to be totally wrong.
I know some readers are frustrated that Eve and Roarke seem to have worked out most, if not all, of the issues between them and feel the books have dropped in quality since then. Personally, I love it. I love watching two very different people who love each other to pieces working out living their daily lives together, without the angst and difficulties they have had in the past. It’s so rare to get that in a book. Either you have a couple starting out with all the issues that involves, or a couple with their relationship in stress and disarray. Here, we have a great couple just living their lives, yet in a way that I still find hugely involving. I hope this continues as it adds to the “comfort read” aspect of the series for me. It’s like sitting at home beside a roaring fire on a day when the weather is miserable, discovering that despite the rain and the grey, life is good.
My favourites in the series are those that have a good balance of relationship and mystery and this one had that for me. On reflection, we don’t actually see a lot of extended cast doing much more than their jobs, but that lets us focus on Eve and Roarke, along with a nice, juicy side role for Mira.
Another thing I like about various book in the series, this one included, is that the team have worked out who the killer is by about halfway through the book, and most of the “why” of it by three-quarters. The second half of it is about finding the evidence to back up the gut feeling and stop the culprit from doing it again. I imagine this is what a lot of police cases are like, rather than the sudden, unexpected twist at the end that so many books have. This one is about doing the job rather than surprising the reader – although there was a surprise as well. I can see this not working for some readers, but it worked for me.
We’ve got a little bit of world-building history added in as well, although I readily acknowledge that world-building is not what this series is about. But we get a bit of history about Summerset and more on the Urban Wars (although they do still remain fairly vague).
So all in all, a good addition to the series and one I really enjoyed reading. As always, I’ll be pre-ordering the next one.