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Imitation in Death [Hardcover]

J. D. Robb
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 2009
Summer, 2059. A man wearing a cape and a top hat approaches a prostitute on a dark, New York City street. Minutes later, the woman is dead. Left at the scene is a letter addressed to Lieutenant Eve Dallas, inviting her to play his game and unveil his identity. He signs it, "Jack." Now Dallas is in pursuit of a murderer who knows as much about the history of serial killers as she does. He has studied the most notorious and the most vicious slayings in modern times. But he also wants to make his own mark. He has chosen his victim: Eve Dallas. And all Eve knows is that he plans to mimic the most infamous murderers of all — starting with Jack the Ripper... "Robb’s energetic prose and hard-edged dialogue will keep readers engrossed." —Publishers Weekly "Edgy and raw." —Booklist
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas encounters one of her most difficult cases in this latest offering from J. D. Robb, alter ego of bestselling author Nora Roberts. With the very first victim, Eve realizes that the killer stalking the streets of New York City isn't a run-of-the-mill serial murderer. The copycat executions are imitating the methods and victim choices of an ominous list of notorious serial killers, beginning with Jack the Ripper. And when the killer leaves a distinctive note at the crime scene, it's clear that he's targeting Eve personally--a fact that worries Roarke, Eve's shrewd husband.

Assisted by her aide, Peabody, Eve compiles a list of suspects that includes several high-profile possibilities. Their very prominence, however, complicates the investigation, for they have the power and influence to make the search difficult. All of the suspects are reluctant to cooperate but one of them is playing with Eve like a cat with a mouse by tempting her with crime scene notes and challenging her to find him. Can Eve stop him before he slaughters again? Or will his next victim be Eve herself?

Author Robb, a.k.a. Roberts, doesn't miss a beat in this police procedural thriller. The futuristic setting is rich with imaginative details; the cast of supporting characters offers an intriguing variety, while Eve and Roarke's relationship is layered with emotional intimacy and spiced with sex. Whether you're a faithful follower or new to the series, you won't be disappointed in the edge-of-the-seat suspense in Imitation In Death. Don't miss this one. --Lois Faye Dyer --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The latest entry in Robb's series of feisty futuristic mysteries (after Portrait in Death) delivers. This time, Lt. Eve Dallas shows up to investigate the grisly killing of a New York City prostitute only to find a note from the killer on the body. Signed "Jack," the note taunts Eve by name and affirms what she has already guessed-that the murder was specifically planned to imitate Jack the Ripper. Purchasers of the costly foreign stationery that the killer used-a crime writer, a top diplomat and a famous musician-become Eve's suspects. As she investigates them, a second killing occurs, this time in the manner of the Boston Strangler. Aided by her faithful second-in-command, Peabody (who's nervously awaiting her detective's exam), and supported by her handsome husband Roarke, Eve scours both the country and the past for clues. The solution to the puzzle is far less intriguing than the copycat-killer premise, and readers might wonder why detection in the year 2059 is so low-tech-where, for example, are DNA and forensic testing? As always, however, Robb's delightfully snappy dialogue, playful sexuality and whirlwind pacing will keep readers captivated.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
We continue to be astounded at the publishing pace of Nora Roberts. Despite her "regular" books under her own name, these fun NYPD homicide Lt. Eve Dallas stories, written as "JD Robb", keep coming at the rate of one or two a year. "Imitation...", the 17th entry in the "... In Death" series, is not the emotional blockbuster of the just prior two ("Purity..." and "Portrait..."), but nonetheless entertains throughout this tough-minded police procedural. When a licensed companion (that's a "hooker" in year 2059 parlance) is found brutally murdered in the style of Jack the Ripper, followed in quick succession by the killing of a popular female apartment dweller, slain Boston Strangler style, it doesn't take the two notes recovered from the bodies, on unusual stationary, to clue any of us that a vicious copycat serial killer is on the loose. When it turns out the notes are addressed to Dallas personally, it's also clear that she herself is probably on the intended hit list, providing immense worry to her billionaire but loving husband Roarke. His role in this novel, as in many of the prior tales, is one of Eve's crime-solving sidekick, along with faithful aide Officer Delia Peabody. Fortunately, the notepaper provides a small roster of immediate suspects, but Robb cleverly keeps us guessing, 'til like ten pages before the end, which of the half dozen users of the stationary might be the real sicko. While a sub-plot of sorts involves Peabody's trials and tribulations getting ready for her detective's exam, the storyline is very much ala Ellery Queen in terms of clues, follow-up, and solid police work. Eve's intuition serves her well, but her assembling and processing of the clues is flawless as she gradually zeroes in, then sucks in, the bad guy. Read more ›
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
I greatly enjoyed "Imitation in Death." The mystery was solid, as was the background on Lt. Eve Dallas' police work and the growth of her character.
The main drawback of this installment of the series is the lack of interaction with the secondary characters. Even Roarke seemed a little cookie cutter this go-round. However, having said that, I believe there is a legitimate reason for it that goes deeper than lack of inspiration.
Essentially, the character of Eve was feeling cut off from her loved ones in this story. She was dealing with inner demons quite a bit -- not as dramatically as in some previous books, but nonetheless she was definitely withdrawn to some degree while she dealt with new information about her past. Also, several of the secondary characters, such as Peabody, were dealing with life changes and were not their "usual selves."
I think that the story functioned as a mirror of Eve's own innerlooking attitude, life changes of several characters, and finally and perhaps most importantly as a bridge to the next phase of the series. I won't say what that phase is -- you will know as soon as you finish the book -- because I don't want to spoil the story.
But believe me, while the story itself may not satisfy the reader as much as Roberts' earlier installments, I think that it serves its purpose perfectly and sets up a lot of new things that will keep the series as a whole fresh for years to come.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Never Gets Boring! Sept. 7 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read every "In Death" book in the entire series, and each time I finish an entry like "Imitation in Death," I am chafing at the bit for the next one.
"Imitation in Death" is one of the better books in the series, because it so adeptly weaves together the ongoing stories of the main characters with the very well-drawn plot at hand: A serial killer is showing off for Eve, modeling each of his horrendous murders after a "classic" killer, from Jack the Ripper to the Boston Strangler to a fictional perpetrator who supposedly plied his trade in the 2020s.
Now, in the 2050s, Eve must stop him before he runs completely amok--and her main suspects include some very famous people. Meanwhile, down on the home front, Eve and Roarke's relationship is better than ever (this is one of the main draws of the series, to my mind) as Eve savors the last days without her hated adversary Summerset, the major domo (butler!) of Roarke's estate, who was sent on vacation in the last book.
Peabody and McNab have made a "mag" and major decision, which has Peabody in a tizzy as she studies for her detective's exam. Will she make it? And Mavis and Leonardo are busy garbing Mavis in outrageous maternity clothes that only she could wear--and only he could design.
Absolutely a winner. I was sad when I finished the last page. Note to Nora (J.D. Robb): Hurry up with the next one! PLEASE!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dallas is back! Sept. 6 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
J.D. Robb has done it again! This the 17th book, I believe, centering around the heroine Lt. Eve Dallas and it is another hit by J.D. Robb! Our favorite Lieutenant is up against intelligent killer who has studied and made serial killers of the past his heros. Peabody takes the detective exam so be sure and read the book and find out whats going to happen with that! This is a great book! Definately worth the reading time even if your don't regularly read J.D. Robb.
The reader is presented with the normal cast of returning characters. What makes this book interesting to me beyond the great story is this is the second book since the author changed her tone of writing. It is my belief that the first 15 books with the much gritier and grimmer writing style gives the reader a glimps into the soul of Lt. Eve Dallas as it where. In latest 2 books the writing style as lighted considerably. Not to say Dallas is any less of a great cop or that her personality has been changed by the author. No its more as if some of the deep mental wounds have been healed to an extent that while Dallas is still a hardass she's enjoying living more.
Another great Lt. Eve Dallas mystery, definately worth the read!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect if you love serial killers!
I am often fascinated but the human mind and how it all works and I would certainly fall into the category of loving a good serial killer novel and this one does not... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stephanie Keobel
5.0 out of 5 stars A great addition to the series
I really enjoyed this addition to the In Death series.
Eve is on the trail of a serial killer who is imitating famous killers of the past. Read more
Published on April 12 2004 by Sheri Fogarty
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing reading!
Eve Dallas, a police lieutenant, faces the most challenging case of her career, when she has to track down a serial killer that duplicates the brutal killing styles of notorious... Read more
Published on March 2 2004 by Frederick A. Babb
4.0 out of 5 stars Imitation may be the sickest form of flattery.
An LC (futurist term for prostitute) is murdered in the flamboyant style of Jack the Ripper, which is bad. Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2004 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not the best in the series
J. D. Robb's '"In Death" series, featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas, is a great detective series. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars "Back To The Future"
In Nora Roberts' "IMITATION IN DEATH" the year is 2059 and Lieutenant Eve Dallas faces a madman who kills his victims the old-fashioned way. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2003 by Victoria Taylor Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps on Trucking...
As the latest in the In Death series, J.D. Robb is still cooking. If you're a fan of the rest of the series, I don't think you'll be disappointed with this latest addition. Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2003 by A. Buchanan
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't be written by the same author
I've read all the other books in the series and had been eagerly awaiting this one. While it provided a nice visit with some old friends, I'm having trouble believing it was... Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Not so much.
I'm surprised by the other reviews and by it being on the bestseller list. Did we read the same book?? Read more
Published on Oct. 16 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Imitation in Death
Not (in general) a romance novel fan, a mystery fan or a Nora Roberts fan, I was given this by a friend. Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2003 by Amazon Customer
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