What attracted me most about this book, the 16th by the highly talented J.D Robb (Nora Roberts), was not the plot: a sadistic murderer kills innocent and young people in their twenties and takes photographs of them in posed shots after their deaths. In this area, Robb does a great job as usual in following Eve through the steps in her investigation. Her attention to details is still there, along with Eve's witty and amusing quips and twitchy eye. if you are a regular In Death reader, you will know, as I did, who the murderer is before Eve does. (Makes you feel all triumphant and gleeful inside.)
What attracted me was the character development and the relationship between our favourite couple, Eve and Roarke. In this book, Roarke's real history is uncovered and we learn that his real mother was not the abuser he thought her to be but a young, innocent girl murdered by Roarke's father.
Their roles are now reversed. Roarke is the vulnerable one, lashing out at Eve and feeling his world is turned upside down while Eve is the protector, the caring wife (or life-partner, as Eve would insist) becoming the rock in his life. There is a lovely scene where Roarke is in Ireland, wishing for Eve while rubbing the button from her suit that he carries around, knowing that she is the stable one in his life and that he needs her.
Their married life is still as spicy as ever and with the introduction of Roarke's new family, there is now another interesting angle to explore in upcoming books, along with the McNab/Peabody angle, Charles/Louise angle, Jamie angle and Mavis being pregnant/Leonardo angle. Do not forget Eve's past that has not been fully explored yet. Guaranteed to fill up pages effortlessly.
Here's to Imitation in Death coming soon!