Before I read this book, I read the reviews here on Amazon and was thoroughly confused about what to expect. Some saw it as a complex police procedural with maturing relationships and a lessening of the explicit rehash of Eve's & Roarke's traumatic childhoods. Others thought the details of the crimesolving were neglected and cast Eve as increasingly and somewhat randomly witchy.
Well, I'm going to vote with the former group:
* Eve and Roarke retain their passion, yet are depicted with an increasing amount of trust and a decreasing need for conflict which often was simply a painful stage set for a lusty truce. The characters are shown giving each other a growing amount of credit and respect; still, acerbic and affectionately humorous debates abound.
* Plot and police work were good enough for me. I mostly read murder mysteries, when I'm not reading technical manuals, but I'm not in law enforcement, so I'm a connoisseur without having insider knowledge. The books wouldn't work without some semblance of police methodology, but really, we all read these for the characters, and especially for the witty dialogue between and among these interesting characters, don't we? :)
* Contrary to the comments of some, Eve actually seemed more mellow in Survivor, as did Roarke, both without losing their edge. For those who find Eve's conversations mean, cold, etc., I recommend listening to the conversation between good friends who are also smart, articulate, and in the habit of entertaining themselves and others with verbal play. Yes, she seems like a serious witch to Summerset, who, in return, chides her annoyingly. Their relationship is a bit of a caricature (for *our* entertainment) and that's how *they* play. In this book, as in previous ones, they also make allowances and back off when someone they share is in need.
*Peabody and McNab continue to emerge as alternative and complementary versions of Eve and Roarke. Looking forward to seeing how that develops; Peabody is very much her own person and McNab is an entertaining foil.
*Finally, as a devoted mother of 2, former teacher and, on the whole, person who appreciates many of the fine reasons for reproducing and the excellent qualities of individual children - no, most definitely, Eve and Roarke do not need to be awarded offspring. As in real life, something would most definitely have to give. In real life, that can be positive, or at least not negative. But hey, this is entertainment. I don't need my heros and entertainers to reflect my own personal self. We *love* Eve and Roarke expressly because they are *not* like us, no? Let's not beat up the author for refusing to morph them into Middle America.
*Oh, and by the way, I found Eve's conversations with the surviving child constructive and honest, unlike some who read this good story.