Top critical review
Worth a look
on August 7, 2008
I really enjoyed the depiction of the relationship between Roarke and Eve. They weren't lovey-dovey all the time, but neither were they constantly annoying each other. They fought, they made up, they bantered, and they took care of each other. Their relationship wasn't perfect, but without having to explain things in the narrative, it was clear they knew each other very well and really cared about each other, in a way that goes beyond the flash of infatuation and physical attraction depicted in so many stories. Their marriage rang true for me.
Actually, all the characterizations were well done. As the 22nd book in the series, the characters could all have become really flat, relying on earlier character traits to justify their actions and relationships, but they weren't. Even the minor characters clearly had their own personalities and backstories, and as a character-driven reader, it made me a happy little page-turner. On occasion, Eve would say something to irritate me, but it was always in character and usually some small detail that would have blown over by the time I flipped the page.
The mystery moved along at a nice pace, fast enough that things seemed to keep happening, but not enough to overwhelm me with details. I did find the whodunnit part predictable, having worked it out for myself fairly early on in the story, although to be fair, Eve had things more or less figured out sooner than I thought she would have, considering the length of the book. Being a police officer, though, she had certain channels she had to go through to get the evidence to back up her conclusions, something the reader doesn't have to do.
The story doesn't end with a "happily ever after;" it's a bittersweet sort of ending, which I simultaneously like and dislike. I found it very true to life, and a touch that makes the book stand out amongst others of its type. On the other hand, I'm a sucker for a happy ending. I just am. So while it ended on a realistic note, it was perhaps not the most satisfying conclusion I could think of. Then again, it's not my story, so I don't really get a vote.
I enjoyed the story as a brief escape, and if another in the series fell into my lap, I'd have no hesitation in reading it, although I don't think I'll be breaking my bank account to procure myself copies of the rest of the books in series. It was a lovely place to visit, but I won't ever make it my home.