Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.
Walter C. Pettibone is poisoned at his surprise birthday party, but no one seems to have a motive to kill him. Everybody loved Walter C. Pettibone, even the wife he cast aside for a younger (more stupid) model.
In the end, it turns out, Walter C. Pettibone wasn't killed for money; he was killed for revenge. But not against him, but against Lieutenant Eve Dallas. A woman she put away eight years ago, a woman known for marrying rich, older men and then disposing of them, has been released from prison, and is on the warpath against the woman who put her away, the only one who should've understood her vision, but laughed in her face instead.
Julianna Dunne is gunning for her, but Eve knows she's not the ultimate target. Julianna wants Eve to suffer, and the only way for her to do that, is to take away the most important thing in Eve's life. The man Eve was foolish enough to fall in love with.
Yet another great installment in this series, but despite the intrigue and intensity of it all, I felt it lacked something—the mystery. We knew the killer from the start, we knew her ultimate target, and although the investigation parts of the story, the procedural and the suspense were top-notch as always, I missed the excitement, the grip that should've been there.
Add to that the fact the reason for Julianna's disdain for men and sex was never truly explained, the whole ordeal seemed a little off. I got the initial killing spree—money; I got the latest killing spree;revenge and misdirection. But why was she the way she was? Did she do it only for kicks? Why did she despise men if there wasn't any traumatic experience in her life? I just didn't get her.
While the suspense part of the process came through as rather lackluster, although I did love the final showdown in the form of an all-holds-barred girl fight, the rest of the story packed quite a punch. Especially where the relationship between Eve and Roarke was concerned. They loved and they fought (as per usual), they both went behind each other's backs because they both have this need to protect the other, and they were both put through the wringer by their visit to Dallas and the heart of Eve's emotional and physical trauma as a child.
That scene really went for the throat with Eve reliving it all and Roarke (as well as the reader) having to sit there and observe without being able to do anything. That scene really showed the extent and strength of their bond, and how far they've come as a couple. They stuck together, each trying to be strong for the other, understanding the need to protect, to shield the other in the aftermath of the experience. It was gut-wrenching for Eve to have to go through it, but she also knew it sliced at her man. They're not individuals anymore, they're a unit. A tight-knit, comfortable, loving-and-fighting unit, and it was lovely to read the contrast to that dark experience in the recreation and memories of their wedding night on the day of their anniversary.
It's always lovely reading their scenes together, but after their ordeal in Dallas, the romance of it all was even more perfect.
We also got to see Peabody in action as she solved her first case, watch McNab's pride in her, we got to meet her parents; the sensitive Sam and the whammy-packing Phoebe...
Usually, the books are great combos of the "mundane" and the mystery/suspense. In this case, the "mundane" left the suspense in the dust.