It's hard to believe there are 41 books in the J.D. Robb (a.k.a. Nora Roberts) Death series. I missed out on the very early years - the first, I believe, was published in 1995). What I know for sure is I'm always excited when a new one is released.
Except for this: New York police lieutenant Eve Dallas happens to be married to a man who's high on my Top 10 list of favorite heroes - the super hunky, uber-rich Irish rogue named Roarke. And every single time I get the latest book, I hesitate to start (honest!) simply because I'm so afraid he'll be bumped off. In most of the books, you see, the bad guys and gals have a nasty habit of targeting people close to Eve - and sometimes, they're successful. Eve herself may be hurt in the process, of course, but unless the series is coming to an end, I figure she's not likely to bite the dust. But Roarke is another story.
This latest effort is no different; set in 2060 - complete with 'droid cops, machines that can be programmed to spit out dinner and such that add to my enjoyment - Eve becomes the target of someone who's obsessed with her. The culprit goes on a murder spree, leaving cryptic messages outlining his or her special bond with Eve and explaining that the murder was committed on Eve's behalf.
But who's doing it? And even more important, who's next? Clearly, the killer is choosing victims that are related to cases Eve has worked on in the past - cases that might not have ended quite the way they "should" have - and has set out to make things right to impress Eve, the killer's BFF. The problem, of course, is that neither Eve nor anyone with whom she works (including her lovable, pink-obsessed partner Peabody) has a clue as to the killer's identity. Almost every step of the way, the killer is ultra-careful, leaving nothing behind except the messages to Eve.
As Eve - with the help of her beloved Roarke and talented team members - try to identify the killer, it becomes a psychological battle more than a physical one. For whatever reason, Eve just didn't seem to have the fire that's driven her in previous books; some of the tension - and my concern that somebody close to Eve will become a victim - just wasn't there (hence my 4-star rating). Still, I enjoyed this one thoroughly, and yes, I'm eagerly awaiting publication of the next in the series (reportedly Devoted in Death, to be published Sept. 8).
Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb (G.P. Putnam's Sons, February 2015); 405 pp.