5 stars out of 5
It's almost impossible to believe that this is the 44th book in the series featuring Lt. Eve Dallas. And given that way too many authors of other series start falling off their game after the first half-dozen or so, it's great to know this one continues to be steady as she goes. I suppose an argument could be made that they've become a bit formulaic, but honestly, that works just fine for me. Eve, her gorgeous hunk of a filthy rich Irish rogue husband and her co-workers at the New York Police Department are like old friends to me by now, and my only real concern is that one of them may at some point become expendable.
But thankfully, not here. This one begins in March 2061 with a near collision of the car Roarke is driving (with Eve a passenger) and a bloody, quite naked young woman who runs into the street. Turns out she and her husband - he a well-known orthopedic surgeon - were brutally attacked during the night; the husband is dead and his wife nearly so.
Other than learning that the attacker was dressed like a devil and the dead husband was a control freak who at the very least browbeat his wife, virtually no clues turn up. Eve and her team begin to question guests and caterers at the dinner party the couple hosted earlier that evening, but those interviews aren't all that productive. Then, another couple is subjected to a similar fate - and suddenly, it appears a serial killer may be on a rampage. Can Eve, with the capable assistance of Roarke and her team, identify the culprit before he (or she) strikes again - perhaps closer to home? And throughout, the scenarios are reminiscent of horrors inflicted on Eve as a child, making it difficult for her to separate past and present and maintain her perspective as a police officer.
I'm also glad to see that Roarke, who seemed headed toward crossing the line from supportive to smothering in a few of the more recent books, has done a 360 in this (and the previous) installment. I know I'm not the only reviewer to point out the danger of heading in that direction, so my hope is that the author has listened. I do caution about swinging too far in the other direction, though; here, he seems almost apologetic when he gives Eve a gift or makes suggestions about what she might wear or eat. That's not his style at all, so there needs to be a happy medium.
Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb (St. Martin's Press, February 2017); 384 pp.