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    Review of CREATION IN DEATH by J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts) (see her website)


    Putnam Adult, November 2007

    Ten years earlier, Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas had failed. "The Groom," a serial killer who tortures beautiful women to death, then wraps their body and leaves them with a silver wedding ring, has murdered dozens of women, but he vanished from New York and Eve has gotten on with her life. Now, though, he's back, and this time it's personal. The women he kidnapps and tortures seem to come from Eve's husband, Roark's businesses. The products he uses to wash them, wrap them, and dispose of them come from Roarke's shops. And this time, Eve isn't a junior detective, she's in charge of the task force established to hunt "The Groom" down. This time will be different. This time, she'll make sure he kills no more.

    Eve relies on help from Peabody, Roarke, and psychiatrist Mira to chase down the leads and gradually a profile emerges. The Groom is older, picks a specific type of woman within a specific age, and has distinctive habits. Perhaps, the evidence says, he's a survivor of the Urban Wars. Perhaps he's acting out some behavior he learned during those brutal events. But for Eve and Roarke, there are no excuses for torture and murder. And when Roarke suspects that The Groom may be targetting Eve, he threatens to explode.

    Author J.D. Robb (a pseudonym for romance author Nora Roberts) (see more reviews of mysteries by Robb) writes a tight and page-turning mystery. With the emotional damage she's suffered and the many people who love her (especially Roarke but also Peabody), Eve makes a sympathetic protagonist. Roarke is every woman's fantasy--richest man in the universe, handsome, and willing to drop everything to help Eve pursue her goals--but with his own issues to keep him from becoming too perfect (or maybe to make him that much more perfect). For me, the twist at the end with The Groom seemingly able to avert justice was an excellent touch--although I thought perhaps Robb cheated a little in the story resolution. We also learned more about the history of the near-future world in which Robb sets this story--a history I hope Robb will share more of with us.

    Nora Robert/J.D. Robb can write the pants off a story and she does it here with CREATION IN DEATH. I'm happy to recommend this novel.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 12/05/07

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