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Imitation in Death    by J. D. Robb order for
Imitation in Death
by J. D. Robb
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2003 (2003)
Paperback, Audio
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her colourful team of investigators are back to hunt down another slippery and brutal killer in J. D. Robb's latest futuristic romantic suspense, Imitation in Death. Eve has barely cleaned up one case when another is handed to her in the form of a written challenge to 'catch me if you can'. A down-on-her-luck prostitute is found brutally butchered in an alley and the killer's MO is chillingly similar to that of Jack the Ripper. A note attached to the corpse is a blatant taunt for Eve, making the case even more personal for her than usual.

Within days the killer strikes again, this time brutally raping and strangling an elderly grandmother adored by all for her kind and generous nature. It's no stretch for Eve and her team to deduce that it's the same killer but this time he's donned the persona of The Boston Strangler. Now the race is on to find him before he claims victim number three. The biggest question is which serial killer he will emulate next. Evidence soon points to three high profile prime suspects. Eve knows she must proceed carefully as she jumps into the past and from city to city, determined to gather solid evidence before making her arrest.

The year 2004 will very likely see the prolific Robb (Nora Roberts) bring the number of books in this nifty futuristic series to an even twenty. While the procedural end of her stories remains consistent, the beauty of Robb's series has and will remain, her characters. Each book brings a bit more growth, particularly for Eve, whose own shadowy and sordid past is unknown to anyone except her husband, Roarke. It is his undying love, devotion and support for 'his lieutenant' that permits Eve to finally confront the dark and brutal pieces from the puzzle that is her past and that regularly haunt her dreams.

Imitation in Death is another great addition to Robb's series. Snappy and smart dialogue, great pacing, and the continuing sizzle that all but ignites the pages when Eve and Roarke are together, will leave fans eagerly begging for more.

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