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Creation in Death    by J. D. Robb order for
Creation in Death
by J. D. Robb
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

In this 27th instalment of Robb's wildly popular and ever-evolving futuristic detective series, Eve Dallas and the love of her life, billionaire husband Roarke, tackle a troubling case from Eve's past, and one that could well be the steely detective's undoing.

Nine years ago when Eve was a rookie detective, she and her former partner Feeney failed to collar a murderer, dubbed The Groom by the media. Now the meticulous killer announces his gruesome return, offering up the first in what Eve knows will be a series of victims. His MO remains the same - the young woman he'd chosen was slowly and exquisitely tortured, her stamina announced by numbers carved into her torso showing the exact number of hours, minutes and seconds she survived the killer's gruesome attention.

With mounting pressure from her superiors, the media, and herself, Eve puts together a crack team, including civilian consultant Roarke, whose access to unclassified and often illegal information could possibly crack the case wide open. Eve soon discovers an interesting twist - the victim was an employee of Roarke's. Could the killer have a grudge against her husband? With this tentative link, Eve scrambles to locate the next victim. She's certain The Groom's MO hasn't changed: he'd always secured his second victim before killing his first. Sure enough, the second victim is also one of Roarke's employees. He and Eve know they can't help the woman now lying in the morgue, but both are determined to find and stop The Groom before his second victim becomes just a statistic.

Robb creates another satisfying thrill ride in this latest instalment in her gritty crime series: taut writing, great characterizations, expert pacing, and involving procedural sequences, offset with slower, emotional moments involving Eve and Roarke, all add up to another riveting page-turner. Also featured to great effect is more insight into the Urban Wars that inevitably shaped the world in which Eve Dallas lives and works. The real strength of this series lies in the characters, particularly Eve and Roarke, whose often combative but always incendiary relationship is the heart and soul of Creation in Death - and each story that's preceded it.

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