I don’t know that I’ll ever find another series that feels as much like coming home as this series. Which is pretty amazing, considering all the murder.
I’ve made my love for Nora Roberts and her pen name abundantly clear over the course of my book reviews, but let me just reiterate that I absolutely adore everything she writes. There’s a flow to the prose that, while lovely, sucks me into the story in such a way that the words just disappear. That’s even more abundantly true in regards to the In Death series. Eve Dallas and Roarke and the family they’ve unwittingly built from friends and coworkers are all so insanely well developed by this point that they actually feel more real to me than many living, breathing people. Connections in Death marks the 48th full length novel in this series, and it’s still such a joy to get to revisit the characters and catch up on what’s been going on in their lives since the last book.
Something that sets this book apart from most if its predecessors is that it didn’t actually begin with a murder. Instead, we see Eve all dressed up and heading to a party with Roarke. The murderous inner monologue she has going about the tortures that should be inflicted on whoever invented high heels and forced them onto the feet of Earth’s women was absolutely hilarious. During said party, we get to see elements of some side characters that we’ve never seen before, which was fun. Eve then goes on to have a normal, murder-free weekend, which I can’t recall ever happening in these books. Obviously such weekends must exist for her character, but they’ve never been part of one of the books as far as I can recall. This was such a fun little slice of life beginning, that felt like a treat Nora was giving to Eve’s ardent, life long fans. We get to see Eve at rest, which was really refreshing.
However, a murder-mystery isn’t complete without a murder, so death reared its ugly head eventually. I love how deeply this crime impacted Eve. The victim is someone who had radically turned their life around, and had stuck to that change. At one point, Eve is questioning the system she has always believed in, only to have that system defended by her husband, who was once a career criminal. The relationship between Eve and Roarke is one of the most beautiful and enduring love stories I’ve ever encountered. By this point, readers have seen that relationship grow from acquaintance through the stages of dating, engagement, and marriage, as well as watching that marriage grow and steady into something that is the epitome of a healthy romance. They’re not perfect, which is why they feel so real. But by this point, they fight less because they understand each other on a far deeper level that can only be reached by completely knowing and trusting a person for years. I can’t think of a single literary couple more worthy of admiration.
There’s so much to enjoy in this book. The procedural elements are handled beautifully, in such a way that readers rarely figure out answers before Eve, and feel just as frustrated as she is while trying to prove her theories by the book so that they will hold up in court. She’s fierce and unintentionally funny and canny and loyal to a fault. Her relationships with friends and fellow cops are all incredibly vibrant, and though she has a tough exterior, she cares deeply for the victims for who she seeks justice. She’s the epitome of a badass, and I thoroughly enjoy every minute I get to spend in her world.
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