and join the fun!
It's that time again to share which In Death books we've read this month. I read two full length novels and one novella in this series in December--a new record for me! How did you do?
Link up any In Death posts you made this month here. If you made a post on your blog, whether it be a review or commentary, please grab the link to your post and enter in the Mr. Linky below along with your name so we can find each other's latest In Death posts easily. You can also just use the link to your goodreads or other virtual bookshelf as well.
It's Thanksgiving season in the year of 2059 and New York City's top homicide detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas is investigating the murder of Wilfred B. Icove, a world renowned and esteemed cosmetic surgeon while also trying to deal with her first ever familial holiday celebration. The murder investigation reveals connections between this respected physician and extremely controversial and unethical genetic manipulation and experimentation. The genetic science and the moral and ethical implications of such behind this investigation was all very interesting, but unfortunately, it left for a rather dry plot, lacking the usual fast paced homicide investigation I've come to expect in this series. In addition, the secondary thread of Dallas' personal life was barely addressed. Had the personal aspects of the story been more deeply developed, it could have made up for the slow pace of the murder investigation, especially given the holiday nature of the story and the arrival of Roarke's relatives from Ireland.
There are a couple of very brief scenes in the book that do bring some meaning to Eve's personal life, however. My favorite is one involving Eve and her friend and partner, Peabody. After some extremely unorthodox connections between the victims of Icove's experiments is uncovered, Peabody expresses her strong desire to connect and talk to her parents. Of course having no parents or family, Eve responds with an "I wouldn't know." and states that if that's what makes Icove's victims artificial, then so is she. After a moment of silence, Peabody responds:
"I know I'm lucky to have them [parents], and my brothers, my sisters, all the rest. I know they'll listen, that's the thing. But not having that, having to make yourself out of what gets dumped on you, creating your life out of that ... it's not artificial. It's as real as it gets."
A very solid installment in the series. It's days before Christmas--Eve and Roarke's second one together--and Eve is visited by a 'ghost' from her past. Okay, not exactly a ghost, but someone she hasn't thought of in decades. Trudy Lombard was Eve's first foster mother after being found dazed, bloodied and unidentified in an alley in Dallas, Texas at the age of eight. Far from motherly, Trudy was strict and cruel to Eve, causing even more damage to Eve's sense of worth and overall emotional well being. After shocking Eve with her presence in her office, Trudy tries to blackmail Roarke with exposing Eve's past to the media. When Eve decides to visit Trudy's hotel to put her in her place, she finds Trudy on the floor of her own hotel room, beaten to death. For the first time ever, Eve feels indifferent one of her homicide victims and struggles with this for the entire case. Eventually she comes to terms with it all and of course, solves the murder. The nature of this murder and the crime investigation was appropriately presented and connected to Eve's present stage in life--finding love and a home. Merry Christmas, Eve.
In this novella, Eve is investigating the death of a business man who is the grandson of a club owner who was romantically linked to a female rock star legend who mysteriously disappeared eighty-five years ago. The club is apparently haunted by the ghost of this rock star, which has everyone but Eve believing in the supernatural.
This novella was just ok--it wasn't awful, but I found it rather dry and uneventful. It didn't even feel as if any serious investigating was taking place and then all of a sudden the killer practically announced his or her guilt to Eve.
By a stroke of luck, I was at the point in this series that had me reading Origin in Death and Memory in Death in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas--which was the same time frame in the stories! I couldn't have planned that if I tried!
One theme that recurred in the two holiday themed novels--Origin and Memory In Death is Eve's natural struggle with concepts of home and belonging. With that comes Eve's attempts to figure out how to "do" holidays--the gifts, the gatherings, the proper things to do or say. It's both comical and endearing to watch her come into this new phase in her life in which there are other people for her to consider aside from herself. The best part is how she accepts Roarke as her family and her home at his side--wherever he is.
I think this is a valuable message to all of us during the holiday season--that no matter your past, present or future, home is where you hang your heart.
What message(s) of family, if any, are you getting from this series?