After reading this installment (#42) of the series, I think it is time to retire the series. There was a lot here I liked, but there was a lot more I didn't liked. This is becoming the pattern for the last few books. I am in the minority of fans of the series who isn't demanding that Roarke and Eve have a baby; after reading this book, I might be in the smaller minority that doesn't want to see Roarke and Eve have a baby ever.
I mentioned a little while ago that there has been talk that NR/JD Robb has been using ghostwriters for the series. I can believe the rumor; some of the actions and words coming from long-established characters are really out of whack. For the first time, I was disappointed with Roarke and the way he behaved with redecorating certain rooms in the house. Peabody could always be counted on for a smart ass one-liner or an insight (thanks to growing up a Free-Ager) to the case; here she talked non stop about how she lost a few pounds and her pants are fitting looser. She came off shallow and dumb - Eve had to over explain to Peabody certain parts of the case. Professor Dennis Mira has been a favorite of mine for awhile, but when the case involved him, his back story was shallow and dull - no past turning point moment, no obstacle to overcome, nada.
But I am saving most of my disappointment and anger at Eve. The character has done a 180 and she is now a character that I barely tolerate. Eve is now having emotional meltdowns while on duty, she is getting sloppy with her police work, and caving into Roarke's demands. What really got me was the way Eve treated the murders - Eve told them they were wrong to seek justice their way rather than file a police report and let law enforcement and the criminal justice system handle it. Eve really tried to destroy the women in the interrogation room after arrest. And Eve's logic for going after this women? Well, Eve was a rape survivor and she got over it and leads an awesome life now so why couldn't the other women do the same?
Wait, what? Excuse me? Did I hear you right?
Fuck off Eve Dallas. You don't get to tell a rape survivor how to deal and heal from her assault, even if you too were a rape survivor. I thought this was established in Feminism 101 class, but clearly Dallas and the author missed that lesson.
This was a disturbing ending after all the evidence Eve found that proved the rapes did happen and just how horrible the assaults were. (I can't even begin to list all the trigger warnings needed for this book.) Yet Eve kept making the case all about her childhood (which at this point after the book New York to Dallas, feels overdone and rehashing to fluff out page counts) throughout the book. 2 stars.