Echoes in Death - J.D. Robb

 *******************************SPOILERS AHEAD*****************************************

*******************************MUCH RANTING ********************************************

 

 

 

Fast if frustrating read. I sense a coming end to the series by the end of this book, and I won't be sorry to see it end. This installment has the handiwork of ghostwriters written all over it - bad plotting, huge plot holes, and inconsistent characterization.

 

 

To begin - I don't want to read about the damn house renovations/redecorating for three books, yet there was so much written about how Eve and Roarke love the new rooms (his and her offices and the bedroom) and everyone who visit had to ooh and aah over paint color and new furniture. Boring.

 

The way Peabody was used in this book made it seem as if she never tested/made the rank of detective - she was Eve's office bitch more than partner. This has been happening a lot, and the detective we saw in Peabody in Treachery in Death is gone. She is now Eve's secretary....when not going on and on about her weight and appearances. She squealed in absolute delight  seeing Eve in her fancy dress, make-up, and heels - AT THE FIRST CRIME SCENE. Also, all humor - the puns, the one-liners - Peabody was so good at was completely absent.

 

Peabody wasn't the only inconsistent character. Whoever is this softer, nicer, Eve needs to get the hell out of the In Death books so the hard ass, kick ass Eve can come back. Eve got sloppily mushy with Roarke several times in the book - it was gross and eye-rolling. And of course the crimes in this book has to somehow trigger Eve's feelings about her past, leading to scenes that are just repetitive 44 books into the series.

 

I am also tired of the crimes in the series - seems like the plot lines are ripped from Law & Order: SVU, just raping and brutalizing women and children. Of course the killer is a serial rapist and murder with Mommy issues (well, technically, Auntie issues). I didn't like that one point was made over and over again of the last victim being pregnant, as if her pain/injuries were more ugly and violent because she had a bun in the oven. One of the other victims was also a victim of domestic violence, at the hands of her now dead husband. Just constant cruelty directed at the female victims more so than the male victims.

 

There was a lot of grunt work to be done in the investigation of these crimes, without any leads or red herrings, which was boring to read. This went on for a little over 75% of the story, then WHAM!! - Eve has a brain fart and instantly knows in her gut who the killer is, writes a report that persuades APA Reo to get a warrant, and by the end of the chapter she has the entire case wrapped up. No bread crumbs to lead the reader, nothing that sticks out (I however, figured that guy had at least something to do with the murders as soon as he was introduced into the story). At one point, Eve comes to understand there will be another pair of victims before she can catch the bad guy; she has Roarke upgrade the Miras' security system even though they don't fit the victim profile. She contacts Mavis and finds the family in New LA, out of harm's way - yet Mavis/Leonardo/Bella also don't fit the victim profile. You know who does? Dr. Louise and Charles - yet Eve doesn't give them a moment's thought. BIG PLOT HOLE RIGHT THERE GHOSTWRITERS!

 

Also, this book comes just about a week or two after the last book in the timeline. So many murders in such a small period of time would burn out the most dedicated murder cop, and Eve is showing signs of burn out. Either give her captain bars and make her sit at a desk full time, or start spacing out these murders. The fact we readers are still about winter after several books is ridiculous.

 

Not as bad as Thankful in Death, but a damn close second place for worst in the series. 1.5 stars.