Why this one: It's an In Death book
Steam Level: so so
Blurb: Lt. Eve Dallas, a top homicide cop for the New York Police and Security Department (the law enforcement agency for a mid 21st-century New York City), faces one of the more challenging cases of her career in bestseller Robb's exciting 31st in death novel (after Kindred in Death). When someone cuts off the head of Bart Minnock, the genius founder of the computer gaming company U-Play, apparently while he was role-playing against an imaginary opponent in a prototype of a fantasy adventure that could rock the industry, Eve investigates. Security logs show no one entered Minnock's building around the time of his murder, presenting a futuristic variation on the classic locked-room mystery. Aided by her husband, Roarke, who was a potential business rival of the victim, Dallas focuses on who would benefit from Minnock's death.
My Thoughts: *wringing hands in despair*
Oh dear, I didn't think I'd ever think this, but I didn't really care for this entry into the series and I found it disappointing. It wasn't badly done, but there was nothing new or fresh in Fantasy. It was almost like Ms. Robb had a check list and one by one checked off each item
- Eve catches a case - check
- Roarke has some kind of involvement (he knew the victim and tried to recruit him for Roarke Enterprises but when Bart turned him down, Roarke became a bit of a mentor) - check
- Eve and Roarke have a small difference of opinion - Roarke frowns at her but it is resolved within a page) - check
- Eve insults Sommerset - check
- Peabody and McNabb have a few scenes together - check
- Eve and Roarke have some love scenes (rather bland in compared to earlier books. I know this because I've reread quite a few of her earlier books lately and Fantasy is definitely lacking in the steam level) - check
- Nadine brings baked goods into the department - check
- Eve puzzles over case - check
- Eve solves case - check
- And so on and so on
What is missing I felt, in this book, is heart. I don't really know how to explain it, but for the first time there seemed to be no real connection between the reader (me) and the characters. And there was no real connection between the characters. Some, such as Dr. Mira and Baxter and Trueheart only seemed to make token appearance because it was expected that they would be in the book. There was no real connection between any of the characters and the murder victim except for the one between Roarke and Bart and his partners.
This book focused on the mystery at the expense of character development I thought. There was no character development, no growth, nothing new. There was one scene that was so out of character on Roarke's part that it was jarring.
Usually when it comes to the next installment of this series I read the book in two days tops, but this one took five days and I read another one in between. But I just didn't feel this one, it didn't resonate with me the way all the previous books did.
My advice - unless you are anal about collecting the series (like I am), don't be spending the big bucks for this one. I think you might be as disappointed as I was. In the meantime I hope the author gets back what makes this series so special for the next one.
Grade: 3 out of 5