- Author: JD Robb
- Performed by Susan Ericksen
- Released: February 2017 by Brilliance Audio
- Category: Science Fiction, Crime, Romance
As NY Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are driving home, a young woman—dazed, naked, and bloody—suddenly stumbles out in front of their car. Roarke slams on the brakes and Eve springs into action.
It amazes me that with a series containing this number of books, evil can appear in so many varied forms. The subject matter is grim, abuse – both physical and sexual, by someone targeting young and happily married couples (with the exception of the first.)
It’s 2061 and Eve and Roarke have been attending a charity winter ball. On their way home in the early hours of a cold and snowy New York winter morning a naked, injured and traumatised woman stepped into the street in front of their car. Rushing her to the hospital, Eve and Roarke learn the woman’s name is Daphne Strazza. Confused and in shock Daphne can only repeat that she and her husband, brilliant orthopaedic surgeon, Anthony Strazza, were attacked by ‘the devil’. Eva also learns, during the course of her enquiries, Anthony Strazza may have been a brilliant surgeon but he wasn’t liked as a person.
Eve waited a moment. “But you didn’t like him. Anthony Strazza.”
“Didn’t really know him. I worked with her.” Then he shrugged. “Didn’t like him much. He’d give you the cold eye. Some people figure if you feed them or do for them, you’re less. He was like that. She’s not. She was afraid of him.”
“Why do you say that?”
“You wanted impressions, right? Back a year or so ago, we were working out the details, the menu for a party. Sitting in the dining room of their place with charts and lists and the samples of desserts I’d brought. Having some coffee. Having some fun with it, and she was laughing. He came in, and I saw it. Just for a second. I saw fear in her eyes. She covered it, jumped up, reminding him who I was, what we were doing. All bright and shiny. But her fingers were trembling when she reached for one of the charts we’d worked on.”
Jacko’s mouth tightened. “We never met like that again. Mostly worked things out via ‘link or e-mail.”
And as Eve and Peabody delve deeper they uncover more attacks, each one connected by the perpetrator’s penchant for staging the scene and dressing up as a different ‘character’ each time. I enjoyed the well constructed mystery, the twists and following Eve’s investigative skills and how she works though to the conclusion. I missed the inclusion of Nadine, Mavis and Whitney, and others who didn’t feature for very long, even as I realise there is a large cast and it must be difficult to give them all space in every book. Having said that, it has been done previously. As with the last book, this is more of a police procedural than a character driven story. The difficult storyline was handled well as you’d expect from such a seasoned writer. The standard of JD Robb’s (Nora Roberts) writing is never in question, it’s always high.
This case hits close to home for Eve, stirring up bad memories – echoes of the past – and forcing her once again to face her nightmare of a childhood. She’s not alone anymore though, she has Roarke and support from her friends and co-workers, which balances her more and more. Eve is a very strong character, she never loses her edge, and the banter and snark is still in evidence even if she is more settled, with less conflict in her life. Her approach to cases have progressed too, with her ability to show more compassion to the victim’s relatives. The relationships, character development and portrayals are this author’s strengths and what I love most about the series. That was less evident in this book, but I enjoy very much the familiarity of the characters.
A brilliant audio as always. Susan Ericksen adds a lot to the characters’ personalities, giving them unique and immediately recognisable voices.
J.D. Robb is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling In Death series and the pseudonym for #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts. The futuristic suspense series stars Eve Dallas, a New York City police lieutenant with a dark past. Initially conceived as a trilogy, readers clamored for more of Eve and the mysterious Roarke. Echoes in Death, on sale February 2017, is the 44th entry in the series.