It’s Christmas, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in no mood to celebrate. While her charismatic husband Roarke plans a huge, glittering party, Eve has murder on her mind.
The victim – personal trainer Trey Ziegler – was trouble in life and is causing even more problems in death. Vain, unfaithful and vindictive, Trey had cultivated a lot of enemies. Which means Eve has a lot of potential suspects. And when she and Detective Peabody uncover Trey’s sinister secret, the case takes a deadly turn.
Christmas may be a festival of light, but Eve and Roarke will be forced once more down a very dark path in their hunt for the truth.
I honestly don’t know how J.D. Robb does it. Thirty-nine books in and the stories are still fresh, gripping, emotional and funny. I keep expecting some dip in form, some ‘haven’t I read this before’ feeling but no, Festive in Death was just unique and brilliant.
The full cast we’ve come to know and love are back and as colourful as ever. Peabody is a favourite of mine in particular, because of how she copes with Eve’s acerbic nature. She gives as good as she gets but in her own style which makes me laugh.
Eve herself makes a lot of progress in this book, realising just how important the connections with her friends are and there are several moments that made me a bit weepy but with a big grin at the same time. Her bafflement with social norms never fail to make me laugh and Roarke’s fierce love and patience with her are wonderful. She is her usual sarcastic and kick-ass self but her sharp edges are getting just a little softer. Not that she would admit to it!
The crime is a sneaky one, J.D. Robb is a master at getting you to look one way while she sneaks something in elsewhere and in this book she does it wonderfully well, keeping you guessing until the last minute. As always, the police procedure elements are extremely well written and give you the sense that it’s not all action; cases also get solved through hard work and digging through evidence, witnesses and backgrounds until you get to the truth.
The pace of the book gives you a sense of urgency; with Christmas approaching the need to get to the answers before things shut down or people go away to visit relatives is a mounting pressure. Also looming is the party, and that was just so good I had to read it again. Cue weepy joyful things and Eve’s antisocial tendencies, run ins with Summerset and you have one amazing read.
This book just hit all my buttons and as usual I absolutely can’t wait for the next.
If you want to start with this series (and you really, really should!) then Naked in Death is the first book.