Dear Ms. Roberts
I feel a bit awkward writing this review because I know that you read the blog on occassion. I felt like I was on a Nora Roberts high the last three books. Angels Fall, Innocent in Death, and High Noon were all either keepers or close to keepers so I was near tingling with anticipation when Creation in Death hit my doorstep.
I’m not sure what I would have graded this book had the ending been different, but I’d be less than honest in saying that the ending, which seemed to spring out of nowhere, influenced my overall feelings about this book to a great extent.
One thing I really liked about Innocent in Death was the exploration of the Eve’s jealousy of Roarke’s attractiveness to the opposite sex. This was definitely a side that we hadn’t seen before and the personal conflict added a new layer to the relationship between Eve and Roarke. In Creation in Death, the emotional relationship explored is primarily between Eve and her surrogate father and mentor, Feeney.
In Creation, Eve faces a serial killer who is stalking the young women in New York. He hunts and selects his victims from within a certain age group, race, gender, and coloring. Soon after finding the first body, Eve recognizes that this is connected to an unsolved case that took place nine years earlier. Feeney was the primary and Eve was his partner nine years ago. This time, the situations are a bit reversed. Eve is the primary and Feeney works a bit at her command. To ratchet up the stakes, the current victims are all employees of Roarke Enterprises and they all look like Eve.
The way in which the conflict between Eve and Feeney arises, however, seemed contrived. First, I was surprised at what led to the conflict; then I was surprised by both parties’ reaction to the conflict; then I felt that the conflict went on way beyond its natural life.
The mystery/suspense is provided again by a serial killer. I wonder if there will be some exploration as to why the futuristic New York City is breeding/harboring/fostering so many serial killers. After all, it seems that Eve has face over 20+ since the series began and a little more than a year has passed. While I liked the climactic ending to the serial killer plotline, much of it dragged for me. I am not sure whether I am suffering from serial killer malaise or what.
The writing is classic Roberts. The prose is spare but pointed. The dialogue exchanges between Peabody and Eve serve as some of my favorite moments. The relationship between Eve and Roarke seems stronger since the test in the previous book. I’ve always enjoyed the relationships that Eve has been building over the course of the series including the ones with Nadine and Mira and we readers are treated to a bit of interaction with these favorite characters.
All that, however, couldn’t overcome my shock and dismay at Eve’s actions at the end of the book. One of my problems with “end of the book” shockers is that there doesn’t seem to be any build up prior to the “shocking revelation” that explains what is about to happen. I understand that to foreshadow too much would ruin the impact, but I think that some clues should be put out there so that a reader could go back and say “ah hah, I see where you were going with this.”
Maybe the clues were there and I just missed it but what Eve does is so out of character that I can’t help but be concerned for her future. Either she has to deal with the repercussions and that makes me dread the future books or this is a blip that won’t be addressed again which makes me think – plot contrivance.
I am certainly going to read the next book but I feel like my heroine has fallen off her pedestal a bit. I hope I like the future Eve Dallas. C