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By J. D. Robb

G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2007 ($25.95)
ISBN-10: 0399154361
ISBN-13: 978-0399154362

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

When Eve Dallas was a rookie detective she worked a serial killer case as second in command to her mentor, Captain Feeney. Within a span of fifteen days, four young women were kidnapped, tortured for several days, and murdered. Their killer carefully washed their bodies with expensive products and laid them out on a pure white sheet in a public place. Each of the victims had an identical silver ring on the third finger of their left hand, leading the press to dub the murderer "The Groom." The killings stopped abruptly, and the case went unsolved. Nine years later, in March 2060, a new victim is found with all the identifying markers. Eve and Feeney have no doubt -- The Groom is back, one victim is dead and the clock is ticking, literally, for the next victim.

Eve’s hunky billionaire husband Roarke has helped with cases from time to time, using his special skills and resources to do things the police cannot. This time the case is personal. The products used in the ritual bathing and the luxurious sheets the victims are posed upon come from his stores. Much worse, the victims work for him.

Part of the book is told from The Groom’s point of view. He considers himself an artist, and his victims are his "partners" in creating his performances. He has returned to New York, where he got his start, to stage his final act. As the investigation progresses, it becomes clear his intended partner in that performance is Eve Dallas.

The usual cast of Eve’s colleagues and friends show up, and they all have some part in the action. The inevitable conflict between Eve and Roarke is toned down, with little more than the mutual promise of ass-kicking if one or the other doesn’t get some sleep, eat something healthy, wear a bulletproof vest, and so on. They are too busy expending all their energies on tracking down and stopping the nastiest villain they’ve ever come across.

This is the 27 in the "in Death" series, and it is still fresh and enjoyable.

This title will be published in paperback format by Berkley Books on April 1, 2008 and is available for pre-order through online booksellers.

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