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By Nora Roberts

G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2007 ($25.95 )

ISBN 10: 0-399-15401-9
ISBN 13: 978-0-399-15401-0

Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel

The body of a popular teacher in an elite private school is discovered by two of his students. The condition of the scene makes it plain this was no accident. Someone laced his hot chocolate with a nasty poison, ensuring that Craig Foster's last moments on earth were painful and ugly. That someone had to be a person with access to the school. Needless to say, the head mistress objects to the theory that one of her faculty or the parents of her students could be guilty, but that doesn't stop Lt. Eve Dallas from digging into the private lives of Craig's friends, family, and colleagues. He seems to have no enemies, with the exception of a womanizing teacher, Reed Williams, whom Craig had told off. When Williams is cleared of suspicion, leaving a very small pool of suspects, Eve begins to develop a picture of the murderer that is so disturbing she hopes she is wrong.

As always, there is a fly in the ointment of Eve and Roarke's perfect relationship. This time the fly is a voluptuous blond who once partnered with Roarke in crime and other pleasant activities. Eve's insecurities cause her to believe, against all evidence to the contrary, that Roarke might regret choosing her over the glamorous, well-educated, sophisticated Magdalena. Roarke is angry with her for doubting him, even when Maggie engineers scenes that suggest she might have reason to doubt. Eve's nemesis, Summerset, for once takes her side, warning Roarke that Maggie is out to cause him big trouble.

Eve is a wonderful character, tough outside but vulnerable as a child, a very damaged child, inside. She has no patience for glam or high fashion, but she is sometimes forced into it by her hubby and friends, as when she is interviewed by one of her good friends on a new t.v. show. She hasn't a clue about how to welcome a new baby, or why you have to keep buying it gifts, and she could care less about gooey Valentine's Day rituals. She cares a lot about the crime victims she seeks justice for, and she lets nothing and no one get in the way of that. This is another enjoyable look at Eve's life and times in the near future of 2060.

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