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By J.D. Robb (aka: Nora Roberts)

Putnam, August, 2005
ISBN: 0-399-15289-X

Reviewed by Shirley H. Wetzel

Dr. Wilfred B. Icove, beloved philanthropist and surgeon, has brought hope and happiness to hundreds of patients through his pioneering techniques in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.  Who, then, could have calmly, coldly, walked up to him and stabbed him in the heart with a scapel as he sat at his desk? 

Lt. Eve Dallas and her assistant Delia Peabody are at the Wilfred B. Icove Center for Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery investigating the murder of one of Icove's celebrity patients when the crime occurs. Security cameras capture the image of a beautiful woman who was his last patient and probable killer. When she walks out of the highly-secured building, she seems to vanish into thin air.

As Eve digs into "Dr. Perfect's" life, she soon realizes there must be dirty secrets behind his too-clean persona. She attempts to discover the truth from his son and successor, but before she can question him he meets the same fate as his father. She and her team of crack investigators/colorful characters, including her hunky and resourceful Irish husband Roarke, bring all their skills to bear on uncovering the tangle of secrets behind the spotless façade of the Drs. Icove.

This is the 21st in the " Death" series, set in 2059. There is more emphasis on the advances in the high-tech and scientific fields than in previous books in the series, as Eve and her team discover what happens when men of genius go too far in their quest for human perfection. Robb includes some back story on the "Urban Wars,"  which take place a couple of decades before 2059 - in other words, in our very near future. I look forward to learning more about that event in future books. This is another unique and highly entertaining entry in the series.

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