5 STARS OUT OF 5
This book was written in 1999 with a storyline that was placed 60 years into the future, January 2059, to be exact. It is a time when the advances in technology, especially in the areas of communication, computer services, interplanetary travel, anatomically correct android assistants, and human health, are taken for granted.
It is the area of human health and longevity that is the focus of this 8th book in the series. Average lifespan is now 120 years due to the fact that most diseases, such as cancer, can be cured and organ transplants are cheap and quick due to the wide availability of artificial units. Basically, as the author states in one section of dialogue, the only natural killer of a human being is another human being.
And when streetwalkers and licensed companions start showing up dead with organs very professionally and neatly removed surgically, Eve Dallas is faced with a real conundrum. Not just WHO is committing the murders but WHY the organ harvesting is happening becomes the issue since artificial organs have been cheaply available for decades. And it is that WHY that nearly costs Eve her life and does cost her the badge she so fundamentally requires.
The story is expertly told just as one would expect from J D Robb / Nora Roberts. Nothing comes easy as to the identity of the conspirators for both Eve and the reader. And Eve’s struggle to defend her actions and to have her suspension rescinded is a struggle for her own self-worth that is brutally expressed by the author.
However, lest you think that the book is a miserable crying out from start to finish, the repartee between Eve and Roarke is truly hilarious most of the time. The building of the snowman and the ensuing snowball fight in Chapter 11 will certainly bring a smile. And the conflict staged by Roarke against Eve’s self-pity in Chapter 15 is a psychological masterpiece.
This review was originally published at Amazon and Goodreads on August 15, 2013.
Cover art from Goodreads.