Creation in Death
Grade : B

When you have been reading JD Robb novels as long as I have, (July 1995, when Naked in Death first came out), you come to realize that there are basically four types of In Death novels:

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  1. Crime Solving. Catching the murderer is the main focus of the novel (Witness)
  2. Past Revelations. Events from Eve’s or Roarke’s past have as much weight as solving the murder (Portrait)
  3. Relationship. Eve’s and Roarke’s relationship has a turning point or emotional upheaval (Glory)
  4. SciFi. Robb brings in an element of future technology into the plot (Purity)

Many of the novels have more than one of these elements. Creation in Death falls into the first category, but also reveals a bit of Eve’s NYSPD past when a cold case from nine years ago becomes very hot.

As a young detective, Eve had worked under Feeney on a series of torture homicides. The signature of the killer was carving the time the victim took to die into their torso. The press nicknamed him “The Groom” because he placed a wedding band on each of the female victims. When Eve responds to a current homicide call and sees the body, she knows that she has a second chance at catching the killer. She also knows that she must move as quickly as possible, for “The Groom” always had another victim waiting in the wings.

Eve is able to organize a task force in record time and Roarke signs on in his Expert Consultant Civilian capacity. The case becomes personal for him when it turns out that the victim, Sariphina York, worked in one the clubs he owns. She was also washed with soaps and wrapped in linen made in his factories. The second victim also worked for him at a health club. He needs to figure out why the killer is using him as a catalyst.

At first I was puzzled by the book’s title. After pondering it for some time, I realized that it was not the creation in the sense of "making something," but in the sense of "beginning." The killer gave the clue as to the meaning. He calls his original victim “the First Eve,” after the first woman in Judeo-Christian teachings of the creation of mankind and our Eve has to go back to the point in time when the murderer was created in order to catch him.

Be warned: the villain is of the sadistic-torturer serial killer variety, and I, for one, do not enjoy reading about such matters. But, I felt the final game of one-upmanship that Eve and the killer play was riveting. There is also the final victim, who was quite unexpected. I think you will root for her – I know I did.

One reading of Creation in Death is not enough to know where it will stand in my personal ranking of the 27 novels. Generally, it takes several readings to make that determination - readings that will help to pass the 2 months, 29 days, 2 hours, 27 minutes and 30 seconds wait until Strangers in Death arrives at the bookstore.

Reviewed by Carolyn Esau
Grade : B

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : November 23, 2007

Publication Date: 2007

Review Tags: In Death series

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Carolyn Esau

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