- Title: Holiday in Death
- Author: J D Robb
- Genre: Futuristic Murder Mystery Romance
- Why: I intend to read the whole series.
- Rating: 5 Stars
Description: IN A FUTURE WHEN COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY BRINGS LOVERS TOGETHER, DATING CAN BE A DEADLY GAME…
No one likes to be alone during the holidays. And for New York’s most posh dating service, Personally Yours, it is the season to bring lonely hearts together. But Lieutenant Eve Dallas, on the trail of a ritualistic serial killer, has made a disturbing discovery: All of the killer’s victims have been traced to Personally Yours. As the murders continue, Eve enters an elite world of people searching for their one true love – and a killer searching for his next victim. A world where the power of love leads men and women into the ultimate act of betrayal…
Review: Book seven in this series already, and another strong volume. The holiday of the title is Christmas, and in the run-up to this festive event there is another murderer on the loose. This murderer dresses up as Santa Claus, knocks on people’s doors pretending to bring them a gift, then rapes and murders them. Each victim is left with a token from the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song, leaving little doubt as to how many people he intends to kill.
For Eve the whole thing is a little too close to home, and she is still recovering from the near-fatal injury she sustained at the end of the previous book. The fact that the victims are all raped repeatedly brings back memories of what her father used to do to her, and though she doesn’t like to admit it, the case rattles her.
As always the characterisations in these books are very good. I can get annoyed at Eve running herself down yet again, but it’s simply an inherent part of her personality to not shut down while there is a murderer on the loose. The time she spends catching up on sleep could mean another dead victim for whom she feels responsible. That this lack of sleep also clouds her judgment really ought to be something she should be aware of by now, but again, that’s just Eve. She could be annoying, and to many people she probably is, but she’s certainly not average.
(As an aside, the one thing I had a little difficulty with was how easily every victim opened their door to a stranger in a Santa suit. The book was first published in 1998, so that’s quite a while ago already, but in this day and age I’d be very suspicious of a random bloke expecting me to let him in just because he’s dressed as Santa. I guess it just goes to show how certain things don’t age all that well.)
By now there is also a whole slew of side characters who all add to the wonderful mix of the In Death series, and in this book there is a budding relationship between Eve’s aide Delia Peabody and Ian MacNab from the electronics division (or whatever it’s called). It’s fun to see them rile each other, and to wonder where they’ll end up eventually.
Another thing I like about this series is that it doesn’t pull its punches. We saw that in the previous book, where the murderer spends a considerable amount of time torturing his victims, and here we get a few unpleasant close ups of rape that really bring home just how nasty a crime it is. There is also a good dose of creepiness in the form of twins Piper and Rudy, who have a very big Jamie/Cersei (from Game of Thrones) thing going on.
I was also very pleased to see that (tiny spoiler) for once the murderer doesn’t die at the end, and that none of the suspects are a close friend of Eve’s. Robb could barely get away with that in the previous six, so it’s nice to see that she finally deviated from that formula.
All in all a great book, I’d definitely recommend it.