Imitation in Death by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #17
Genre: Crime, Romance, Futuristic, Adult
Published: 2008 by Piatkus
Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas encounters one of her most difficult cases in this latest offering from J. D. Robb, alter ego of bestselling author Nora Roberts. With the very first victim, Eve realizes that the killer stalking the streets of New York City isn’t a run-of-the-mill serial murderer. The copycat executions are imitating the methods and victim choices of an ominous list of notorious serial killers, beginning with Jack the Ripper. And when the killer leaves a distinctive note at the crime scene, it’s clear that he’s targeting Eve personally–a fact that worries Roarke, Eve’s shrewd husband.
Assisted by her aide, Peabody, Eve compiles a list of suspects that includes several high-profile possibilities. Their very prominence, however, complicates the investigation, for they have the power and influence to make the search difficult. All of the suspects are reluctant to cooperate but one of them is playing with Eve like a cat with a mouse by tempting her with crime scene notes and challenging her to find him. Can Eve stop him before he slaughters again? Or will his next victim be Eve herself?
Imitation in Death starts out with a death as per usual for J.D. Robb’s books, but I found this one to be much more disturbing than usual. It reminds me that Robb’s books are definitely not for the faint hearted and the heat certainly kept rising in this book and we had lots of strands from previous books being drawn in to add to the plot complexity and I really enjoyed that aspect of the novel. Robb over the past two years has become one of my favourite authors and the In Death series really has a special place in my heart, so I advise you all to read it.
Robb definitely takes a new tone in this novel with a killer who imitates serial killers with the likes of Jack the Ripper and Albert DeSalvo. This brings a much dark and sinister feel to the novel especially when Jack the Ripper is a killer from my own country and somebody that still haunts England. The killer has a hatred for women and this is really brought across with the brutality of his murders and the practice and time he takes. Luckily Robb doesn’t bring out too much gore, but you definitely get the vivid descriptions. These are especially brought to the forefront when Eve walks her way through the crime scenes and mentally visualises the killings. It makes quite the impact upon the reader.
“Or maybe a—what did you call it—an Anglophile? Somebody who admired things British. Had he travelled there, walked the streets of Whitechapel? Relived it? Imagined himself as the Ripper?”
Robb has many different strands from previous novels that she draws together to create a complex and diverse plot in addition to the mystery of the murder that unravels in many directions and brings around numerous suspects for one to guess at the killer. The mystery keeps you on the edge of your seat and really serves to entertain and engage you as a reader. It’s safe to say, predictability is not Robb’s style.
However, something I have noticed is the stereotype role of a woman hating man that is becoming a little repetitive. So I’m hoping Robb will try to induce some new and invigorating killers to future novels.
Eve blossoms more as a character every book and this time, the storyline is very fitting with the focus of the plot line. She focuses more on her mother and her perspective is very much altered. When you include her time spent with Mira and her family it really adds to Eve’s growth and shows the relationship and interaction with Mira to be really sweet! Mira really represents a mother figure for Eve and it’s great. Alongside this all, we get some humour with Roarke’s attempt to use a grill—the perfect man, not so perfect—when he can’t cook the food.
Along with the focus on the central character and the chase for the killer, Peabody becomes more prominent as she trains to take her Detective test. The friendship she’s developed with Eve is profound to witness and how easily she has learned to understand Eve is a really great. As always Robb’s secondary characters are just as well developed as the main character and really boost this series up.
Robb is continuing to build on a world so thoroughly developed and employ new ideas and surprises at every corner. Whilst the set-up of Robb’s novels may be very similar, I feel like each new addition to this series brings something new.
Robb’s books are engaging, exciting and involve a brilliant plot, outstanding secondary characters and overall a great satisfaction in reading. imitation in Death is not to be missed out as another good addition to the ever growing series.
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