But even as she started to smile, her fingers brushed something between cold flesh and bloody sheets. "There's something under her." Carefully, Eve lifted the shoulder, eased her fingers over. "Paper," she murmured. "Sealed." With her protected thumb, she wiped at a smear of blood until she could read the protected sheet. ONE OF SIX " It looks hand printed," she said to Feeney and held it out. "Our boy's more than clever, more than arrogant. And he isn't finished."
I was kind of excited when I landed on the police procedural square in snakes and ladders, I finally got the push I needed to start this series that everyone talks about. Eve is a Lt. in the police force and gets made primary on a case that involves the murder of a senator's granddaughter. It turns out that she was only the first in a string of licensed companion (prostitutes) murders that a serial killer is letting Eve know he is going to commit. A well known but intensely private billionaire, Roarke, finds himself one of Eve's suspects and Eve finds herself torn between her doing her job by the book and growing closer to Roarke.
He laid a hand over hers, watched her frown and look down at the contact. "You know, I've spent most of my life with a basic dislike of police -- for one reason or another. I find it very odd that I've met, under such extraordinary circumstances, one I can respect and be attracted to at the same time."
She lifted her gaze again, and though the frown remained, she didn't draw her hand free of his. "That's a strange compliment."
"Apparently we have a strange relationship."
The attraction between the two is pretty immediate, with Roarke pushing it and Eve trying to keep distance between them because of her job and emotional safety. The murder mystery drives the story but we do get a good amount of interaction between the two, not quite the depth and breadth that I usually like but this was more murder mystery with a romance element. I enjoyed their chemistry and when Roarke gets upset when Eve does her job, I liked how she didn't back down from what she had to do and Roarke finally realizing it, apologizes.
"If you can't or won't talk to me, you have to talk to someone. You know that."
"I can handle it. I -- " But the rest of the words slid down her throat when he shook her.
"What's it costing you?" he demanded. "And how much would it matter to anyone if you let it go? For one minute just let it go."
"I don't know." And maybe that was the fear, she realized. She wasn't sure if she could pick up her badge, or her weapon, or her life, if she let herself think too deeply, or feel too much."
Eve is coming off a situation where she had to kill someone, so we get some emotional fallout from that. This is clearly a starter book (the series is up to 40ish books now) and we don't get a whole lot of clear, solid background on Eve and Roarke. Eve's gets a little more revealed at the end and packs a heavy emotional punch(show spoiler)
Roarke we get little snippets but nothing very solid. Even so, I felt like I still knew these two, Roberts did a great job making them feel real and natural.
"I'm a cop," she blurted out. "That's all I am. I'm thirty years old and I've only been close to two people in my entire life. And even with them, it's easy to hold back."
"Hold back what?"
"Letting it matter too much. If it matters too much, it can grind you down until you're nothing. I've been nothing. I can't be nothing ever again."
The murder mystery was kind of easy to figure out and the concrete connection between the victims never fully gets explained (there is a grand info dump reveal from villain but the framework regarding victim choice still felt penciled in), so that aspect made parts of it feel loose. At first glance, some might think Eve should have figured it out quickly for how good a detective she is but the author utilizing her background and repressed memories give credible reasons for why this took longer to solve.
This was set in the future, 2050ish, but written in 1995, so some of the technology mentioned, we have already or actually seems outdated. It gave the story a bit of a different spin but reading it in 2019, I'm not sure the future aspect was completely felt. The ending was abrupt but knowing that this series goes on with these two, it was easier to swallow. Eve and Roarke have a quality about them that will have me continuing on in the series, hoping to see them more together and get to know some side characters more.
For a bonus, since I've recently been talking about heroes who carry mementos of their heroines:
Perhaps it was time he took a risk. He dipped a hand into his pocket, drew out what he carried there.
Baffled, Eve stared down at the simple gray button in his palm. "That's off my suit."
"Yes. Not a particularly flattering suit -- you need stronger colors. I found it in my limo. I meant to give it back to you."
"Oh." But when she reached out, he closed his fingers over the button.
"A very smooth lie." Amused, he laughed at himself. "I had no intention of giving it back to you."
"You got a button fetish, Roarke?"
"I've been carrying this around like a schoolboy carries a lock of his sweetheart's hair."
Her eyes came back to his, and something sweet moved through her. Sweeter yet as she could see he was embarrassed. "That's weird."
"I thought so, myself." But he slipped the button back in his pocket. "Do you know what else I think, Eve?"
"I don't have a clue."
"I think I'm in love with you."