Portrait In Death
Author: J. D. Robb
Publication Date: March 2003
Genre: Adult Mystery
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Sixteen
Synopsis can be found here.
Eve Dallas should know by now nothing goes as planned. Set to enjoy a full three weeks without her nemesis Summerset, Roarke’s snarky butler and father figure, her plans of quiet time are thwarted when he injures himself. And that is the least of her problems!
Eve is tracking a serial killer who professionally photographs his victims, then dumps their bodies. The killer then sends their photographs to the newsroom, waiting for publicity. Eve’s suspect list is bursting with amateur and professional photographers, college students, etc.
This book was excellent. I loved all the imagery Robb used to show the contrasts of the photography- the gray areas, the light and shadows. The thoughts about capturing the soul, the light of people, made this killer especially creepy. When there are so many books in a series, there are going to be some that blend together, using the same formula. Not. This. One. Usually, I can figure out who is the murderer halfway in. Well, Robb showed me! I did not see this one coming! And it wasn’t just who was the killer, but also their motivation behind it. Their general demeanor and motivation made this serial killer stand out for me.
As always, Roarke is there and he gets more storyline this time. It was refreshing to see Roarke in this form- uneasy, tired, not his usual suave self. Another layer to his past is revealed, giving this character more depth and allowing him to show his vulnerability. Eve is the strong one, the rock in Roarke’s storm and she has to pull herself beyond being a cop and more towards being his wife. It was a beautiful shift in their relationship, natural and supporting.
A quick note about Peabody- as always, our strong and loyal Peabody is loveable, clever and soft. While the mystery is always fun, my favorite part about this series is the interaction between Peabody and Eve and Eve and Roarke. The dialogue is funny, witty and quick. I love the inside jabs they take and how comfortable they are with each other.
Rating 10, One of The Best.