Nora Roberts is the number-one New York Times-bestselling author of more than 150 novels, including High Noon, Angels Fall, Blue Smoke, and Northern Lights. She is also the author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 280 million copies of her books in print.
In the 13th installment of Robb's (aka Nora Roberts) futuristic In Death series (after Betrayal in Death), New York's Lieutenant Eve Dallas takes on a Casanova killer who targets young women via on-line poetry chat rooms. The killer sets the mood for murder with rose petals, candlelight and expensive wine laced with a deadly date-rape drug. The novel opens (as others have in the past) with Eve reliving the horror of stabbing her abusive father to death. The narrative then switches to another grim scene that of a woman who has been pushed from a balcony. With the technology available in 2059, identifying the culprit should be simple, but this killer is more inventive than most: he becomes each victim's fantasy man. To make Eve's job even more difficult, a psychological profile indicates that there may be two killers or one with a multiple-personality disorder. Robb sprinkles her narrative with the usual supporting characters: Roarke, Eve's rich husband, uses his state-of-the-art computers to assist her with the case; Peabody, Eve's assistant, is still dancing a sexual tango with Officer McNab; and Roarke's lofty but caring butler remains a thorn in Eve's side. Although Robb's energetic prose and hard-edged dialogue will keep readers engrossed, this installment offers little that is new or fresh. (Sept. 4) Forecast: Thirteen may very well be Robb's unlucky number. Although the recent revelation that J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts will prompt many new readers to pick up the latest book in the series, Robb's long-time fans may find that this well is running dry. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.