Genres: Futuristic Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on May 28, 1997
Eve encounters evil and stares it in the eye. One thing I can always count on when I pick up the next book in the series is a growing appreciation and respect for this tough as nails cop who takes the hard hits each case brings and gets right back up to fight some more.
Ceremony in Death is the fifth installment of the series. There is a subtle series arc running through where characters have been introduced and become fixtures, private development between friends and romance has developed, and a couple reference back to stuff that happened on certain cases. I say all that to advice readers to get these in order, but also to acknowledge that a person can read them standalone or out of order to a certain extent.
In this latest, Eve is up against a personal conflict because her commander is ordering her to work alone and tell no one- even Feeney who will never forgive her if he learns she hid this from him. But, she is also up against a killer who doesn’t hide evil, but embraces it. Satanists, Wiccans, and a trail of bloody death.
I appreciate how the author not only delivers a good murder mystery, but many times infuses thought-provoking aspects that challenge Eve to analyze what she thinks about a philosophical, cultural, social, or religious more. In this case, its religion and superstition. Eve deals in facts and won’t countenance the idea that the spiritual or beliefs are real.
I want to say that I found this a powerful story and really loved it. I’m going to bring up a few things that may make it sound like I didn’t, but I really do- in spite of these issues, shall we say? So, I was totally into this one and it was on its way to five stars, but I couldn’t do it.
The mystery in this one was obvious from the beginning and it frustrated me to no end that Eve latched onto every theory, but the right one. In fact, one of her arrests drove me nuts because I felt she wasn’t even looking beyond the pat set up. She’s shown more intuitiveness in the past and just flat out shut that stuff down in this book. I felt she was so fixated on sneering and denying these folks- the Wiccans in particular- because they had beliefs that made her uncomfortable that she really didn’t stay objective enough and got downright mean and cruel to the suspect and to her co-workers. She recognizes that she owes poor Peabody and Feeney apologies and delivers them which is something I really love about the way the author wrote her. She screws up, but she owns it and owns it to others. It was a nice touch to see her struggle with this as the book progressed, but then I felt it ended abruptly without her actually coming to terms with this issue. Maybe it will be brought out and addressed in a later book.
And, it will be no surprise that Roarke is was magnificent in this one. He does his usual stellar job of forcing Eve to take care of herself and he has her back during her work and private moments of pain. I enjoyed seeing a different side of him when he is more open about the spiritual.
The author continues to write superbly and with each case Eve and her tough cop, gritty determined, flawed, wry, and vulnerable character grows on me and I fall more deeply in love with she and Roarke’s romance.
Romance Roundabout #181 RS
Mt. TBR #70
Series that Never Ends #5