Happy sigh. This is one of my favorite re-reads. I tend to read it around the Christmas season. But seriously. I needed a happy (as it can be) In Death book. It gets to be a bit of a grind to just read about rape and murder in every other book.
Memory in Death (In Death #22) is a really good Eve Dallas and Roarke book. We get to spend about equal time with Roarke in this one. And I just sadly realized it's been a while since we got a significant third person POV of Roarke in an In Death book. Hmmm. I am going to have to go back through my re-reads and see when that dropped off. As I was saying, we get a lot of Eve a lot of Roarke and for once we actually get to delve into Eve's past. I really wish we got more information about her.
Robb has gone fairly deep on Roarke's side of the family, but as long time readers know, we solve the mystery of Eve's mother and father in "New York to Dalls (In Death #33) and you would think that Eve just popped up at age 8 and then transformed into a cop. "Memory in Death" does such a good job of giving us more layers into Eve's life. I really do wish that Robb would revisit that well more in the recent books.
"Memory in Death" has Eve confronting her former foster mother (Trudy Lombard) who has come back to blackmail Eve once she finds out that Eve is now married to the richest man on the planet (look Roarke's a billionaire apparently several times over so I am just going with he is the richest at this point). Eve gets a nasty shock since recalling Trudy and the things she did to Eve as a kid (locking in her room and forcing her to take cold baths) throws her for a loop. When Trudy is found dead (hit with a sap) then the case turns toward Eve and Roarke. This was a really cool case to sink your teeth in. I didn't care about the victim, but it was still pretty awesome how Eve figured out who the doer was and why. And I of course wonder now what happened with the characters from that case. Too bad I don't think Robb has thrown out any comments.
We get to see Eve hit for a loop several times during this investigation. Due to the events in "Origin in Death (or as I call it now, the dreaded Icove case) Eve is on the outs with Dr. Mira. She is feeling even more unsettled when a woman she hasn't seen since she was a child popping up insisting that she's Eve's mother. Eve has an uncharacteristic scared response and then when she lets Roarke know about it...oh boy.
We get to see the dark side of Roarke that we don't really get to see much in the series anymore. I had to crack up when Trudy went and tried to shake down Roarke. Dude. Dude. Hotness.
We get a couple fight (my least favorite thing) between Eve and Roarke and honestly I was on Roarke's side on that one. Eve says some pretty terrible things to Roarke because she realizes that Trudy is only popping up due to her being married to him. She throws Roarke's mother's murder in his face and the fact that even though that was terrible he has a whole family in Ireland now (gah, I hated re-reading that. I cringed the whole time going oh no). Thankfully Eve and Roarke work through it.
What I thought was interesting this time through though is that Eve and Dr. Mira are on the outs because of Eve's last case. They both feel their way around each other, but I loved it when Eve and Dr. Mira worked through it. And this is the beginning of Eve starting to realize that Dr. Mira in her own way is Eve's mother and will mess someone up that will hurt one of her kids.
We get the usual characters of Peabody, McNabb and Feeney. Due to Eve's close ties in the case I thought it was hilarious that Peabody had to interview Roarke. We also get some other characters besides Eve's foster mother, her biological son Bobby who I just felt pity for throughout and Bobby's wife.
The writing was in terms humorous, clever, and a few times sad (when realizing how terrible Eve's foster mom was). Considering the subject matter, this ended up being the most light hearted In Death book I think I have read. Since this takes place over Christmas, you had Eve dealing with decorators, decorators who also got into fights, and hilariously putting antlers on Galahad. I also really loved that we got to see Roarke and Eve exchange gifts with one another. It was nice to just seem them having a really great couple moment. I do tend to skip over the later books romance scenes since they don't move me much anymore. But the earlier books do make me smile.
The ending was pretty cool and I loved how Eve identified the murder. I seriously recall the first time I read this, not having a clue who done it which to me is what makes a great mystery book.