Eternity in Death – 3 stars
Creation in Death – 4.5 stars
Creation in Death is book 25 in the In Death series (and the novella precedes it, counting as 24.5) and this is possibly not the place you want to start, as a whole load of character development comes before. However, as the books are a bit like episodes in a crime procedural show, picking up with this one would be like watching a random episode of a show a few seasons in. I don’t think there’s any major spoilers for previous books in this review, but if you jump in at 25, you have only yourself to blame.
Eternity in Death is a novella, first included in the anthology Dead of Night. A wealthy society girl is found dead in her apartment, with two puncture wounds in her neck. Lt. Dallas and her partner Delia Peabody investigate, and all clues point to an underground horror club, where the owner is indeed purporting to be an actual vampire, with an alibi for the night in question. Pragmatic Dallas ignores all superstitious rumours and is determined to prove the guilt of the skeevy club owner.
In Creation in Death, Dallas and her crew hunt a serial killer, after a young brunette is found tortured and murdered in a public park. Carved into her torso is the time it took her to die, complete in hours, minutes and seconds. The dead woman was artfully draped on an expensive sheet, and had a silver ring placed on her left ring finger. The body signals the return of “The Groom”, who nine years earlier killed four women in fifteen days, and then disappeared. Eve and Feeney, her then partner, now her friend and mentor, worked the case, and both see it as a personal failure that the killer got away.