From “Imitation in Death”, which I find hard going because it is particularly disturbing as the murderer is imitating the styles of various serial killers. This was oddly comforting, amazingly meta, to come across right after I had skipped a chunk describing a brutal murder to get to the nifty police procedural/ detective stuff.
“Rape, Peabody was sure, just as she was sure it had to have been brutal. And she’d have been young. Before the job. Peabody had studied Eve’s career with the NYPSD like a template, but there’d been no report of a sexual assault on Dallas. So it had been before, before the Academy. When she was a teenager, or possibly younger. In automatic sympathy, Peabody’s stomach roiled. It would take guts, and balls, to face that, to revisit whatever had happened every time you walked into a scene that reverberated with sexual violence. But to use it, instead of being used by it, that took more, Peabody determined. It took what she could only define as valor.”
Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke are both survivors of extreme childhood trauma and it’s one of the hooks of this series that keeps me reading, as their healing slowly unfolds, they learn to trust each other and be somewhat less dysfunctional, and they build a “found family”.
By this time in book 17, Roarke has faced many past ghosts from his childhood in Dublin, his father and his father’s death, and found some details about his mother he had no idea about (with a ludicrously homey reunion with his mom’s family!!!) Eve often faces having disturbing flashbacks as she deals with murder scenes but explicitly calls out her experience and “damage” as something that has given her strengths and insight into evil.
I’m impressed with this series in general. The dubious consent issues between Eve and Roarke have improved and it explores really interesting territory. I imagine a lot of readers have found the series useful in their own healing from trauma.
The science fiction (especially the fashions!) is still entertaining as well. Roberts doesn’t predict surveillance culture very well – for example people have a cellphone-esque “comm link”, but it doesn’t track their location, and what few security cameras exist are easily hackable somehow or their “discs” can just be stolen. (Which is just hilarious.)