Undoubtedly the weakest of the first nine books. I’m v glad I read this only after the ninth, as I would have strongly suspected the dreaded 8th-book slump and written off the rest of the series (well, excepting for the fact that I’m being paid to review the ninth, so would have read that anyway.)
The world-building is terrific as always but the intuitive leap that breaks the case made no Goddamn sense, and then there’s all the masochistic bullshit Eve puts herself through against the orders of doctors and her bosses. It’s one thing to understand her reactive stubbornness against her husband, Roarke, when he’s likely talking out of his ass half the time (and oooooh, that one scene where she goes to him looking for comfort and he’s a total asshole to her instead, on purpose, and I’m supposed to believe that this makes their relationship stronger instead of cracking a big fucking gap between them is toooootal bullshit) but to flay herself open despite the advice of experts in the field made me question all her judgment forever. Luckily, the next book, Loyalty In Death, does a much better job of having her not suck, so there’s that. Also? There’s absolutely nothing in this book that you have to read to make any sense of the next one, so I’d highly recommend skipping it.