Dallas is back from a warm, sunny vacation, in the frigid, wet cold after the New Year. And very early on her first morning back, she's called to the scene of a dumped body.
Dorian Cooper was a cellist with the symphony orchestra, popular, respected, and well-liked. There's no apparent reason for anyone to kill him--but someone has. And not just killed; Cooper was tortured over the course of two days before he died. It's not long before Dallas and Peabody realize they're on the trail of a potential serial killer--or a pair of them.
It's a race against time to find them before they kill their newest victim, and a frustrating puzzle tracking them backward through their travel across the country to find their identities.
At over forty books in, the regulars are all familiar, but they continue to grow, learn, and change. Trueheart is taking his detective exam; Peabody is growing in confidence as well as skill as a detective, and Dallas continues to learn to handle the kinds of personal stresses and interactions that just crippled her as a person before she met Roarke. Watching Dallas grow and heal has been one of the appealing features of the In Death books, and this one is no disappointment there.
Devoted did seem to me to be a bit toned down in some respects. Roarke is still a super-rich businessman from a questionable background, but neither his wealth, nor his connections, nor his criminal past dominate as they have in some previous books. The partnership between Dallas and Peabody feels more and more like a solid, professional relationship between partners who have also become friends.
As with any long-running series, this book isn't the place to start. For those who have read previous volumes, though, this is an enjoyable addition, and I heartily recommend it.
I bought this book.