Walter Pettibone, owner of a florist empire is poisoned during his own surprise birthday party. None of the guests appear to have a motive for the murder, but once Lt. Eve Dallas identifies the murderer on security videos, she recognizes her as Julianna Dunne, a woman Eve helped put in prison early in her career. Now, after ten years in prison, having been released on good behaviour, Julianna plans to get back at all the people from her past who she has grievances against, and Eve Dallas is at the top of that list.
This book was refreshingly different, as it was obvious pretty much from the start who the murderer was, and the point of the book was not figuring out the identity or motive of the killer, but rather Eve and her associates trying to hunt Dunne down and put her away for good this time. The case becomes more challenging for Eve once she has to go to Dallas, the city she's named for, to question a potential future victim of Dunne's, and also face her childhood demons once and for all. Profiling also shows that to get to Eve, Dunne is likely to go after what she cares most for, her husband Roarke.
Reunion in Death was in parts very difficult to read, when Eve actually goes back to the alley where she was found after escaping her abusive father, and even visits the room where she was held and molested before her escape. Having Eve finally open up to and fully take in her harrowing memories actually brought tears to my eyes, but Robb also balances the tragedy with comedy, and there are several scenes both before and after that had me laughing out loud. Eve's shocked reaction to people voluntarily riding horses, and then discovering that Roarke can ride, was especially good.
The book can be read completely independently of the others in the series, but anyone who starts with this will not fully get the emotional impact of the journey Eve is forced to take in this book. You need to have followed the character through more of the 14 novels for it to really feel like a truly satisfying pay-off.