Thursday, 27 February 2014

Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb

Delusion in Death (2012) (Piatkus)
J.D. Robb a.k.a. Nora Roberts
Grade: B
Genre: romantic suspense
Sex scenes: mild
Source: library 
In Death: (1) Naked in Death ... (34) Celebrity in Death, (35) Delusion in Death 

It began as another normal night at In the Rocks: colleagues winding down after work and friends catching up over drinks. Yet, in the space of twelve minutes, eighty-three people are dead. When Lieutenant Eve Dallas arrives on scene, she is greeted with one of the worst sights of her career. A powerful hallucinogenic was released onsite, causing headaches and murderously violent behaviour where the roles of victim and perpetrator were inextricably intertwined, death a curse and prayer to all its targets as they mindlessly plundered without mercy, using whatever items were handy.

The labs reveal that the concoction released was a potent mix of LSD, Zeus, mushrooms, adrenaline, testosterone and arsenic: the perfect recipe to make anyone batshit crazy. With the killer at large, there’s every chance that he’ll strike again, with similarly devastating results. Research reveals that similar events occurred during the Urban Wars at the hand of a terrorist group called Red Horse. Eve, Roarke, Peabody and all their available men are suddenly on the trail of a vengeful killer who will stop at nothing to complete his mission, with no clue as to where he’ll strike next …

It had been almost eighteen months between reading Delusion in Death and its predecessor, and so I had been in something of an In Death drought. This made for a pretty good re-introduction back to the world of Eve and Roarke and the legend that is the In Death series. Delusion was considerably more gruesome than any other I can remember for a long time, partly because of the sheer number of deaths, and partly due to the grim ways that the victims died. As expected, I loved it.

The Urban Wars angle was interesting. The Urban Wars were a period of violent unrest, lasting from about 2007 to 2020. Guns were rife and millions died, hence the gun ban in current times. Summerset was a medic during the Urban Wars and he provides Eve with the lead on Red Horse, a terrorist organisation who were operating at that time. As usual, Roarke steps in to lend his ever-capable hand and miraculously, his Empire carries on spinning. To echo Blythe’s review on AAR, it would be lovely for Roarke to actually be off doing his job for once so that Eve to solve the murder without the help of her expert consultant, civilian.

The series has long passed the point of novelty, but regular readers of the series don't keep reading for novelty's sake and any new readers aren't going to start at book thirty-five. Rather, the In Death series is like that favourite hole-y jumper that you can't bear to throw away, or a cheesy television programme taht you loved as a child; the routine of Eve, Roarke, the story and supporting characters are a comfort to read in their just-out-of-reach future and I'm helpless from feeding my addiction. As always, the plot is ancillary to the continuing development of the characters and overall, Delusion was another good addition to the canon.

Image courtesy of Wordery.

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