J.D. Robb a.k.a. Nora Roberts
Genre: romantic suspense
Sex scenes: mild
In Death: (1) Naked in Death ... (34) Celebrity in Death, (35) Delusion in Death, (38) Concealed in Death
Romance RBC 2014: A book with a cop/PI heroine
When Roarke ceremoniously takes the first swing in demolishing a run-down building he’s got plans for, he’s hoping it will be the start of a successful venture. What he doesn’t expect to find is two carefully wrapped bundles of plastic, containing the bodies of two teenage girls who have been buried behind a false wall for fifteen years. A more thorough inspection of the building is thus only natural, eventually bringing to light an even dozen bodies.
This case hits hard to home for Lieutenant Eve Dallas. The building used to be a sanctuary for delinquents and teenagers who had nowhere else to go. This stark reminder of her own time in-and-out of foster homes only pushes her harder to find the killer, revealing an elaborate cover-up that has left far too many families wondering whether their daughters are still alive, for too long.
It’s almost Christmas in the In Death world, which is sure to bring terror to Eve’s heart as she has to think about Christmas shopping and the inevitable party that Roarke has planned that requires her to dress up. But what is meant to be a happy time of year is considerably dampened by the discovery of these bodies, especially for Eve, as it’s a stark reminder of her own horrific childhood. Cases involving rape, abused kids and foster homes always put a particularly onerous strain on the otherwise stalwart cop, and it’s been interesting to witness how time and Roarke’s love has made her more better able to emotionally handle these cases.
I enjoyed the story, but as I’ve said before, I don’t find the newer In Deaths (from about Strangers onwards) quite nearly as exciting or funny. They’re still good – I’m still coming back with every new book to get my Eve and Roarke fix – but the older ones have an edge that I can’t describe, but love. Perhaps it’s a change in Eve’s perspective as she matures as a cop, wife and friend and for that I wouldn’t change a thing, but I do know that I am a lot less attached to the newer titles in the series.
What I’ve been waiting for, for what feels like far too long, is for Nadine and Trueheart to get together. We’ve seen Nadine transform from merely a thorough reporter in Eve’s estimation, to a valued friend and confidante on all things to do with the job. Similarly, Trueheart is no longer a green cop working the streets, but a trusted and valuable member of Eve’s Homicide squad, even though he still blushes to his ears at the slightest provocation. I think this occurrence might actually make my life – it’ll be better than when Peabody and McNab, Mavis and Leonardo and Charles and Louise became couples, combined.
Overall, not a bad instalment in the series. It was a touching case but I did think that we didn’t get nearly enough screen time for some secondary character favourites like Feeney. There was one thing that bugged me, though it doesn’t have any impact on the quality of the book as a whole: Eve is a well-known caffeine addict. If it’s not coffee, then she’ll go for Pepsi. Yet in a some of the last few books, there have been Coca-Cola references popping up. Not that I have anything against the brand, but it seems that several times lately, Eve has reached for a tube of Coke once in the book, then Pepsi all the other times. For someone who is a stickler to details, pattern and order, I’m both perplexed and slightly irked that the normal course of events has changed. Care to explain, Nora?
Image courtesy of Fantastic Fiction