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review 2017-10-12 08:49
Haunted in Death by J.D. Robb
Haunted In Death - J.D. Robb

Number Twelve, an old, abandoned nightclub, is reputed to be haunted. Then the owner, a descendant of the original one, the one who supposedly killed his young girlfriend, is found dead in the club, his body full of bullet holes...And on the upper floor, there's a hole in the wall and inside skeletal remains; remains of the first victim, shot dead over a century before.

I simply couldn't get into this one. It was slow, rather dull, and pretty incongruous with the rest of the series. It felt written like an afterthought than an actual short story, with characters I usually love reading about merely going through the motions.

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review 2017-10-10 07:08
Origin in Death by J.D. Robb
Origin in Death - J.D. Robb

The pioneer in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, a Nobel Prize winner and veteran of the Urban Wars, Dr. Wilfred B. Icove is murdered in his office with a single, precise, stab to the heart with a scalpel. The suspect, a stunning young woman, is a ghost; her name and address is bogus and no one seems to know her.

Digging deeper into the saintly doctor's life, Lieutenant Eve Dallas suspect something nefarious. No one is this squeaky clean, and encrypted, coded files she finds just might prove her theory. Then the good doctor's son is murdered in the same way, and the perfect image starts to unravel.

This book makes you think. Not just about who is the baddie (are they really?) and who might be next, but once the motive is clear, a whole new picture forms. A picture, a (fictional) truth that really gets you thinking about ethics, morals, and how some people think they can play God and get away with it.
This story was chilling, but not in a gory, bloody way, but in a psychological way as it makes you contemplate human nature, the boundaries of science and medicine, and the lengths some would go to create perfection.

It was jarring, chilling, engrossing...Even though, the ending was a bit over-the-top science fiction-y and mad scientist-y.

There was little drama on the personal front, with only Eve and Mira butting heads over the medical, scientific and ethic dilemma of the case. On the happier side, there were the holidays, with Roarke inviting his newly-found family over for Thanksgiving, where his unnatural nerves and his family's descent on the household offered a few moments of levity to the otherwise rather dark and brooding story.

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review 2017-10-09 06:55
Survivor in Death by J.D. Robb
Survivor In Death - J.D. Robb

An ordinary, happy, nice and "clean" family, is killed in their sleep, their throats slashed. The only survivor is the nine-year-old daughter who escaped by a miracle in the form of the thirst for an orange fizzy, while her best friend, having a sleepover was killed in her stead.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas takes little Nixie into her home, hoping to somehow jog her memory as to what secrets her parents or her brother might have had to earn such a death, but nothing pops. It looks like a random, senseless killing...But why?

The first half was spot-on, as always. The mystery was intriguing, the suspense palpable, the pace fast, and adding to the (again) non-existent personal drama was little nine-year-old Nixie, only survivor and witness of the killing of her family.
Some people argue that it would've been nice for Eve and Roarke to adopt the little girl in the end, when it seemed no one really wanted her, but to me, it's too soon for the two to become parents, adoptive or not. Neither is ready, not even Roarke, who actually wants children with Eve one day, and they know it. Still, it was a nice interlude.

It was the second part of the story that was the problem for me.
The motive turned out to be rather idiotic, slaughtering an entire family (and many others on the side) as revenge for a slight. I found it too simple and too over-the-top to compensate for the mystery/suspense at the beginning. It just didn't make sense to me, and in the end the pacing slowed down too much for me to actually enjoy the ending.

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review 2017-10-08 10:12
Visions in Death by J.D. Robb
Visions in Death - J.D. Robb

Before she can change into her "work clothes" after an evening out with her husband, Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called to a crime scene in Central Park. There's a body under the Belvedere Castle. A woman's body, naked, bruised, raped, with a red ribbon tied snugly around her neck, her hands clasped between her breasts as in prayer...and her eyes missing.

Going against her inner cop, Eve reluctantly accepts the help of a psychic, a friend of Dr. Louise Dimatto, claiming to have visions of the murders. But no matter those visions, no matter the proof of her ability, another woman if found murdered in yet another city park. And Eve knows the visions cannot bring the killing bastard to justice, only hard police work can.

Yet another solid mystery with an appropriately crazy killer; although after the first (justified, maybe) murder, the motive got very blurry with the killer punishing the same woman again and again. It was a stretch, really, but I guess we cannot apply logic to the insane mind. It was gory, it was chilling, it was frightening, and a little sickening in the end, in that desolate, isolated field.
And when you think it's all over, it's done, the mystery is solved, there's another chapter waiting, with a second whammy; which was, unfortunately, obvious almost from the start, thanks to the title of the book, but most definitely from the middle where my gut tingled as well as Eve's at the connection.

On the "personal" front, there was surprisingly no drama. Eve and Roarke got along without a single marital spat or misstep, McNab finally learned the truth about Peabody's relationship with Charles Monroe, the LC, there was a lovely little couple scene at the dinner among friends, Mavis's bun in the oven is baking nicely, there was a nightmare thrown into the mix (we don't want our characters to get too complacent), and Eve and Peabody's partnership/friendship moved to yet another level with Eve finally coming clean about what happened to her in Dallas.
But since everything simply cannot be nice and rosy, somebody has to get hurt, and this time it was Peabody's turn. Poor girl. But we got quite a load of a suffering Ian McNab and his bonding with Roarke over fear of losing someone you love out of it.

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review 2017-10-06 16:42
Divided in Death by J.D. Robb
Divided in Death - J.D. Robb

Roarke's admin, Caro, calls him in the middle of the night, begging for his, and Eve's, help. Her daughter, and one of Roarke's techno experts, is sitting in the middle of a double homicide; the victims are her husband and her best friend, naked and butchered in bed together.

It looks like a simple murder of passion, but the scene is too perfect; the only thing missing is a nice little red bow...And Eve's gut is screaming set-up. But who would want to kill an artist and his mistress and frame an innocent woman...And why?

This book had a great mystery and ever greater personal drama.

On one hand, you have corpses piling up, industrial espionage, cyber-terrorists, a computer virus, and a shady government agency throwing wrenched into the wheels of the investigation...And on the other you have the big marital spat between Eve and Roarke involving some new information about her past, and the shady government agency passive involvement in what happened to her, and Roarke's rage-filled quest for revenge on his beloved behalf that puts them at odds for most of the book.

No marriage is perfect and Robb does a wonderful job in portraying this particular marriage as being as far from a stroll in a meadow as possible. Roarke and Eve almost always stand on different sides of a line, but usually there's some middle, common ground for them to meet on. This particular case, this particular mission, put them at such odds, it was hard seeing how they could ever see eye to eye, when they actually refused to communicate or barely could share a space...In the end, it came down to love. The simplest, purest of solutions.

The mystery, the hunt, the big question mark was well-written and well-paced (although the fog on the true identity of the killer started lifting a little early for me), the industrial espionage being nothing but cover for the baddies to get rich was interesting and entertaining, but the drama in the personal life of my favorite fictional couple was what propelled the whole story forward.
It had it all, drama, angst, fear of the future, pathos, tearjerker moments, and the incredible, beautiful romance underneath.
I loved how the final solution, for them both, was so utterly simple. They just needed to see each other, and to love each other.

A good mystery and a wonderfully bittersweet romance. What more can you want?

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