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review 2017-09-24 15:44
Witness in Death by J.D. Robb
Witness in Death - J. D. Robb

In the last act of a sold-out play, the lead actor is executed in front of the eyes of the entire theater with a knife that was supposed to be a prop, but ends up being real. One of the thousands of witnesses in the theater is Lieutenant Eve Dallas, who, despite her dislike of the victim, thanks to what is uncovered during the investigation, finds death even more distasteful...Justified or not.


Yet another great addition to this series with an intriguing mystery, and although I knew who the killer was from the start, the motive eluded me until the end.
Unlike its predecessors, this wasn't heavy on the suspense, but focused straight on the mystery, with quite an Agatha Christie feel, filled with misdirection, suspects, possible motives, and red herrings.

The thick mystery didn't allow for much else, but there still was enough space for some evolution in the friendship between Eve and Peabody, and the budding relationship between Peabody and McNab...And space enough for some sexy and sensual alone time between Eve and Roarke. I absolutely loved that scene.

The pacing was spot-on (as pretty much always), the mystery intriguing, the procedural intense, the cast of characters even more expanded than usual...A great book.

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review 2017-09-22 15:42
Loyalty in Death by J.D. Robb
Loyalty in Death - J. D. Robb

A shady group, calling themselves Cassandra, is targeting New York landmarks, and Eve Dallas and Roarke personally. Eve because of her dedication as a cop, Roarke because of his capitalistic inclinations...Cassandra wants to see all of it destroyed, the fascist government, the corrupt capitalistic masses, the left, the right, and everything in between. The only right path is Cassandra...


This is what was missing in the previous book; the actual conspiracy. This story had it in spades...a shadowy terrorist group rising from the ashes of a previous one (a more murderous one, since they didn't have Eve Dallas and her team to deal with), political propaganda that was more an autocratic manifesto, a murder plot implicating an innocent bystander, a prophet in perfect disguise to hide the crazy core underneath...
The pacing was spot-on, with the final few chapters hurtling toward the end at breakneck speed, the mystery was intriguing, the big reveal of the true villain surprising (although the Heureka moment felt a bit rushed—more like a cartoon light bulb going off than a result of investigation).

The cast of characters was awesome as always, although I didn't particularly like Eve in this one, since she acted like either a bitch or an asshole without any obvious reason except the fact that she could and made for good conflict. I loved the bits with Peabody and McNab; from the animosity through those two "oh my God" scenes to the final cookie, and I really hope they work it out.

Good mystery and suspense, great action and speed, wonderful characters...It was almost perfect.

 

 



A gripe about chauvinism in representation and reception of the sexes in fiction (read at your own discretion):

Why is it that a man can do anything, even things we don't know him capable of doing, and we take it at face value, while a woman would be deemed as a Mary Sue?

In a fanfiction there was a woman, a capable, self-sufficient woman. Her father was a Navy SEAL, she worked for one government agency or another...And thanks to her training, she was good at hacking, and at hand-to-hand, and handling of firearms. She was good, but she wasn't perfect. She got herself kidnapped and needed rescue, she almost got herself killed before she overpowered her assailant...So, she wasn't perfect. But what do you think the readers in their reviews called her? A Mary Sue. Which is far from the truth, but I guess people, women included, couldn't accept the fact, there could be a woman out there (fictional or not) that was able to take care of herself or do anything beyond breathing without a man's helping hand.

Now, take Roarke as an example. We don't know anything about him, expect that he had a difficult childhood and started making money by pulling grifts, picking pockets, and smuggling. We have no idea (at least not yet), how he got from a street urchin to billionaire.
Yet, he's extremely good at hacking, he knows how to handle a banned weapon, he can make a kill both in the boardroom or in an alley...And in this particular book he also knows how to diffuse a bomb.
Eve gets her ass kicked on a regular basis, she's afraid of heights and speed, she doesn't know how to handle a computer beyond the basics, and constantly needs Roarke's help in getting certain information (Feeney, the Captain of the e-detectives, isn't as good, apparently), while Roarke is pretty much perfect. Beautiful, loaded, apparently inventive in bed, and capable of pretty much any feat Eve needs done to close the case.
But does anyone question his deus ex machina capabilities? Is he a Gary Stu? Nope, he's just Roarke. Because he's perfect.

Because he's a man. Yuk!

(spoiler show)
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review 2017-09-21 15:39
Conspiracy in Death by J.D. Robb
Conspiracy in Death (In Death #8) - J.D. Robb

Someone is killing off vagrants and used-up LCs in the seediest part of New York City, taking souvenirs in the form of sick, unusable organs, harvesting them with surgical precision. Digging deeper, Lieutenant Eve Dallas, discovers similar cases in Chicago, Paris and London, but someone doesn't want her to dig, doesn't want her to uncover the truth...

And they're prepared to do anything to stop her, even stripping her of her true self...


I'm quite disappointed with this book, to be honest. With the premise and title as they are, I expected more from this particular story.

It started off incredibly slow, progressed even slower, and only picked up pace in the last quarter, when everything was pretty much already resolved. The plot seemed bogged down with fillers and ballast, over-complicated and "over-produced", instead of whittling it all down to the basics.
I also didn't particularly care for those three brief glimpses into the main villain's mind. Either they should've been taken out or expanded beyond those few paragraphs. As they were, they simply slowed the pace and bogged the story even more.

The cast of characters was once more superb; they're old friends by now. It was nice seeing the more playful side of Roarke playing in the snow with Eve, the camaraderie between Eve, Peabody and Feeney, and the sense of family, that connection, the instantaneous belief and trust between the major players when Eve was threatened and maligned was expected and delivered nicely.
I didn't particularly like Eve's own reaction to the conflict, though. Sure, some self-pity and wallowing is expected in such circumstances, but once the initial grief was over, enough was enough. She would've continued to feel sorry for herself indefinitely, if it weren't for Roarke, and that bothered me. For such a strong, resilient, self-made person, she put too much worth on a freaking symbol.

I liked her again after Roarke kicked her (figuratively) ass and dislodged her head, and simultaneously, the story picked up pace and finally got more interesting, acquiring that necessary "friction" that was missing for the better part of it.
Still, the real motive left quite a bit to be desired, making the whole conspiracy and cover-up appear a bit over the top.

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review 2017-09-20 15:51
Midnight in Death by J.D. Robb
Midnight in Death - J.D. Robb

On Christmas day, mere hours after she caught the murderous Santa, Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called to yet another crime scene...The killer has left a message and she's his ultimate goal.


A bit different from the rest of this series, since the killer's identity is known from the get-go. What we're offered in this one, is non-stop procedural as the team (plus one civilian determined to keep his wife breathing) race against the clock to find the psycho before he finishes his list of victims.

Intense and gripping (as always), but maybe a little too short to really "spread its wings".

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review 2017-09-19 15:35
Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb
Holiday in Death - J.D. Robb

The victims have nothing in common but the way they died. Tied up, made-up, disinfected, raped and sodomized. Two women and two men from different backgrounds, different social positions and statuses...But Lieutenant Eve Dallas finds the missing link. All four victims have been matched through the elite dating agency, Personally Yours.

But the song is Ten Days of Christmas, which means the killer is far from done...Unless Eve catches him first.


Another well-written story with the well-known gang of characters (I liked how McNab fit right into the crew), and with Eve and Roarke still going strong in their wedded bliss, going for their first Christmas together (aw, the cuteness).

The problem was the suspense/mystery part of the story. Yes, it was intriguing and gripping, keeping us guessing, especially with all those possible victims out there, but the villain left much to be desired. I simply didn't get it; the explanation for his deviancy fell short. What drove him to choose the people he did? Why them? I don't know, it all felt a bit off.

But, as I mentioned, the cast of characters was great, as always. Loved the constantly evolving relationship between Eve and Roarke, loved the sparkage between Peabody and McNab (so kindergarten I-like-you-so-I'm-being-obnoxious-in-order-for-you-to-notice-me), there was a lovely scene between Eve and Dr. Mira...But I didn't particularly like the "snit" Peabody threw. It felt a little cheap, more for conflict-creation than anything else.

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