Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “J.D. Robb”

Bothari’s #CBR4 Review #54: Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb

J.D. Robb’s series about New York City homicide detective Eve Dallas is formulaic as hell, but this one reminded me why I’m still reading. It hit every single checkmark on my previously written bullet list, plus a couple I had forgotten, but it was still a fine read. In this one, Eve’s partner Peabody stumbled across a ring of corrupt cops, and the two have to work together with Internal Affairs to take down a wicked lady cop. There’s lots of trap-setting and secret-keeping, but I think what made the story more compelling was Eve’s new habit of self-reflection. She, the daughter of a horrible abusive jerk, survived and overcame her upbringing to make herself into the strong, worthwhile citizen that she is. The crooked cop, however, is the daughter of a retired police commander, who took her privileged upbringing and all her opportunities and used them to line her own pockets, quietly having anyone who got in her way (including cops in her own squad) bumped off. Eve sees their similarities and differences and reflects on how differently her life could have gone, and she takes a step back and sees how the people she has come to depend on have made her a better person and a better cop. Kind of smarmy, sure, but it’s a nice change from the usually tough-as-nails, “I’ll do this my way, on my own” detective. There’s not much a mystery to this one, since we know who the bad guy is right away, but it’s cool to watch them gather evidence and build the case without alerting any of the bad guys that they’re on to them.


Bothari’s #CBR4 Review #44: Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb

J.D. Robb “X in Death” Drinking Game:

Drink every time:
• Mavis squeals
• Mavis wears something bright
• Peabody and McNab flirt and annoy Eve
• Dr. Mira makes Eve tea
• Dr. Mira wears something pastel
• Eve has a bad dream about her father
• Roarke gets growly and annoyed
• Reporter Nadine tries to get a story
• Butler Somerset says something condescending
• Hairdresser Trina bullies Eve into a haircut
• Eve mentions the office candy thief
• Eve fights with the vending machine

Every time I read one of these Eve Dallas books, I kind of wonder why. It’s the same book every time. It’s the same characters, the same character descriptions, the same set-up each time. The only thing missing from this book is her bouncer friend. And yet…I keep reading. Maybe there is a comfort in knowing exactly what you’re going to get, and the writing is good enough to keep me interested.

In case you haven’t read the 87 other books: Eve Dallas is a cop in New York City in the near future. The future part doesn’t really have much of an effect on the stories, except that they call sodas ‘fizzies.’ She’s a homicide detective married to an insanely rich reformed criminal, has a very likeable partner named Peabody, and always gets her man. In Fantasy in Death, the future part comes into play a little more, since the homicide victim was a video game designer who specialized in cutting-edge holographic technology. As always, Roarke is tangentially tied to the crime, and gets dragged in to provide his expertise. He and Eve investigate the victim’s three business partners, try to pin down the unusual murder weapon, and occasionally have wild monkey sex in their palatial mansion. You know, the uzh. The three business partners cause Eve to reflect on the nature of friendship and partnership, and she has softened some over the course of the series, so I guess there is a little bit of character development. It is nice to see her appreciate the people who love her; usually she’s all hard-boiled and gruff and businesslike.

Actual murder mystery part of the story: pretty good. Rest of the book: pretty much exactly the same as every other J.D. Robb book.

Malin’s #CBR4 Review #27: Origin in Death by J.D. Robb

Book 21 in the In Death series. Works as a stand alone, but I suspect you’d get more enjoyment out of it if you started with one of the earlier ones.

Doctor Wilfred Icove Sr. is murdered while sitting at the desk in his office. He’s been stabbed through the heart with a scalpel, and the last woman to see him alive is seen on security tapes strolling calmly out of there, cool as a cucumber. Eve Dallas and her partner Delia Peabody were in the building investigating a different homicide, so are among the first on the scene. Everyone is shocked by the doctor’s murder, and as Dallas investigates possible motives, she discovers that not only was Icove a pioneer in reconstructive surgery, a humanitarian and even a Nobel Prize winner, but everything about his entire life is so squeaky clean that Dallas has no doubt he must have been hiding something.

When his son and heir, Wilfred Icove Jr. is found dead in his home, again stabbed through the heart with a scalpel, it becomes obvious that Eve’s suspicions about the Icoves aren’t unfounded, unpopular as that may turn out with the general public. With the assistance of her multi-billionaire husband, her trusty partner Peabody and their usual support team, she delves deep into the history of Icove Sr. and his medical work, and discovers that in their quest for perfection, the Icoves were not averse to breaking several ethical and international laws, and that they may have had a hand in creating their own killer.

While a lot of the In Death books are fairly straight forward murder mysteries with a subplot or two to further develop the lives and characters of Eve, Roarke and the other supporting characters (in this book, Roarke’s decision to invite a whole bunch of their friends and his recently discovered Irish relatives to New York for Thanksgiving), where despite mentions of some futuristic gadgets, it’s quite easy to forget that they are also science fiction stories set in the future, Origin in Death explores a lot more of the futuristic aspects of the world these characters live in, and it’s probably the most sci-fi novel in the series to date. There are serious ethical and moral ramifications to the discoveries that Eve and her team make during their investigation, and the details surrounding the murders and the denouement could only have played out in a story filled with science fiction technology. For once, a book that’s less dark because of the discoveries either Eve and/or Roarke make about their pasts, and all because of the discoveries made in the murder case. If you’re a fan, this is definitely a highlight in the series so far.

Originally posted on my blog:

Malin’s #CBR4 Review #18: Visions in Death by J.D. Robb

A woman is found naked in the park, brutally raped and murdered. The red ribbon she’s been strangled with is tied around her neck, and her eyes have been cut out. Like all sexual assault cases, the case hits Lieutenant Eve Dallas hard. When it becomes clear that they have a serial killer on their hands, the stakes become higher, and Eve and Peabody have to work to stop him before another woman loses her life.

Eve is approached by a psychic, who claims she saw the murder taking place. While Dallas is deeply sceptical, the woman knows details that have not been released to the public, and the NYPSD can use all the help they can get. Yet the killer keeps staying one step ahead of them, and when the investigation starts closing in, he lashes out towards the investigators.

Having been abused and raped as a child, Eve is always affected all the stronger by sexual assault crimes. She’s determined to bring the killer to justice, willing to use even the assistance of a psychic if that’s what it takes. Yet the investigation takes its toll. In this book, Dallas finally tells her now partner Peabody about the events in her childhood, and the book also highlight just far Eve has come since Naked in Death,where she was bitter, driven and alone. Now she has a loving husband, a loyal partner, a whole slew of friends who invite her for dinner parties and refuse to let her wallow in misery by herself. That same contact network also steps in when the killer strikes one close to Eve, and helps her catch the culprit.

 Originally published on my blog:

Malin’s #CBR4 Review #17: Divided in Death by J.D. Robb

This is book 18 in J.D. Robb’s In Death series, so it goes without saying that there is all sorts of backstory you miss out on if this is the first one you pick up. It’s impossible for me to write this review without spoiling some of the stuff from previous novels, so go read Naked in Death if you haven’t already been acquainted with Roarke and Lieutenant Eve Dallas.

Eve Dallas is called to a murder scene, where at first glance, it looks as if Roarke’s personal aide’s daughter, brutally killed her husband, Blair Bissell, and close friend  Felicity Cade, in a fit of jealous rage. Both the suspect, Reva Ewing, and her mother, Roarke’s trusted assistant, Caro, assure Eve that Reva is not the killer, and that she found the bodies when she rushed over to her friend’s apartment to confront them – having received incriminating photographs and video of their affair. It doesn’t take much investigation for Eve and her partner Peabody to see that the scene is indeed a setup, but the question is who would want Reva out of the picture, and why are all the computers connected to the victims completely wiped by a mysterious virus?

Within days, not just Reva’s husband and socialite friend are dead, but also the artist husband’s bimbo assistant. Her computer is also fried. Blair’s brother is missing, and everything suggests that the double murder has something to do with a top secret government contract Reva and Roarke were working on to stop a cyber-terrorist group. Then Eve and Roarke discover that both Blair and Felicity were deep cover Homeland Security agents, and possibly also double agents. When hacking into Homeland Security, Roarke also uncovers further secrets from Eve’s tragic past, and the two have trouble seeing eye to eye on how to deal with the revelations that come to light.

I love reading about Eve and Roarke and all the recurring casts of the In Death books. It delights me that Peabody has become a detective in her own right and is now Eve’s partner, rather than aide. I love that Peabody and McNab live together, that Mavis is having a baby and that Eve is completely befuddled by this. The mysteries are entertaining, and Robb (Nora Roberts writing under a pseudonym) is fairly good at coming up with strange new scenarios, but it’s the ongoing story I really read the books for. In this one, Eve and Roarke are at odds through much of the book, and just as I would hate it if close friends of mine argued and had marital discord because of something, I hate it when Eve and Roarke are unhappy. Of course they sort things out in the end – and while I see Eve’s side in this, I’m glad that several of the supporting cast took Roarke’s side, as well. Another satisfying installment, if you’re a fan of the series. If you’re not, pick up one of the earlier books, and join the rest of us.

Originally published on my blog:

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