Series: In Death #41
Published by Berkley on September 15th 2015
Genres: Crime Drama, SciFi
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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I am a big fan and always enjoy an In Death story. Yes, some don’t make my top 20 list and I probably won’t ever read them a second time. But I always enjoy the investigation and especially the interaction of the characters in this series.
Devoted in Death is one of the more gruesome of the collection. In this novel, we have two people, Darryl and Ella-Loo, who meet, fall in love, and when they accidentally kill a man trying to steal his car, they find they get a sexual thrill over causing the death of others. As most serial killers do, they need an increase in the thrill and decide the keep their victims longer and longer, adding torture and pain to that thrill.
As they travel across the country towards the bright lights of New York City, they leave a growing trail of bodies. Unlike typical serial killers, Ella-Loo and Darryl could have kept their killings untraceable longer since they didn’t have a type. They would just stumble upon victims, usually using young, helpless Ella-Loo to set a trap for men and women alike, young or old. It didn’t matter to them. It was when they started carving a little heart with their initials to show their love for each other, that allowed the authorities to track their progress toward New York.
Their biggest mistake was trying to play their sick game in the territory of Lt. Eve Dallas.
Once Eve finds her first victim, and uses the heart carving to find like crimes, she is quickly on their trail. Backing through their path of victims to uncover these killers. Eve also gets a little assistance from a local county Deputy from Arkansas who has been following these killers. The FBI has discounted his investigation, which included the murder of a local friend, but Eve quickly connects the dots and sees that he has been on the right track all along and brings him officially into her investigation.
Since Eve also puts together the fact the victims all appear to be random and objects of opportunity, rather than stalked targets, she starts tracking missing persons which gives her a head start on finding the victims which the FBI never had, and also gives us another POV when Nora Roberts once again gives us a victim’s perspective. And here is where it starts to get more gruesome. We see get a first person perspective of the torture game and the fact that Ella-Loo and Darryl are starting to get bored and decide they need to up the thrill factor.
As with all the In Death books, this one has a great ensemble cast and the interaction between Dallas and Roarke, Dallas and Peabody, and the rest of the group is what I enjoy most of the series and what keeps me coming back for more each and every time.
This is among the more grisly stories once we see the first person perspectives on the torture, and admittedly Dallas does get a leg up on the investigation by having the visiting Deputy point out which trail she started following was the right one. At one point she had an opportunity to save a victim and that wouldn’t have been possible without having information from the Deputy and there is more than one “hey, isn’t it convenient that with all the disappearances in the city, you found the right one which rang bells” or “you found a body out of all the miscellaneous murders in NYC which didn’t fit the profile, but wow, you found the one tiny clue which could break the case.” Some of it was our awesome Eve Dallas on the scent of the killer and some of it was just dumb luck that she tripped over the right clue but she always catches on quickly.
All in all an enjoyable story and great investigation. A great police drama. Yet, will it end up as one of my favorites or one of the In Death’s that I would recommend you read to get you started? I’m going to say, no, it not one of the top 20 In Death stories, but a good addition just the same.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“I just got back from leave. My people need me around, as much as I can manage. And Trueheart takes his detective’s exam tomorrow. Baxter’s a wreck over it.”
“Being a wreck over his young aide speaks well of him. And don’t claim you didn’t fret about it when Peabody took hers.”
“I trained her. If she’d bombed, I’d have kicked her ass.”
“How do you think our young Trueheart will do?”
“He’ll pass. If he doesn’t it means he’s not ready. It means he let nerves screw him up. A cop can’t let nerves screw him up, so that would be not ready. Unless he and Baxter catch a hot, I’m going to use them on my investigation. It’s more hand and eyes, and it’ll keep them both busy and occupied.”
“You’re a good boss, Lieutenant.”
“The cops under me deserve one, so I need to be. If Trueheart makes it I’m going to request another uniform.”
“Anyone in mind?”
“A couple I’ll look into, if and when.” She felt the cat start to slink down the sofa like a snake when she picked up some bacon. “What’s on your plate today?”
“A number of meetings, review–much of which, lucky for me, I can handle from here via ‘link or holograph. I’ll venture out later. I want to go by the youth shelter–work’s progressing very well there. And as I’ve also been away, I’ll want to spent time at my office.” He scooped up oatmeal happily enough. “I’m also a good boss.”
As the cat bellied over, eyes fixed on bacon, Roarke merely turned his head, raised an eyebrow. Galahad rolled onto his back, yawned hugely.
“Why does he think he’s going to get away with it?” Eve wondered. “He never does.”
“You can’t get the prize without reaching for it.”
Acknowledging the point, she reached for the prize of more coffee–and her communicator signaled.
“Hell.” She rose, went over to pick it up from the dresser. “Dallas.”
“Dispatch, Dallas, Lieutenant Eve. See the woman at 623 Bond, apartment 902. Whittiker, Kari has reported a possible missing person. Notification of possible missings flagged at your request.”
“Right. Who’s missing?”
“Campbell, Jayla, age twenty-four, mixed-race female. Last seen, 754 Carmine, apartment 615, at approximately twenty-four-thirty hours.”
“Acknowledged. I’ll take it. Dallas out.”
She frowned at the comm before setting it down again. Probably nothing. Probably hooked up with somebody, but I had them flag any missing or possible missings over the age of sixteen. They’ve never gone for kids, that we know of.”
“Small blessings. Do you want me to go with you?”
“No point. I’ll take it solo, just meet up with Peabody at Central. The woman hasn’t been out of touch for even eight hours, so it’s probably nothing.”
“And yet.” She headed for the closet. “If this turns out to be one of theirs, we’ve got a hell of a lot more time than anybody’s had before. That’s a start.”
She came out with a navy-blue crew neck sweater, brown trousers and a brown jacket. And frowned again when he gave her the Galahad/bacon raised eyebrow.
“What? What’s wrong with this stuff?”
“Keep the sweater and trousers.” He rose, plucked the jacket away from her, and strolled into the closet.
“Why can’t I get it right?” she demanded “I think I do get it right, but you like to make me think I don’t get it right.”
“It’s not altogether wrong. There’s just a better choice.”
She yanked on a support tank, muttering about better choices, wriggled into underwear, and was hooking the trousers when he came out with a jacket–a brown one, damn it.
But one that had a subtle needle-stripe of navy. The boots were navy, too, with a wider brown stripe up the sides to the ankle.
She knew she’d never seen them before.
“Waterproof, insulated,” he told her. “Your feet will be happier.”
“How many pairs of boots do I have in there?”
“I wouldn’t know.”
“You keep buying them, so you ought to know.” She tugged the sweater on, shoved at her hair when her head came out.
And he kissed her. “One of my small pleasures. Would you deny me?”
She took the boots, sat down. Felt the warmth, the solid support the minute her feet were inside. “Do you know how many pairs of boots I had before I met you?”
He only smiled as she rose, reached for her weapon harness–which told her he undoubtedly did.
“Two, and one pair didn’t really count as they were emergency use only because they were trashed. I still caught the bad guys.”
“You did. Now you get to catch them with more comfortable and stylish feet.”
She took the jacket from him, put it on and began to stow what she needed in various pockets. “You know I married you for sex and coffee, not boots.”
“Isn’t it nice, then, to have the bonus?”
This time she grabbed his face, kissed him. “Yeah. I’m going to grab a few things from the office here, then I’m in the field. See you tonight.”
“I’ll be here until about eleven, I’m thinking, if you’ve need of me. Meanwhile, take care of my cop.”
“Nearly top of my list,” she said and strode out.
“It’s not, no, not nearly top.” He glance over, saw the cat had managed to take advantage of the distraction and snag the bit of bacon still on Eve’s plate. “And that’s why you continue to try, isn’t it? Now and again, you hoist the prize.”
Galahad ran his tongue over his whiskers and belched.