Series: In Death #42
Published by Berkley on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Action, Crime Drama
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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[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]I thought this was going to be a simple investigation. I never expected where she was going with this. Shocking and intense, as you would expect from a J.D. Robb novel [/box]
Eve Dallas is very close to Dr. Charlotte Mira and her husband, Dennis. They have become pseudo parents to Eve over the years so when Dr. Mira runs to Eve for help when Dennis is attacked, there is no way Eve will say no to her. Dennis was angry that his cousin, Edward, was meeting in secret with a realtor to sell their grandfather’s brownstone. As far as Dennis is concerned, they promised the man they would keep the house in the family. To Dennis the promise they made is more important than the $10 million price tag. So Dennis goes to the house to confront Edward while he is meeting with the realtor, but only finds a beaten up Edward at the house before Dennis is knocked out.
Eve knows that a man like the former senator no doubt has many, many enemies, and the idea that he is trying to secretly sell the house seems to point to an issue with money. Could Edward have gotten into debt with someone shady enough to take a pound of flesh rather than just cash? And then there is the resolving door on his secret love nest. His wife might have no problem with his other activities, but maybe a jilted lover–or spouse of a lover–might be more concerned with Edward’s wandering eye.
When Edward’s body is finally found showing evidence of being brutalized, Eve knows this is a lot more personal than a political disagreement or a loan shark.
Then a close friend of Edward’s is suddenly abducted, and the investigation starts leading Eve down a trail of secrets and abuse going back decades. Edward and his friends had created a brotherhood and this brotherhood played with the lives of others for their own sport. Now some of their victims have created a “brotherhood” of their own for the simple purpose of revenge. When the murder victims turn out to be predators and the murderers turn out to be victims, the lines between right and wrong start to blur even for Eve Dallas.
I enjoyed this story a lot more than I originally thought I would. After the last In Death with lovebird killers on a spree, I thought a story about Mira’s cousin and a real estate deal would be boring. I almost reluctantly picked it up because I had reviews to post and hoped there would at least be some good interpersonal stuff with Eve. I should have known there would be so much more.
I don’t want to talk about it too much so I don’t ruin it for others but as she has done before, J.D. Robb goes to some dark places that people don’t like to shine lights on. Part of it did seem to be just a reason to discuss Eve’s tragic past one again, since we haven’t rehashed that as much recently, and she ends up going through the details several times of her rape and the murder of her father. I guess there just might be someone picking this up as their first In Death book, but the rest of us know the story well and it just felt a little superfluous.
Everyone will finish this story with an even greater crush on Dennis Mira (including Eve) but I can’t imagine there was any Dennis haters out there.
And we got to see Trueheart get his detective shield. I felt like we had trained him too since we were there from the beginning. It was a proud moment and now he is partners with Baxter.
This story was a lot more interesting than I had anticipated and proves that N.R. isn’t done with Eve Dallas and neither are we.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
She noted a second-level street spot, zipped over and grabbed it.
“We could have gotten closer.”
“We could maybe not have.”
“Loose pants, loose pants,” Peabody chanted to herself as they clanged down the iron steps to the street.
“They’ll be a lot looser when I kick your ass up, down, and sideways.”
“I’m using the power of positive thinking. But to spare my ass the pain, what are you guys getting Bella for her birthday?”
“I don’t know.” Instant panic gripped her. “How the hell do I know what to get for a one-year-old kid? How does anybody? The kid can’t tell you, and nobody remembers being a one-year-old so it’s just a crap-shoot.”
“The party’s in a couple weeks.”
“Shut up, Peabody.”
“Okay, but shutting up means I can’t tell you what I know she’d really go for–and McNab and I can’t really spring for a good one.”
Peabody clamped her lips smugly.
“I swear, I’ll drop-kick you from this spot three blocks east so you splat in the middle of Fifth Avenue.”
“A doll house. She’s young for it, but we had her up for a few hours a few days ago, and I’d sent for mine. It’s just a little one my dad made me, but she went nuts for it. Played with it the whole time, and really well, too, rearranging the little furniture, pretending cooking in the kitchen.”
Eve wondered why–seriously why–anyone wanted to pretend cook.
“If dolls aren’t alive, why do they need a house?”
“That’s where pretend comes into it.”
“Does it? Does it really? Or is it when you’re sleeping or not around they start having parties in it, drinking brew, eating snacks, watching screen.”
“You’re creeping me out.”
“You should be creeped. What’s to stop them from having doll orgies in there? Ever think of that?”
“Not until right now.”
“Next thing you know, there’ll be doll weapons and vehicles.”
“They already have those.”
Point made, Eve turned to the sturdy building that housed Carlee MacKensie’s apartment. She opted for her master–why give the woman time to prepare–and walked into the skinny lobby.
“I have to pee. You scared the piss out of me, now I have to pee. Don’t make me walk up four flights of steps.”
“Seriously.” To settle it, Peabody pushed the elevator button. “I can’t get this image of a bunch of drunk dolls doing it all over the doll house. Gay dolls, Straight dolls, threesomes. It’s my new nightmare.”
“They probably make doll strap-ons.”
“Oh, God, I beg you to stop.” Peabody all but jumped into the elevator when it opened. “Loose pants, loose pants. Don’t kick my ass, I’m trying to take my mind off having to pee. And sex-crazed dolls. I’m seeing Gracie Magill with a strap-on.”
“My favorite doll as a kid. Loose pants, loose pants.”
“You had a doll with a last name?” Eve pressed the buzzer on the MacKensie apartment. “Why do dolls need last names?”
“For their ID, to buy the brew and the strap-ons.”
“I figured they just stole them when they climbed in and out of windows at night to burgle houses.”
“You’re just being mean now.”
“I could keep this up all day.”