I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dark in Death by J.D. Robb
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 30, 2018
Source: the library
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Also by this author: Mirror, Mirror, Festive in Death, Obsession in Death, "Wonderment in Death", Down the Rabbit Hole, Devoted in Death, Brotherhood in Death, Apprentice in Death, Echoes in Death, Secrets in Death, Leverage in Death
Forty-sixth in the In Death futuristic romantic suspense series revolving around Eve Dallas, a New York City and Security detective. This story takes place in February 2061.
Art reflects life with the plot revolving around a killer emulating murders in a series of books. It was surreal reading about a couple of characters — Eve and Roarke as real people — discussing an author and her characters.
I absolutely adore some of the commentary Roarke makes about books, that “there’s no visual or auditory other than what forms in your own mind … interpret[ing] the tone of voice, the colors, the movement …” Another comment Roarke makes (as does Mira) is in response to a question Eve asks him…about why he reads murder mystery type books. I hadn’t really considered that they’re a “good overcomes evil” attraction or that one could consider them a “kind of morality play”.
Eve continues to evolve — and she gets “into” Roarke’s library. Well, it is appropriate since murders are being committed that reflect events in an author’s police thrillers, and I’m hoping this means that Eve will appreciate Roarke’s library more. I certainly enjoyed the scenes in which she and Roarke kicked back in front of a roaring fire and read books! My idea of heaven..!
It is primarily Eve’s perspective, but the third person dual protagonist point-of-view lets us in on what both Eve and Roarke are thinking. Part of that thinking is a bit of Roarke’s back history that demonstrates how close to meeting Eve was some of his less-legitimate actions. Mmm, hmmm… It was quite interesting the lengths to which Roarke went to “clean” things up.
That old bet about Roarke buying lousy property in the backwoods of beyond is getting some play as well.
The emphasis was on books and not Roarke’s mad skills. Well, there did seem to be an increase in those mad bedroom skills, as there was a lot more sex going on. Hey, it was a Summerset-free house and Eve’s got that bucket list of hers, lol. Nor is Eve beating up that many droids or people. I’d’ve sure liked to read about her beating up Craig, ahem. Nor was there as much interaction with other core characters.
Writers, you may want to take note on why you don’t read manuscripts by other writers!
In the end, I felt adrift, not knowing more about Ann’s family. What happened there. But I’ll tell ya, it’s that confession at the end…where we find out how truly whacked that killer is that’ll blow your mind.
It’s a Summerset-free house, and Eve is reveling in it. Alone. All alone until that stab in the dark — a murder that may be only the second of a long-running series. One that emulates a scene from a thriller writer’s book. A revelation that reveals another like crime, a pattern of behavior.
A deranged private drama driven by an angry murderer.
It’ll require a careful analysis of the the writer’s books, getting into the murderer’s head as Dallas rewrites the author’s stories from the killer’s perspective. A step forward for Dallas in discovering how the killer thinks and why Roarke loves the real thing.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas is head of Homicide at the Central precinct. Roarke is her gorgeous “gazillionaire” husband with a shady past, quick fingers, and a hand for hacking. Galahad is their pudgy cat.
Detective Dee Peabody is Eve’s partner. Detective Ian McNab is with EDD, brilliant, and living with Peabody. Captain Ryan Feeney is head of the Electronic Detective Division (EDD) and had been Eve’s mentor. Callendar is one of Feeney’s “boys”.
Nadine “Lois” Furst is an on-air journalist with her own show, Now. She’s one of Eve and Roarke’s friends. She’s also about to publish her second book, The Red Horse Chronicles, about events in Delusion in Death, 35. Quilla Magnum is one of the girls we met in Concealed in Death, 38, who lives at Harbor House and will be moving into An Didean in spring. Nadine is still involved with Jake Kincade, the lead singer for Avenue A, a famous rock ’n roll band with their own studio, East Side Sound.
Mavis, Leonardo, and Bella make a cameo appearance.
Homicide Division at Central
Detective Jenkinson is still wearing those eye-searing ties. Detective Reineke is his partner with puppies on his socks. More detectives in Dallas’ department include Troy Trueheart, the hat-wearing Santiago, and Carmichael. I suspect Officer Mo Shelby may be the next one to aim for a detective shield. Uniform Carmichael is in on the takedown.
Dr. Charlotte Mira is the NYPSD’s world-famous shrink. Dennis is her sweetheart of a husband. Dr. Li Morris is the head medical examiner. Detective Clint Harcove is “being framed”, lol.
Lieutenant McMahon is the cop Eve contacted about Blaine.
…a police thriller spin-off series (that gets it right!), from author Blaine DeLano’s The Hightower Chronicles series. Peabody, Santiago, and Trueheart are fans. The books in the Dark series revolve around Deann Dark, a former police detective, and include Dark Falls with Pryor Carridine, a young street-level LC, who is murdered by Amanda Young; Dark Days has Amelia Benson as its victim via Justin Werth; Dark Deeds with Bliss Cather as the victim via Gigi Hombly; and, Sudden Dark was the snap, the one in which Calvin Underwood intends to off her pennypinching “mother”.
Heather and Piper — she remembers everything — are Blaine’s daughters (they’re fighting over Brady Mishner). Audrey is Blaine’s very supportive mother. Craig Jefferson is Blaine’s controlling jerk of an ex-husband who works as a marketing executive for a health products company. Mattie is his abused second wife. The eight-year-old Craig, Jr. “C.J.”, is a sociopath-in-training. Stan Grotti is Craig’s lawyer. The retired Detective Olivia Diaz is Blaine’s consultant on police procedures.
A.E. Strongbow is a writer with strong views.
Chanel Rylan is an actress and waitress at Broadway Babies. Lola Kawaski is her roommate and best friend, and she works as a veterinarian at Pet Care. Damien Forsythe is Chanel’s ex-boyfriend who has a gig on a television serial, The Enduring, in Canada. Gloria was the assistant on duty at Pet Care. DeVon is a sweetheart of a neighbor (and costume designer) who cares about Lola and Chanel. Mrs. Pinksy has a hard time being the alpha for Sampson.
Rosie Kent is a fresh-faced, new LC. The skanks include Loxie Flash, the former Marianna Beliski, who had been boinking the no-longer-responsive Adam “Glaze” Glazier; she intends to hit up a “friend”, Janis Dorsey. Bennie is the man with whom Loxie is dancing. Sylvio is the hair king. Shanna K. Yola Bloomfield is off the sauce and describes herself as an Op-X-Artist and no longer involved with Stone “the Stoner” Bailey, a rock ’n roll performer.
Kick plays bass and Rocky plays drums in Glaze’s band; they’ve been friends for years. Lauren is Glaze’s serious girlfriend. Brad Smithers and Sasha Quint are bartenders at Screw U. Malted is the bouncer. Dorinda is a waitress.
Broadway Babies is a restaurant in the theater district where the waitstaff sings and performs. Annalisa Bacardo owns the restaurant through Lost Angels and had been a famous actress in musicals. Justin Jackson had been the love of Annalisa’s life. The employees include Giavanni, Micha tends bar, Teresa is a sous chef, and Eliza is a waitress.
Karleen is the manager for the fabric store; Sherwood is the owner of the Sewing Basket. Lydia sold the penguin fabric. Ann Elizabeth Smith is a very good seamstress who used to work at Dobb’s, a high-end department store. She learned her trade at Fit for You, her mother’s shop. Jill works at Dobb’s and is a friend of Shelby’s. Conchita Gomez is in charge of Alterations at Dobb’s. Ming, Della, CeCe, Yolanda, and Beau also work in Alterations.
Natalia Durban Berkle is a widow worth millions. Dru is Natalia’s daughter and married to Renaldo. Sal is Natalia’s sister-in-law. Earnestine is her assistant; Marsha is the cook? “Aunt” Felicity Lomare is a widow and a friend of Natalia’s.
Mark Snyder is a film student. Jessilyn Brooke was another friend of Chanel’s and up for a callback on a role Chanel also wanted. Missy, Hank, and Sylvia are some of Jessilyn’s friends. David Reingold, Mitzie, and George are casting the play. Strighter. Gracie Lipwitch, a baker with a daughter, Darby, took on the apartment. The sweet Mrs. Waterstone is a downstairs neighbor.
The Cover and Title
The cover is self-destructing with cracks appearing above buildings, seeming to come from the buildings in a mint green sky that takes over more than half of the cover. The bottom is a dark graphic of Times Square with mobs flowing down the sidewalks, and a rush of vehicles on the street. I did get a kick out of that first billboard on the left, promoting The Icove Agenda. An info blurb in black is at the very top with the author’s name in a graphically embossed gold immediately below it. The title at the bottom is in the same graphic embossing in gold but with cracks appearing in it.
The title refers to the spin-off thriller series that sets off the antagonist who is inspired by Dark in Death.