Book Review: Golden in Death by J.D. Robb

Posted May 6, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Golden in Death by J.D. Robb

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.

Golden in Death by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #50
Genres: Suspense
on February 4, 2020
Pages: 387
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

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Also in this series: Naked in Death, Glory in Death, Immortal in Death, Rapture in Death, Ceremony in Death, Vengeance in Death, Conspiracy in Death, Loyalty in Death, Witness in Death, Judgment in Death, Seduction in Death, Reunion in Death

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, Dark in Death, Leverage in Death, "Interlude in Death", Vendetta in Death, Shadows in Death, Faithless in Death, Naked in Death, Glory in Death, Immortal in Death, Rapture in Death, Ceremony in Death, Vengeance in Death, Conspiracy in Death, Loyalty in Death, Witness in Death, Judgment in Death, Seduction in Death, Reunion in Death

Fiftieth in the In Death suspense series and revolving around Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke. It’s set in a future New York City.

My Take

Robb uses third person global subjective point-of-view, which allows us access to various characters’ thoughts and emotions. As usual, there’s action but the focus is on the characters. Assessing their movements, emotions, motives, and past histories, Eve does most of the heavy lifting with help from Roarke and Peabody.

To be fair, the story is definitely suspenseful with that mystery as to the why of these decent people’s deaths. The agony of their families’ feelings of loss. Dallas certainly does a great job of figuring out the whodunnit.

That said, it’s heartbreaking who the victims are, and the lives they destroy. The reasons they’re killed are even more heartbreaking and should send a wake-up call to all school administrators to crack down on the bullying. Kids who bully need to understand that it’s wrong. Teach them this from a YOUNG age, so they learn and incorporate it into their lives! Give them a chance to be decent people. Teach them about consequences.

“You kill somebody, they’re dead. You kill what they love, they live. And live with that pain every day.”

I love the idea that it isn’t just DNA that makes people family.

Roarke is dabbling with something on the Mars Colony…and “threatening” Eve with a trip there, lol. I do love his plans for An Didean, bringing in experts from so many fields to talk to the kids. Giving them a chance.

The best part of Golden in Death, though, was Peabody’s diatribe against Grange. You go, girl!! I loved it.

Dallas’ fear of Trina cracks me up. Greenwald, on the other hand, is something of a jerk. I understand where he’s coming from, but…jesus…

Oooh, after Peabody assesses the cost of decorating Grange’s new offices, I can see why Grange needs huge financial donations. It really is too bad they don’t do a psychological test on teachers and/or school administrators. So many lives would have been better for her not being involved in education.

I adore this series. I really do, and I’d love for it to go on forever. But not if Robb continues to be so unenthused about being true to her characters. We sure didn’t get to spend much time with most of the supporting cast.

The Story

It’s an innocent-looking package that packs a nasty punch, targeting much-loved individuals. People who have no connection to each other.

The Characters

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is the head of Homicide at NYPSD Central. She’s married to Roarke, a hunky rogue of a gazillionaire Irishman. Lawrence Summerset is essentially Roarke’s father, a former Urban War medic, and their major domo these days. He and Dallas have a love-hate relationship; they love Roarke and hate each other. Galahad is their fat cat with quite the appetite. Richard Troy had been Eve’s abusive criminal pedophile of a father.

The New York Police and Security Department (NYPSD)

Homicide, Central
Detective Delia Peabody is Dallas’ partner. Other detectives working under Eve include Jenkinson of the eye-searing ties and his partner, Reineke, of the lurid socks; Carmichael and Santiago; and, Baxter and Troy Trueheart. Uniform Carmichael and Officer Shelby (she’s the new meat transferred in, in Apprentice in Death, 43) are the regular cops assigned to Dallas’ division.

Electronic Detective Division (EDD) is…
…headed up by Eve’s mentor, Captain Ryan Feeney. Detective Ian McNab is one of his best and is living with Peabody. Detective Callendar is another of Feeney’s “boys”.

Dr Charlotte Mira is the chief profiler for the police; her husband, Dr Dennis Mira, is a professor at Columbia and is an absolute sweetheart — Eve’s a little in love with him. Tibble is the chief of police. Commander Jack Whitney is Eve’s boss. Cher Reo is an assistant prosecuting attorney who frequently works with Dallas.

Dr Morris is the head medical examiner and another friend. Michaela Junta is the hazmat team leader. Dick “Dickhead” Berenski is the chief lab tech. A jerk, but really good at his job. Harvo, the queen of hair and fiber, is killer at cards. Abdul Siler is a science geek who works with Berenski.

Officer Ponce is the first on the Abner scene. Officer Mike Karsinsky is on-scene at the Duran residence and has been in First Page Books often. Officer Patrinki had been chasing Crazy Naked Guy.

These core characters get mentioned, but that’s it… Mavis is an international singing star, Dallas’ best friend — and pregnant again. She’s married to Leonardo, a fashion designer, and they have a daughter, Bella. Nadine Furst is another friend of Dallas’ and an award-winning author (of The Icove Agenda) and TV journalist. She’s dating Jake Kincade, the lead singer for Avenue A, a famous rock ’n roll band. (He and his bandmates want to teach music and songwriting at An Didean, and Nadine plans to talk about journalism and screen writing.) Quilla Magnum is one of the girls we met in Concealed in Death, 38, and is Nadine’s intern as of Dark in Death, 46. Trina is the stylist who terrifies Dallas. Dr Rochelle Pickering, a child psychologist, is mourning her brother (Connections in Death, 48) and has moved in with Crack, the six-and-a-half-foot tattooed sex club owner who became friends with Eve and Roarke.

We have a very brief encounter with Dr Louise Dimatto, who runs a free clinic and is married to Charles Monroe, a former licensed companion who is now a sex therapist. Both have been friends with Eve and Roarke for some time. And it turns out they’re friends with Kent and Martin as well. They’ve been like surrogate fathers to Louise. Sharleen is a nurse at Louise’s clinic, studying to be a pediatric nurse. Hella is a volunteer nurse.

Dr Kent Abner, a well-loved pediatrician, had been married to Dr Martin Rufty for thirty-seven years. Martin is the current headmaster at the Theresa A Gold Academy. Victoria “Tori” Abner-Rufty is their daughter married to Gregory Brickman. Ava is a daughter of Tori and Greg’s. Marcus is a son married to Landa, another doctor. Abner has a half-sister who’s a moderately successful writer, living in St Louis with her family.

Seldine Abbakar is the officer manager at Dr Abner’s practice. (Her sister-in-law has a new baby boy, Jamar.) Dr Melissa “Lissa” Rendi is an associate in Abner’s practice. (Alicia Gorden is Dr Rendi’s fiancée.) Olivia Tressle is the youngest on staff. Sarah Eisner is one of the nurses.

Unger Memorial is…
…a hospital where Kent has/had privileges. Dr Milo Ponti is a resident, who refuses to filter his mouth and works in the ER. Cilla Roe is his wife, a surgical nurse there who knows her new husband can be a jerk.

The Theresa A Gold Academy (TAG) is…
… a K-12 private academy. The previous headmaster had fostered an evil atmosphere there. Rufty teaches US History and co-chairs the debate team. Kim Myata is an assistant headmaster who teaches math to second and third graders. Ty Rosalind is a patient science teacher. Lilliana is Ty’s wife. Van Pierson had taught middle-grades history, Wyatt Yin taught computer science and then chose to go with public education, Ms Chelsic, Darcie Finn-Powell (Thad is her firefighter husband), Stuben was an art teacher, Woskinski, and Mr Flint were all teachers. Zweck had been the school nurse who now works private care. Grant Farlow and Brent Whitt were misbehaving parents.

Current students include the Rosalinds’ granddaughter, Meris, and Mac, who is one of Rosalind’s students who needs one-on-one help with his labs. Students back in the day included Miguel, who had been attacked; Kendel Hayward had been a spoiled bully; Marshall “The Facilitator” Cosner transferred to Bridgeport Academy; the ill-tempered Stephen Whitt had been Kendel’s boyfriend and transferred to Lester Hensen; Deke Farlow had been a good student; and, Quint Yanger was a big guy, a jock who went on to be the first draft choice as a defensive tackle for the Giants.

Ben Ringwold and Jacques Lamont are ex-cons, ex-addicts, and partners working a food truck, Cajun Bon Temps. A nice bit of success! Susan Franco is a waitress at the Bottomless Cup, a diner. Consuela is Jacques’ girlfriend. Barry Ringwold is the son Ben had hurt; Carly had been his wife. Thomas T Thane is a jerk of a junior executive with anger issues at Your Ad Here, an advertising firm. His son, Thomas Thane, was one of Abner’s very young patients. Another very abusive father, Curtis Feingold, is supposed to be the maintenance man at a lousy building. Dr Rufty helped Mrs Feingold got a job as a teacher.

Elise Duran hosts a book club; her parents, Catherine and Rob Fitzwalter own First Page Books. Professor Jay Duran is Elise’s husband who teaches literature at Columbia; they have two teenage sons: Eli and Simon.

Lester Hensen Prep School is…
…for grades nine through twelve in East Washington where the previous headmaster for TAG now works. Dr Lotte Grange is more interested in money than academics. Ms Teesha Mulray is the assistant to the headmaster, promoted from administrative assistant to the dean of students. Kyle Jenner is in legal.

Reginald P Greenwald, CEO of All Fresh, had been Grange’s second husband. Iryna is Greenwald’s “personal assistant”. Carl works the desk at the Hudson Tower, which Roarke owns. Lionel Kramer was Grange’s escort to Congresswoman Delaney‘s home. Gregor Finski escorted her to Swan Lake.

Lydia Merchant is a delivery person for Global Post and Packages. Teela is Lydia’s roommate. Brendina A Coffman is a retired bookkeeper who worked for Loames and Gardner and is married to Roscoe Coffman. Rabbi Miles Coffman is their oldest; he’s married to Rebekka Greene who teaches at the Hebrew school. Marion Coffman is married to Francis Xavior Black, and today is their anniversary. Sergeant Joshua Coffman is their son on the job. Rachel is Miles and Marion’s sister. Allied Shipping took in a package from The Golden Goose. Grace Levin and Henry work at a French restaurant where Jordan is the evening maître d’.

Marshall Cosner clerks at his family law firm, Cosner, Dupont, and Smithers, where his parents, Lowell Cosner and Marilyn Dupont, are partners. Muffy is Marsh’s secretary. Brent Whitt, Stephen’s father, is The Whitt Group, a family investment firm. And he can’t keep it in his pants. Ernest Lauder is Stephen Whitt’s admin. Detective Swanson had been on the job when Eve was a rookie; now he’s a security guard at The Whitt Group. Broward Kobast is Stephen Whitt’s attorney. James Cutter is Stephen’s cousin.

Kendel Hayward and her mother, Louisa Raines, own Party Elegance that plans party events. Benson Hayward is Kendel’s father. Kendel is engaged to Merritt, a congressional aide and Patience Bilby-Scott‘s son (she’s the US Secretary of Education, planning to run for president). Lulu is Kendel’s dog.

An Didean is…
…a shelter Roarke is building for troubled children as a homage to Eve. It will provide schooling, shelver, care, nutrition, and safety. Something similar to Dochas, which is a shelter for abused women and their children.

Nowhere is a dive bar from Vendetta in Death, 49, that Roarke bought. Rayleen Straffo had been a nasty little psychopath in Innocent in Death, 24. Lucas “Loco” Sanchez was an addicted, brilliant illegals cook who had gone to TAG. Ms Troski lives in Cosner’s building. Tiger Bellows is a dreamy vid star. Charmaine and Dr Oliver Inghram, a plastic surgeon, have a beach house in the Hamptons.

Roarke World is…
…Roarke’s transtellar company. Miguel Rodriges is a game developer who had been bullied at TAG.

The Cover and Title

The cover is golden in its deep orange-to-yellow vertical gradation with a torn photograph in the bottom third. A shot take from ground level looking through a puddle on the street up towards a street of colorful four-story houses. At the very top is an info blurb in black. The author’s name takes up the rest of the top two-thirds in white with a black shadow. The title is in a mellow yellow through the puddle of the photograph.

The title is refers to TAG and the egg, for it’s Golden in Death, if you open it.

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