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

Posted April 29, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 8 Comments

Book Review: Obsession 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.

Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb
Genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Putnam Publishing Group on February 10, 2015
Pages: 404
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

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Lieutenant Eve Dallas walks the thin line between love and hate in the latest thriller from #1 New York Times bestseller J. D. Robb...Eve Dallas has solved a lot of high-profile murders for the NYPSD and gotten a lot of media. She - with her billionaire husband - is getting accustomed to being an object of attention, of gossip, of speculation.

But now Eve has become the object of one person's obsession. Someone who finds her extraordinary, and thinks about her every hour of every day. Who believes the two of them have a special relationship. Who would kill for her again and again. An aggressive defense attorney who's sparred with Eve in the courtroom is the first victim, but she isn't the last. The messages left for Eve at the crime scenes chill her and turn her stomach. It doesn't get much more personal than this - and Eve refuses to hand the investigation over to anyone else. With a murderer reading meaning into her every move, handling this case will be a delicate - and dangerous - psychological dance.

And Eve knows that underneath the worship and admiration, a terrible threat lies in wait. Because the beautiful lieutenant is not at all grateful for these bloody offerings from her "true and loyal friend." And in time, idols always fall.

Also by this author: Mirror, Mirror, Festive 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, Golden in Death, Shadows in Death, Faithless in Death

Fortieth in the In Death romantic suspense series and revolving around Lieutenant Eve Dallas.

My Take

I do adore Robb’s In Death series and not all of her stories come up to her usual standard. Obsession in Death is one of those. Oh, the writing is well done, but there’s a flatness to the story, although it is a step above going through the motions.

I can understand someone being fed up with the legal system and how many people get shafted by it. Particularly the victims! And yet, our legal system can’t work unless the defense has lawyers. Yeah, I do feel like a hypocrite in that I want people to have access to a good defense…unless they’re guilty.

See if you can find the wrongfully used “puss” and “wail”.

Whoa, this is the first time Eve has ever considered bringing in Roarke’s coffee brand for her people. I do like her reasons for rejecting it. What indeed would be the fun?

It’s an age-old guilt very few of us can escape, feeling responsible for what another claims they’re doing “just for you”. And Roarke is right. S/he is killing for themselves and simply using Eve as an excuse.

Hmm, I suspect we all want a spouse like Roarke. Thoughtful, considerate, and happy in our company. Dallas is damn lucky with her squad as well. They’d rather juggle more work and work more hours to help her out on this one.

As Jenkinson says, “‘Nobody effes with our LT. Deal with it,’ he told Dallas, then walked out.”

It’s so sweet the care Eve takes with Mason. Then there’s Tortelli’s excuses, jeez. Peabody hits it on the head about Tortelli’s stupidity.

I do enjoy the psychological profiling that Dallas and Mira engage in. It’s a part of the In Death stories that crops up in each one, and it’s not only applied to the criminals. Eve also cracks me up with her penchant for killing droids.

It’s clever the way Robb includes the killer’s thoughts. They’re somewhat coherent but off in that what is s/he thinking way. Ya want to set ’em down and explain where they’re off in their processing as you wonder how they can be that off track.

I do love the In Death series. Robb has a great cast of characters — primary, secondary, and tertiary — about whom you can’t help but want to know more. Just think of Trueheart and all his innocent goodness! We get a lot more of Bella in this than we do of Mavis or Leonardo. I have been wanting more interaction with Bella — she’s so darn cute! But I also want more Mavis. I miss her.

There’s very little Summerset in this — I do enjoy their snarky exchanges. Dallas has more interaction with Kyung than she does Whitney. There’s nothing about the candy thief, and I do miss hearing about that fab car Roarke gave Dallas. Just a mention now and then would make me happier. I know, I know, *eye roll* time, lol. Now that I think about it, I don’t think there’s much sex in this either. Well, you know Dallas, getting a kiss from Roarke in front of other cops is practically full-blown lovemaking.

In a way, this was like a tour of past In Death stories as Robb brings those characters into the story. It’s almost enough to inspire me to start a re-read of the series. I remember a lot of the stories, but there is quite a bit that I’ve forgotten.

The Story

Some nutjob is showing Eve his admiration for her work — and putting everyone she loves in jeopardy.

And she’s considering one of their own.

The Characters

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in charge of the NYPSD Homicide Division and has a reputation for solving cases. She’s married to the delicious Roarke, a billionaire who “owns solar systems” per Eve’s snarky comments, lol. Lawrence Summerset is Roarke’s major domo and practically a father to him as well. Eve, however, “despises” the ground he walks on. Ivanna Liski, a former spy and prima ballerina, is an old, old friend of Summerset’s. She was also godmother to Marlena. Galahad is their cat.

Detective Delia Peabody is her partner who is thoroughly enjoying her new pink coat. She’s living with Ian McNab, a detective with the Electronic Detectives Division (EDD). McNab has a ten-year-old cousin, Fergus, with equal computer skills.

The rest of the NYPSD

The detectives in Dallas’ division include Jenkinson of infamous tie fame, the Slick and Shiny Baxter, Reineke, Santiago, Carmichael of the hot buns, and the innocent Troy Trueheart. Commander Whitney is Eve’s boss. Chief Tibble is the head cop. Kyung is the not-an-asshole media liaison. Detective Webster with IAB once had a thing for Dallas, but Roarke, um, discouraged his interest. He’s more interested in a certain girl cop in Olympus these days. Captain Ryan Feeney is the head of EDD and practically a father to Eve. Detective Yancy is their very skilled sketch artist.

Forensics includes:
Dawson is the head sweeper; his team includes Fizz, Lottie Roebuck, and Charis Cannery; Mickey is new. Jen Kobechek is their best handwriting analyst. Li Morris is the chief medical examiner. Garnet DeWinter is with bones, and she and Morris are keeping each other company. Dick Berenski is the disgusting chief lab tech. Harvo is the queen of hair and fibers.

Officers include:
Officer Rinehart was the first on scene for Ledo along with Officer Morales. D-Officers Carter and Bates are on-scene at Ledo’s flop (the D stands for droid). Officer Osgood was at Nadine’s apartment building. Officer Hanks is in Evidence.

Additional support includes:
Dr. Charlotte Mira is the department’s chief profiler who thinks of Eve as a daughter; Dennis is her sweet husband. The one Eve has a crush on. Cher Reo is the assistant prosecuting attorney who works with Eve on sending cases to trial.

Mavis was once Eve’s only friend. Now she’s a famous rock star married to Leonardo, a now-famous dress designer with a greedy baby, Bella. Benedict Mantal and Grommet are part of Mavis’ private security. Nadine Furst is a highly competent on-air newscaster and a highly trusted friend of Dallas’. She bribes her way through the detective pool with baked goods, lol. Bruno is the eye candy she’s taken with her on vacation. Trina, a beauty specialist, is the person Dallas most fears.

Caro is Roarke’s administrative assistant. Cosette Deveroix is a chief cyber engineer in his Paris office. The brilliant Jamie Lingstrom is Feeney’s godson and a Roarke protégé.

Leanore Bastwick was a high-powered defense lawyer. Cecil Haversham was her admin. Jess Barrow had been a client of hers a few years ago (see Rapture in Death, 4). One that Eve arrested. A current case is Misters Warren and Quirk. She was a partner in Bastwick and Stern where Aaron Stern is the other partner. Carolina Dowd is Stern’s administrative assistant.

The contenders include…
Arthur Foxx was Fitzhugh‘s spouse. Now his widow(er?) I guess. He could well have nursed angry thoughts about Bastwick (see Rapture in Death). Dirk Hastings is that nasty, insulting photographer from Portrait in Death, 16. He’s just lucky Matilda Zebler, a high profile model, is around. It’s rather fun to watch Dirk be tamed! Savannah Bocco and Thea Rossi are sixteen-year-old eyewitnesses. Flo-lo, a.k.a., Florence Louise, is their absent friend. Nick Bocco is Savannah’s concerned dad.

Morgan Larkin; Milton Whepp is a criminology instructor with an oversized libido; former Detective Gina Tortelli who now works for Arsenial Investigators has a really angry mother, Teresa; the obsessed former Officer Hilda Farmer (she will C.R.A.C.K. you up; Charlie Kent is the bondsman she works for these days); and, Loreen Messner is a court bailiff.

Hilly Decker is a paralegal and another of Dallas’ fans. Luca is her ex. Mrs. Missenelli is her neighbor with the big fluffy white cat, Toby. Mason Tobias can’t seem to keep a job, and he’s very detail oriented. His father was Officer Roland Tobias under Captain Roth (see Judgment in Death, 11). Officers Rhodes and Willis are his alibi. Wendall Ledo is a pool hustler and third-rate illegals dealer addicted to funk who haunts Gametown which is owned by Carmine Atelli. Josie and Vivi are Carmine’s alibis. Misty Polinsky is Ledo’s neighbor. Eve has a practical, if painful, method of dealing with the wise-cracking Pick. Chester is the unhelpful doorman.

Eve notes that she not only knew victims, but she also knows some of the reporters including Flake, Newton, Jackson. Tiko gets a mention.

Employees at the bar and grill include Trevor, Lolo who’s partners with Casey in the restaurant, and Steph.

Dochas is the women and children’s shelter Roarke set up.

The Cover and Title

The cover is Robb’s signature blocking with a metallic copper background for the top two-thirds against which Robb’s name is in large white embossed letters. A thick band of black bricks forms the background for the title in an embossed copper while the bottom strip is a mélange of images from the story from a close-up of an eye, lightning striking, Times Square, the messages from the killer, and the tools of death.

The title is what s/he has, an Obsession in Death to prove his/her admiration.

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8 responses to “Book Review: Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb

  1. I haven’t read any JD Robb books but I love the Nora Roberts books. I have noticed a certain flatness to those lately. I still enjoy them but they don’t hook me as much as they used too. A friend and I were theorizing that maybe she’s relying more on outlines and having other people fill in the rest? I love the sound of this mystery! Thanks for remind me of a series I definitely need to get reading on!

    • You’re welcome, Katherine. I’m sorry to hear there’s a flatness in her Roberts books. I wonder if something is going on in her life that she isn’t concentrating on her writing? Her In Death series has been flattening out a bit the last few books (ups and downs), and I’m worrying that she’s lost her interest in them.

  2. I absolutely love these books-for whatever reason I haven’t read the last 3-4 of them but just bought a few I missed recently. You make me want to dive back in.I miss Roark and Eve and Peabody! Love Peabody! Great review 🙂

    • Thanks, Lorna! Yeah, I love Robb’s In Death series as well. Peabody cracks me up with her new pink coat — you’ll have to read the last few to know what that’s about, lol. I’ve already read Obsession in Death twice already.

  3. I’m curious, in what way is the story flat? I’m on the wait list for this at the library and flat or not, I’ll read it. The series has its ups and downs, hopefully the series will swing back up soon.

    • It’s flat in that, the story simply cruises along. I didn’t feel any big highs or lows. Robb hits the basic quirks of her characters but not with the same, interest is the best word I can come up with. There’s a depth missing in this. Sure Dallas has her bit of picking on Peabody with her new pink coat. Her moaning on about all the pink that Peabody is wearing. But the interaction between Dallas and Roarke seems to be less as does her interaction with her detectives, with Feeney, and with Summerset. And while I’m glad that Dallas is getting better in terms of her nightmares, I do miss the drama of them. They make Dallas more real.

  4. Some day I am going to pick this series back up, because I enjoy them. I am somewhere in the twenties..but misplaced my list and well you know how that goes.

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