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

Posted December 14, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Shadows 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.

Shadows in Death by J.D. Robb
Genres: Detective, Mystery
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 8, 2020
Pages: 355
Format: Hardcover
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, Dark in Death, Leverage in Death, "Interlude in Death", Vendetta in Death, Golden in Death, Faithless in Death

Fifty-first in the In Death detective mystery and romantic suspense series revolving around Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, in New York City in May of 2061.

My Take

It’s all about greed and ego, all over the place with Robb using third person global subjective point-of-view, although the primary perspectives are from Dallas, Roarke, and Cobbe.

It was an interesting start with an idiot who can’t lie. It’s also a peek into Roarke’s past and references to how he built his empire. Roarke remembers more past details about how Patrick found him in that alley. Robb presents this information very confusingly. I had to re-read this several times to figure out what she was saying… It’s not the only scene that’s hard to figure out.

“There’s a difference between right and regs sometimes. That’s why regs change, but right doesn’t.”

That Tween is such a jerk! And such a cheapskate, lol! A typical abusive controller who fakes understanding until confronted by something that offends his sense of order and pride. He’s so prideful that he’s stupid!

Mira does a fascinating insight into Cobbe. Such conflicting desires! He had a loving mother but craved Patrick Roarke’s love? That’s not the only insight in Shadows in Death, as Eve has her own fears crop up about Roarke, pushing her into realizing what Roarke goes through every day.

I absolutely ADORE how everyone on the force steps up for Roarke. I also like Nadine’s advice to Quilla: “…if you pretend something’s good when it’s not, you’re not doing anybody any favors.”

There are a lot of subplots running through Shadows in Death: An Didean finally opening, Galla’s murder which sets this all in action, the bad guys (on the side) who get taken down, a past cold case, the joy Eve and the NYPSD take from thumbing their nose at Interpol and all the other alphabet agencies, *grin*, and backstory reveals (hoo boy).

The action is fast moving, although Eve’s investigation involves lots of nitpicky following-up. It’s amazing how well it all adds to the finale. My main niggle was the very minor roles played by Peabody and McNab and the bare mentions of Eve’s other friends. Sigh.

The Story

A murder-for-hire brings back Roarke’s turbulent childhood and sets up a manhunt for a notorious assassin sought by law enforcement around the world.

The Characters

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is the head of Homicide. Roarke is her gazillionaire hunk of a husband and her civilian partner in crime detecting. Summerset, the man who rescued Roarke as a child and the man Roarke considers his father, now functions as a majordomo for Roarke’s house in New York. Galahad is their fat cat. Ivanna is Summerset’s “companion” with a fascinating back history.

Roarke has family — the Lannigans and Brodys — in Tulla, Ireland, including Sinead Lannigan, his mother’s twin, who is married to Robbie. Mary Kate, Kevin, Rory, Seamus, Nan, Aidan, Ryan, and Rosie are also part of the family. Ailish is a medic and Aidan’s wife’s sister. Marshall Podcock, Trace, and Ando are part of the security Roarke set up to protect his family. Bridget Feeney had been a schoolmate of Sinead’s.

Brian Kelly is a childhood friend of Roarke’s and now runs the Penny Pig, a pub in Dublin. Jenny, Shawn, and Mick had been friends as well. Caro is Roarke’s personal admin. Fitzwalter, Dolliger, and Jenson, his driver, also work for him.

New York Police and Security Department (NYPSD)
Detective Peabody is Dallas’ partner. Dallas’ Homicide detectives include Jenkinson of the lurid ties who usually partners with Reineke; Baxter, a horn dog who dresses well, usually partners with the innocent Troy Trueheart; Carmichael and Santiago; and, Uniform Carmichael, Officer Shelby, and Rosco, who are assigned to Homicide.

Commander Jack Whitney is Eve’s superior. Tibble is the police chief of the entire NYPSD. Rigby does a lot of undercover work. Detectives Waver and Yin are good at searching.

Dr Charlotte “Charlie” Mira, a psychiatrist, is the department’s top profiler; Clinton Jones had Mira’s position previously. Prof Dennis Mira is Mira’s amazing husband. Dick “Dickhead” Berenski is the obnoxious but very good chief lab tech. Harvo, the Queen of Hair and Fibers, also does amazing work. Dr Li Morris is the city’s chief medical examiner.

Detective Ian McNab is with EDD and is Peabody’s significant other. Captain Ryan Feeney, Eve’s original mentor, is in charge of EDD. Callendar is another of Feeney’s “boys”.

Inspector Abernathy is with Interpol and has an itch to nab Roarke.

Nadine Furst is a friend of Dallas and Roarke, author of two of Dallas’ notorious cases, and a television host for Now! Quilla Magnum, from Concealed in Death, 38, is working as her promising intern.

Modesto Wine and Spirits is…
…an international, family-owned company based in Tuscany. Galla Modesto is one of the heirs. She’s married to Jorge Tween, a VP in distribution for Modesto, and they have a child, four-year-old Angelo. Elena Rinaldi is the housekeeper. Sofia Grimaldi is Angelo’s nanny. Stefano is Galla’s brother; Tereza is his wife who had been friends with Galla. Anna Maria Modesto is Galla’s mother; Antonio her father.

Marlon Stowe is an artist with whom Galla had been having an affair. Milton Barkley is Tween’s lawyer. Denise Gotte is criminal defense from Patterson, Franks, and Gotte. Oscar Gill Investigations does private eye work.

An Didean is…
…a shelter for abandoned children built by Roarke. Rochelle is in charge. Mrs Pickering is part of the staff. Gregg “Gee” Harding is a reluctant attendee who plays a mean guitar. Carlo is the head chef. Bit of foreshadowing here, as Roarke contemplates something similar for Dublin.

“Crack” Wilson is Rochelle’s boyfriend and owner of the Dirty Duck.

Dochas is…
…the women’s and children’s shelter built by Roarke and Eve.

Lorcan Cobbe is a vicious assassin and part of Roarke’s childhood. He’d do Roarke in a heartbeat. Some of his aliases include “Blade”, Reginald J. Patrick, Lorcan Roarke, Niall Patrickson, Grafton, Patrick, and Liam O’Patrick. Cobbe’s mother, Morna Cobbe, had been a prostitute, but now lives well off her son. The Padriac O’Karre Foundation is a shell company. Patrick Roarke had been Roarke’s vicious, brutal father; Meg had been Roarke’s vicious stepmother. Richard Troy had been Eve’s nasty father.

That Dennis is quite insightful: “Biology doesn’t make a father.”

Adam, Boswell’s accountant and Whitney’s CI, and Ellen Solomen had a sixteen-year-old son, Thaddeus, who were murdered twenty years ago. Anja Greenspan had been Ellen’s sister. Colin “Boss” Boswell had been involved in international human trafficking, illegals, and a protection racket. Thomas “Big Tom” Ivan had been a partner with Cobbe. Frankie Nalley owns a red rattletrap ’52 Muscleman coupe. Salvadore Bellacore is old mafioso in Sardinia who now brokers connections. Liam Calhoun was the bad guy in Vengeance in Death, 6. The Green Flash was a high-end necklace stolen in 2046 or ’47. Alex Godinov runs a criminal enterprise in Russia. The Amazonian Group, another shell company, is owned by Reginald Privet, a figurehead. His sister, Alicia, is actually in charge.

The Garda are Irish policemen. Yvette Conroy is a licensed companion who works through Discretion. Caring Hearts is a pet rescue operation run by Tara Undall with help from her veterinarian husband. Her neighbor, Dory, is a partner; her husband is a lawyer who also helped. Tara’s own pets include Baby and Regal; Max and Sweetie are/were her fosters. Colleen is the daughter for whom Sweetie was adopted. Cobbe regularly visits Style and Substance Salon and Spa in Dublin, managed by Carleen Digby and Aidan Pierce, where Milo Cummings, Genita O’Brian, and Breen Casey work on him. Avenue A is a popular band, whose members will instruct at An Didean; it’s fronted by Jake Kincade, Nadine’s significant other. Mavis Freestone, another highly successful singer, is Eve’s best friend. Urbane is a high-end shop where Trent Bilbo is a salesman and assistant manager; Marcus is another salesman. Mr King is a valuable client. Kaylee Skye is a singer at a bar where Londa Stanski is the bartender. Marta is Kaylee’s neighbor. Handler is a security guard at the airport.

Previous victims include Ulga Rominov, a high-clearance scientist at Vandam Pharmaceutical in Budapest; Nigel Harris, a jeweler, in London; Julietta LeFarge, a human rights attorney, in Cannes; and, Ingrid Frederick, who simply had bad timing — out of over 400.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a background of rain-streaked gray green on the top, a window shattered at its bottom to frame a nighttime graphic of a rain-soaked street leading up to a triumphal arch leading into a park, caution tape up before it with three squad cars — two with lights flashing — and the city skyline behind it all. At the very top is an info blurb in black. Below it is the author’s name in a slightly shadowed bright yellow. Below the squad cars is the title in a distressed white.

The title is all about Cobbe, for he will always be the shadow in Shadows in Death.

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