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

Posted September 18, 2019 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Vendetta 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.

Vendetta in Death by J.D. Robb
Genres: Romantic Suspense
on September 3, 2019
Pages: 368
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", Golden in Death, Shadows in Death, Faithless in Death

Forty-ninth in the In Death romantic suspense series and revolving around Lieutenant Eve Dallas in the New York of April 2061.

My Take

What a load of crap. I don’t know who actually wrote this. If it really was “Robb”, a.k.a., Nora Roberts, she is really bored with writing the series. It was all surface…yuck…with assorted details tossed in that relate to the characters, but are nothing as usually presented. It simply did not read true to previous stories. Not to mention all the “mentions” the video got — that made me wonder if the movie was the star of this.

Robb uses a third person dual point-of-view from Dallas’ and Darla’s perspectives, and I think Dallas must be on Valium. There’s so little snark in this. Dallas and Peabody’s exchanges about the victims and survivors are…tame. As for Dallas’ behavior at the transpo center…WTF? When did she become such a wimp? There’s all the oohing and aahing over the “stars” of The Icove Agenda, and yet Dallas barely reacts to it. I barely recognized this Dallas for how easygoing she is about a lot of events.

Since when is Dallas summoned to Tibble’s office? This moment is also the only time Whitney appears…with that lame dialogue. I know we don’t normally discover what happens to the bad guys at the end once Dallas has arrested them, but there are all these perpetrators that Dallas is coordinating with SVU to put them away, and we don’t get to find out anything? Not even who she’s working with?

Oh, please, that scene with the heat and e-sensors that was so vague about people’s positions…?? It’s as if we’re still in 1999, technology-wise. And what is with all the repetition as to who is with who and where they’re supposed to go? Padding by the writer? Alzheimer’s for the characters? Roarke’s EDD mates? I thought he liked to “play with his friends”? The pizza scene with Dallas’ comment about Roarke’s deal with her office AC?

There’s an interesting take on Dallas’ early career when Feeney comes across a nasty scene that is ripe for exploitation. And Robb doesn’t really do much with it. Actually, there are a number of opportunities whoever the author really is didn’t use. There’s so little action between Dallas and all the security guards she encounters. And no, they don’t all work for Roarke.

Laughing, oh yeah, $22 mil is small change. As for Eve’s comment about the lookie-loos passing an accident scene…oh, yeah!! I so agree! But I hadn’t considered popcorn?!

I’m liking the relationship developing between Roarke and Nadine’s Jake. I also appreciate that Dallas is still into helping people. At least that’s still accurate.

I gotta say I was sympathizing with Lady Justice until Dallas pointed out how much longer the agony would be if the perpetrators were in jail.

Ya know, Robb has a good premise. It’s too bad no one was interested in writing it well. I normally read a new In Death release, review it, and then re-read it for the pure joy of it. This one? I won’t bother. Nor will I be spending my money on it for my own collection.

The Story

It’s a nasty slice of a death that brings Lieutenant Dallas and Detective Peabody out in the wee hours. As more victims are discovered, Dallas and Peabody find a commonality among them. One that explains the killer who calls herself Lady Justice.

There’s no telling how much blood will spill, if Eve can’t stop Lady Justice’s criminal crusade from escalating.

The Characters

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in charge of Homicide at Cop Central. Roarke is her mega-hunk bazillionaire husband who is so very supportive of her career, her passion. Summerset is Roarke’s major domo and father figure. Galahad is their fat, happy cat. An Didean is the shelter for troubled kids Roarke is funding.

Mavis is a singing sensation these days and Dallas’ best friend. 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. Trina is the stylist who terrifies Dallas.

Homicide, New York Police and Security Department (NYPSD)
Detective Delia Peabody is Dallas’ partner. Josie McNamara is Peabody’s grandmother whom Eloise remembers well. Detective Jenkinson has a thing for virulent ties while his partner, Reineke, is color coordinating with socks. Detective Trueheart is still a sweetheart and an interesting contrast to Detective Baxter, who doesn’t make any cracks regarding his favorite hobby. Detective Santiago keeps losing bets with Carmichael.

Captain Ryan Feeney heads up EDD, the Electronic Detectives Division. Detectives Callendar and Ian McNab are some of Feeney’s boys. Ian is also Peabody’s live-in boyfriend.

Dr Charlotte Mira is the chief profiler for the police. Dick “Dickhead” Berenski is the chief lab tech. A jerk, but really good at his job. Harvo is the queen of hair and fiber. Tibble is the chief of police. Commander Whitney is Eve’s boss. Dr Morris is the head medical examiner. Cher Reo is an assistant prosecuting attorney who frequently works with Dallas.

Officers Rigby, Keller, and Andrew show up on assorted scenes. Brigg Cohen used to be on the job and now works night security.

Detective Lavina Smythe works for the Metropolitan Police in London.

Darla Pettigrew has moved in with Grand, a.k.a., Eloise Callahan, an award-winning and very famous actress, a widow who still mourns her husband, Bradley Stone. Donnalou Harris is the in-home nurse helping Grand through her pneumonia; Harry is Donnalou’s husband. Data Point is the company Darla created. Maura Fitzgerald was a character Eloise played.

Nigel B. McEnroy is brilliant in business, that of placing the right person in the right job with Perfect Placement. Outside of business? You don’t want to know. Geena McEnroy is his wife, and they have two daughters. Frances Early is the girls’ tutor. Lance Po is McEnroy’s admin; he’s married to Westley Schupp who teaches art and coaches football at a high school. The hard-hitting Sylvia Brant runs the New York office; Ray is her husband.

Tisha Feinstein is engaged to Clipper Vance and lives in the same building as McEnroy. Tisha’s friend Lydia has a brother who’s a cop.

Women for Women is…
…a support group…for women. It’s led by Natalia Zula who is dating Geo Fong. Her daughter, Kendra Zula, set up the group’s webpage.

Leah Lester now works for Universal Financial. Nick Forret is head of security. The jerky Jim is with building security. Londa, female security, knows a Lt Dana Shelby at Central. Abner Henry is a client Leah’s been trying to land. Frank “Frankie” Carvindito, an editor for Vanguard Publishing, is the boyfriend Leah is hoping to want.

Jasmine Quirk moved to Chicago. Jessica Alden now works at the Broadmoore as a marketing executive and is no longer dating Chad. Rowan Rosenberg is a student at Julliard. Emilie Gorman was the oldest. Cecily Freeman is gay. Una Kagen Ruzaki has a son, Sam. Her cheap ex, Arlo Kagen, has serious drinking issues. Tiller is the bartender at the Nowhere. Rachel Fassley‘s son is Jonah; her husband, Chaz, had been murdered. James Tyler had been the son-half of the travel brokers. Sasha Cullins brought an accusation, and Grant Flick is serving time. Jacie Pepperdine is a singer who ran afoul of Ryder Cooke, the head of Delray, a star-maker. Ming was raped at a party by Gregory Sullivan and Devin Noonan.

Sherri Brinkman was dumped by her jerk of an ex, Linus Brinkman, the CEO of Lodestar Corporation which promotes events. He’s currently cohabbing with LaDale Gerald. She’s a piece of work! Wynona is security at reception. Hermine is the droid maid. Ulysses is Gerald’s stylist. Darren is in charge of security at the transpo center; Len is the idiot guard; and, Monika mans the check-in counter. I don’t think Darren or Len got the memo…

Thaddeus Pettigrew epitomizes the worst about lawyers and is a partner at Moses, Berkshire, Logan, and Pettigrew. Marcella “Marci” Horowitz is his helpless girlfriend. Her mother, Bondita Rothchild; her sister, Rozelle; and a friend, Claudia Johannsen, took a trip with Marci.

Maxim Snow is the manager for This Place and has lined up Tee DeCarlo, head server; Edmund Mi, who works the door; and, Lippy Lace and Win Gregor, bartenders. Blick is the midnight bartender. Araby Clark is the owner of Discretion, a company that dispatches licensed companions. Kerry is the receptionist.

Lady Justice” seeks justice for women wronged. Her alter egos include Solange who is French, Angelique, and Selena who is compensation. Wilford is her droid accomplice. Jimmy is another droid.

Drivers include Shelly, Oliver Printz, and Viktor, who is Brinkman’s usual driver. Ms Kinder is frail these days. Mark and Jeannie Horchow are from Toledo.

The Cover and Title

The cover breaks with Robb’s usual with a top two-thirds of cracked bluish-gray cement for a background and a relief of scales of justice imposed on it. The lower third is the city skyline, birds flying in the late twilight sky, the river running from left to right, lights reflecting green on its waters. The top edge of the graphic appears burned with a torn edge. There’s an info blurb at the top in black. The author’s name is centered over the scales in an embossed metallic dark green. The title is in an embossed distressed white across the graphic.

The title is her mission, a Vendetta in Death, taking vengeance for woman wronged.

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