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

Posted March 4, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Vengeance in Death by J.D. Robb
Genres: Mystery, Detective, Police Procedural, Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley on March 3, 2007
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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, Shadows in Death, Faithless in Death, Naked in Death, Glory in Death, Immortal in Death, Rapture in Death, Ceremony in Death, Conspiracy in Death, Loyalty in Death, Witness in Death, Judgment in Death, Seduction in Death, Reunion in Death

Sixth in the In Death futuristic romantic suspense series revolving around a detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas in the New York City of November in 2058.

In 1998, Vengeance in Death received awards for Feistiest Heroine, Favorite Heroine, Favorite Couple, and Honorable Mentions for Favorite Hero and Favorite Romantic Suspense. In 1997, it received the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Futuristic Romance and the Romance Readers Anonymous Award for Best Alternative Realities Romance.

My Take

Dallas’ character arc over the series is progressing, as she acknowledges that her past is opening up and that Roarke is instrumental in helping her survive the memories and her nightmares, which we learn through Robb’s use of third person global subjective point-of-view from primarily Dallas’ and then Roarke’s perspectives. We also hear from a number of other characters — good and bad.

Oooh, Feeney’s in Mexico courtesy of Roarke, and his wife is thinking he’s a god, lol.

There are plenty of fun characteristics built in, from Dallas’ crappy relationship with Maintenance and IT, her ignorance of culture — and Roarke’s delight with real books and old movies, her destruction of cars, her poor relationship with her office computer, how much she hates MTs and hospitals, and how frustrating it is that Roarke seems to own most of New York, *more laughter* Dallas is very much the colorful character.

The sexy Roarke . . .

“‘Peabody, you are a jewel.’

She flushed, and her stomach fluttered pleasantly. ‘Yeah, well, ah . . . you were an only child, right?'”

Dallas lays into Summerset and lays out what he hates about her. It was a good one. Another “good one”, in completely the opposite direction, is what Dallas discovers about the purpose behind these hideous murders. Roarke and Dallas are both so furious with each other. I gotta confess, I’m on Roarke’s side on this one.

We learn quite a bit more about Marlena. Jesus. I will never, ever, understand why criminals think it’s okay for them to hit on you but it’s unacceptable for you to hit back. What’s with that?

Both Dallas and Roarke have their flashbacks, so we continue to learn what formed their characters. We get a special visit into the past when Roarke goes back to his old neighborhood.

We also get plenty of their snark, lol.

“We hardly ever kick widows around in the morgue anymore. It’s bad for public relations.”

Hmm, sounds like Summerset shouldn’t quit his day job. That Peabody sounds danged handy as per her Free-Ager background. All sorts of family members in the arts, handcrafting, cooking, gardening . . . you name it.

Food is such a muddle in 2058. All those soy products! Yuck! It does crack me up when Dallas’ team glow when eating “real eggs” from chickens! Real pig! Enjoy our bounty while we’ve got it, people, lol.

Weird. The story starts in the late summer of 2058 and then we’re suddenly in late November. What’s with that?

For fun filler, we find Eve going after cabbies, pickpockets, and more. As for Summerset? Yep, as much as Eve hates him, she jumps in for Summerset . . . and I don’t mean yelling at him. This time.

Phew, it’s an action-packed story driven by its characters, full of police procedure and a real page-turner!

The Story

He is an expert with the latest technology . . . a madman with the mind of a genius and the heart of a killer. He quietly stalks his prey. Then he haunts the police with cryptic riddles about the crimes he is about to commit — always solved moments too late to save his victims’ lives.

Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas found the first victim butchered in his own home. The second lost his life in a vacant luxury apartment. The two men had little in common. Both suffered unspeakable torture before their deaths. And both had ties to an ugly secret of ten years past — a secret shared by none other than Eve’s new husband, Roarke.

The Characters

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is the head of Homicide at Cop Central, and she’s married to the gorgeous (and sneaky) Roarke. An Irish billionaire with magic hands, he’s always slipping into her investigations. Galahad is the tubby cat Dallas inherited in Naked in Death, 1. The skinny Lawrence Charles Summerset, a.k.a. Basil Kolchek, is Roarke’s majordomo and handles all things household. Marlena Kolchek is/had been Summerset’s daughter and will forever be fourteen.

Nadine Furst, Channel 75’s on-air ace reporter, is a friend of Dallas’. The singing Mavis Freestone is colorful and Dallas’ best friend. Leonardo is the love of her life who designs the most amazing fashions.

Officer Delia Peabody is Dallas’ aide. Detective Baxter is in Homicide. Captain Ryan Feeney is the head of the Electronic Detective Division (EDD); he’s been Dallas’ mentor in the past and a friend and father figure today. One of his boys is Detective Ian McNab who loves his colors and joined EDD six months ago. Dr Li Morris is the chief medical examiner and also likes to wear color, more tastefully. Tibble is the chief of police. Commander Jack Whitney is Dallas’ supervisor. Lieutenant Medavoy from Anti-Crime can’t park. Tweeser was the head sweeper on the Brennen case.

Boyhood friends and contacts of Roarke’s include Thomas X Brennen, CEO of The Brennen Group. Eileen Brennen is Tommy’s wife; one of their children is Maize. Katherine Hastings, who has a shop called Noticeable Woman, is a friend of Eileen’s. Strobie is the doorman at the Brennens’ residence.

Maureen Mulligan works at the Green Shamrock (Mike is her young man), but not Bob McBride who was fired last month. Shawn Conroy is on the later shift while Sinead Duggin comes on at six. Patrick Murray works as a janitor at the Mermaid Club and is currently separated from his beloved Loretta due to his preference for Jamison’s.

Audrey Morrell teaches watercolor and is kind of dating Summerset! John Henry “Boner” Bonning threw Charles “Chuck” Michael Renekee out a window. The Scottoline merger is being finalized. The BVM is the Blessed Virgin Mary. Young Kevin is used as a messenger; Dopey is his kitten. And his interaction with Roarke is so sweet! Bobby delivers flowers.

Roarke Industries
There are three techs in Roarke’s electronics department: Suwan-Lee, Billings Nibb, and A.A. Dillard.

Dublin, Ireland
The Penny Pig was the pub Roarke and his friends patronized. One of those old friends, Brian Kelly, now owns it and Michael O’Toole and Johnny work there. Inspector Katherine Farrell is a member of the Garda.

Robbie Browning is still a guest of the government. Jenny O’Leary now runs a B&B in Wexford. Jack married Sheila and they have six kids now.

Inspector Maguire had investigated Marlena’s torture-murder. Shamus O’Malley and Michael O’Malley are in the system. Annie Murphy had married Michael despite her experiences. There are four Riley brothers, including Brian “Black” Riley. One of the O’Riley brothers did security for an electronics firm. Rory McNee is another of the six. Mary Patricia Calhoun née McNally is a widow now with a son, Liam. James Calhoun is now a doctor. Francis Rowan became a priest. Jamie Rowan is smart and smug. Jimmy O’Neal had a butcher shop. Ryan‘s a bad one but doesn’t fit the profile. Patrick Roarke had been Roarke’s abusive father.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a hellish feel to it with the deep orange sky with clouds of yellow, the demonic towers on either side of the brownish orange church pointing into the sky, and the deep dark brown of the bottom half of the background. At the very top is an info blurb in brown against a red background. Immediately below it is the author’s name in white. Just below the base of the church is a testimonial in white with the title surrounding it, also in white.

The title is what they are seeking, Vengeance in Death.

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