This entry is the 11th of the In Death series by J. D. Robb. At the time of this review there are actually 37 novels and several short story/novellas to the series. And they are definitely novels that are best read in order if you wish to understand the personalities and the group dynamics involved, All characters in this novel, both major and secondary, have been in place since the beginning.
We have 3 major plot lines running through this book. First, literally on the opening page, there’s a killer who’s murdering cops in a brutal manner, leaving 30 coins with the body and the cop’s badge smeared with blood. Secondly, we have a psychotic and brutal mobster who wants Roarke’s ruin and is somehow tied into the cop killings. And thirdly, we have a serious marital crisis between Roarke and Eve, the catalyst of which is the mobster’s attack on Eve. Everything is at once parallel and circular.
As far as the first plot line, I had the killer pegged, complete with motive, by the end of the first chapter. It really wasn’t that obvious; something just clicked. So, for the rest of the novel, I just relaxed back and waited to see if Eve came to the same conclusions.
As to the second plot line, the way the author took down that psycho was a beauty to read. Some of the set-up scenes were a bit ugly, but then they always are.
Now the third plot line was a bit intense but quite necessary for both the progression of the case and the marriage. At one point, actually for about one-fourth of the book, the author writes Roarke’s actions toward Eve in such a way that you become quite infuriated with him. In fact, I just wanted to reach inside the pages, snatch him bald-headed, and straighten his ego right out. However, in a later scene, Robb has Dr. Mira, the police forensic psychiatrist, explain to the reader a quite plausible explanation for the behavior. More enlightened into the psyche of a man with Roarke’s intelligence and wealth, I calmed off and got back to catching the person I thought was the murderer.
As usual, the work of J. D. Robb was top-notch. One minute you’re smiling, the next you’re incensed, and then you’re horrified. But it is always a sweet ride through the logic and a roller coaster ride through the emotions.
Cover art from Goodreads