Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thankless in Death by J.D. Robb

Confession time.  I think I've read everything Nora Roberts has written including all 37, yes 37, of her In Death novels written under the pen name J.D. Robb.  I'm pretty sure I've read all the assorted novellas and short stories (I think there are 12) that go along with the In Death series too.  Another confession, I'm a series-aholic.  When I get involved in a series it is really, really hard for me to give up on it.  Have I loved all the In Death novels?  No, some of them I can barely remember.  Luckily they are pretty formulaic.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the New York Police and Security Department (NYPSD) investigates a murder or murders in the mid-21st century.  She enlists the help of the officers within her division, including her trusty sidekick Deliah Peabody.  During the case she will need to do something that almost crosses the line into being illegal and she usually calls upon her husband Rourke to perform those tasks.

In Thankless in Death, Robb's 37th entry into the series Eve is once again pursuing a murderer.  Even though Eve has to solve the mystery and find the bad guy we know exactly who and where he is right from the start. Jerald Reinhold has had enough of everyone telling him he is worthless and lazy.  Everyone who has ever crossed him, including his parents, must pay with their lives. By committing the act of murder Jerald is convinced he has finally done what everyone has been telling him to do, grow up and be a man.  Murder is the one thing Jerald seems to be good at and now he has New York's top cop pursing him.  For Jerald, having Eve Dallas on the case just makes him feel more powerful.  

This was a solid entry in the In Death series.  It lacked the frantic pace of many of the novels even though Eve wanted to solve everything before the Thanksgiving invasion of friends and family.   It was interesting reading the book knowing Eve was just one step behind Jerald and wondering when she was going to catch up with him.  Logically I knew that would happen at the end of the book, but the chase certainly moved the story forward. Jerald was a horrible person thereby making a pretty good "bad guy".  I think my favorite part of the book was the appearance of some characters from previous installments.  Another thing I really enjoyed in this book,  Eve is finally seems to be getting comfortable in her new life.

Eve and Rourke are two very flawed individuals who had terrible things happen to them growing-up.  Finding one another essentially began the healing process for both of them.  Despite their similar past they have different personalities.  Eve is socially awkward and has a really difficult time believing she is worthy of love.  Rourke is gregarious and easy with people.  Both are invested in their work, but Rourke knows when to stop, while Eve seems to push herself to the breaking point. I feel that Eve makes a pretty big step into having a normal life with family and friends in Thankless in Death.  She finally seems to be able to balance work and home, to take time to have a life outside of the job. 

Now here is the question many people ask when it comes to a series like In Death.  Do you need to read every book in order?  Though there are mentions of past cases and past people in nearly all the books I don't think it is imperative that you read every book or even read them in exact order.  However, for Thankless in Death, it does help if you have read Naked in Death (book 1), Survivor in Death (book 20), Origin in Death (book 21), and Delusion in Death (book 35).

In just 6 short months the 38th book will be in stores and, of course, the library.  Thankless in Death is out now and Concealed in Death is scheduled for publication February 25, 2014.  Check back in about mid-January to place a hold.  Another thing I enjoy about the In Death series; Robb has created a futuristic world where cars can hover and fly vertically, people can change their appearance on a whim, and all kinds of gadgets exist to make life easier.  I'm sure back in 1995 when Robb published the first book of the series two of those gadgets, a PPC (personal palm computer) and a 'link (cell phone) seemed very futuristic.  I know there were cell phones in 1995, but Robb's vision of the a small 'link that everyone owns and fits easily in a pocket probably seemed far-fetched.  In my mind a PPC looks very much like a tablet, possibly an iPad Mini or a Google Nexus 7.  Now when are we going to get cars that can hover and fly vertically? 

~ Amy, Adult Services

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