Book review: Forgotten in Death by JD Robb

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 Permalink

JD Robb’s In Death series is a go-to read for me. I’ve not missed any and own most of the series. Forgotten in Death is number 53 and Nora Roberts’s creations – Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her mega-rich hubby Roarke are still going strong.

I hate the ‘guilty pleasure’ phrase as it implies there’s something wrong with what you’re enjoying but (as I’ve said before) these are akin to a comfort read. There’s a predictability – or rather reliability – about the characters and their behaviour as well as the overall story arc, but Robb / Roberts always offers readers a whodunnit that’s a bit different, though I’m not sure how she manages after so many.

Book review: Forgotten in Death by JD RobbForgotten In Death
by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #53
Published by Piatkus
on 07/09/2021
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Fantasy
ISBN: 9780349426334
Pages: 384

Lt. Eve Dallas hasn't even arrived at work when her first call of the day comes in. Alva Quirk - forty-six years old, sidewalk sleeper - was beaten to death with a crowbar. Known to the local cops for handing out origami flowers to anyone who gives her change, Alva was well-liked but with no fixed address, no job and no family, there's no one to remember her.

Eve has barely had time to examine the crime scene when her second victim of the morning is discovered just a block away. Make that second and third. Jane Doe - a well-dressed young mother and her baby shot and buried over 40 years ago.

Two very different victims in the same location with no-one to claim them. Coincidence or does the history of the site hold the answer? To uncover the truth Eve must delve into a world of family businesses, Russian mobsters and shady dealings. These two women may have been forgotten in their lifetimes but Eve Dallas won't let them be forgotten in death

I think one of the things that sustains this series is the fact the books themselves and the timeframes between books is minimal. The first in the series, Naked in Death was released in 1995 and set in 2058. Fifty-three books on we’re now (only) in 2061. Depending on how fast you read they almost unfold in real time. Kinda. And the next book picks up immediately after the last.

Eve and the gang get two crimes for the price of one here, with the discovery of bones on a building site near a recent murder. One company has ties to both sites but there’s a Russian mobster on the fringe as well.

It felt as if this took me a while to read. It seemed dense, so perhaps the pace was a little laboured… I’m not sure. Nevertheless, it’s interesting and even the recent murder – which is fairly easily solved – becomes complex when they discover the now-homeless victim has been in hiding for years.

It was confronting to hear about the 40 year old bones discovered and possible murder dating ‘back to’ 2024. Sadly it was the reminder of my own mortality rather than the tragic death of young pregnant woman that gave me pause.

Eve’s probably more dogged than usual here… even a little too obsessive (and even scheming) perhaps. But some tenacity on the cold case is required so it works in the end. There’s a bit less of the personal stuff in this outing, which will either please or disappoint readers, depending on their preferences.

I find it hard to imagine how a newcomer to the series would enjoy this. I entered part-way through myself but that was about twenty years ago and I very much enjoyed having a backlog of books to catch-up on. Of course I know the series always hits the bestseller lists so they remain consistently popular with devotees such as yours truly.

Given streaming platforms are translating soooo many books onto screen at the moment I cannot help but think what a great show this would make. Plus – 53 storylines already in the bag! However…. I suspect it would be fraught. I know for one I can’t imagine who they’d choose for key roles and how disappointed I’d be if it was screwed up. The special effects and futuristic setting though, would be amazing.

Forgotten in Death by JD Robb was published in Australia by Hachette and is now available.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 


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