Book review: Golden in Death by JD Robb

Thursday, February 6, 2020 Permalink

JD Robb’s ‘In Death’ futuristic cop series is one of my ‘go-to’ reads. The arrival of a new instalment leap-frogs anything else in my to-be-read pile or reading queue. Golden in Death actually arrived on its publication day so I was completely justified in delving into it straight away.

Embarrassingly I really didn’t twig (for some time) that the book’s title was a nod to the fact that this is the 50th in the series. D’oh!

Book review: Golden in Death by JD RobbGolden In Death
by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #50
Published by Piatkus
on 04/02/2020
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction
ISBN: 9780349422077
Pages: 352

Pediatrician Kent Abner received the package on a beautiful April morning. Inside was a cheap trinket, a golden egg that could be opened into two halves. When he pried it apart, highly toxic airborne fumes entered his body and killed him.

After Eve Dallas calls the hazmat team and undergoes testing to reassure both her and her husband that she hasn't been exposed it's time to look into Dr Abner's past and relationships. Not every victim Eve encounters is an angel, but it seems that Abner came pretty close though he did ruffle some feathers over the years by taking stands for the weak and defenseless.

While the lab tries to identify the deadly toxin, Eve hunts for the sender. But when someone else dies in the same grisly manner, it becomes clear that she's dealing with either a madman or someone who has a hidden and elusive connection to both victims.

I’ve mentioned before, the interesting thing about this series by Robb (Nora Roberts) is that it tracks really slowly, with each new release picking up almost immediately after its predecessor. So, though we’re up to book number 50, it’s the year 2061 and yet, when Robb introduced the characters back in 1995, it was 2058. It’s like the characters are ageing in dog years. Either way when Roberts started the books they were set 63 years into the future, it’s now just 41 years.

Twenty five human years later, only three years have passed in Robb’s world. 

I’ve written before about Robb’s comfort with the characters and their stories so I won’t harp on about how well they’re all developed and grounded.

Rather, another thing Robb continues to offer throughout this series (that really stood out here) is a sense of the victims.

It occurred to me, as we met Kent Abner before he succumbs to poisonous gas, that I felt kinda sad about his demise. It felt unfair. And the grief of his husband and those who knew him was palpable.

We often meet some of the victims before they’re labelled thus. There’s not always the same level of connection, but Robb definitely engages readers in feeling remorse and injustice on behalf of those whose murders Eve investigates.

I know I sometimes eyeroll at the sex scenes in these books and there’s a part of me that worries that Robb makes Eve a bit of a fragile thing who falls asleep and needs to be carried to bed, prompted to eat etc (akin to Bella from Twilight) though at the same time tough as nails…. but I tagged this (wordy!) phrase as it captures her relationship with gazillionaire hubby Roarke well…

But it worked – really worked, she thought. And one of the reasons it works so well was knowing she’d come home – and there was a glittering word – with this fresh weight on her shoulders, and he’d be there.

He’d look at her the way her looked at her that always, still, probably forever, brought a skip to her heartbeat. He’d make her eat something, even if she didn’t want to, which was both annoying and precious.

And he’d listen. No bitching about her being late, no guilt trips. He’d listen, offer to help and, with all of him, bring her a peace of mind she’d never expected to have in her life. p 25

I rarely read others’ reviews of books and certainly not before I’ve written my own, but I saw someone comment on this series…. that it’s possible to pick up a book – any book – and read it in isolation. It doesn’t matter if it is the 13th or the 46th. They also commented that they immediately wanted to read those preceding it to catch up with everything that came before. (I know it’s certainly what I did on discovering them a couple of decades ago!)

Golden 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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