Book review: Connections in Death by JD Robb

Sunday, March 3, 2019 Permalink

This book arrived later than expected and I’d started to worry it was’t coming. JD Robb’s In Death series is ‘go-to’ read for me; a comfort read. I’ve demolished them all – the early ones several times.

But – I needn’t have feared as this – the 48th in the series – turned up in the mail at the end of a working week when I most certainly needed something entertaining to lift my spirits. (And there’s nothing like murder and mayhem to do just that!)

Book review: Connections in Death by JD RobbConnections in Death
by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #48
on February 5th 2019
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
ISBN: 034942201X, 9780349422015
Pages: 400

Homicide cop Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke, are building a brand-new school and youth shelter. They know that the hard life can lead kids toward dangerous crossroads—and with this new project, they hope to nudge a few more of them onto the right path. For expert help, they hire child psychologist Dr. Rochelle Pickering—whose own brother pulled himself out of a spiral of addiction and crime with Rochelle’s support.

Lyle is living with Rochelle while he gets his life together, and he’s thrilled to hear about his sister’s new job offer. But within hours, triumph is followed by tragedy. Returning from a celebratory dinner with her boyfriend, she finds Lyle dead with a syringe in his lap, and Eve’s investigation confirms that this wasn’t just another OD. After all his work to get clean, Lyle’s been pumped full of poison—and a neighbor with a peephole reports seeing a scruffy, pink-haired girl fleeing the scene.

Now Eve and Roarke must venture into the gang territory where Lyle used to run, and the ugly underground world of tattoo parlors and strip joints where everyone has taken a wrong turn somewhere. They both believe in giving people a second chance. Maybe even a third or fourth. But as far as they’re concerned, whoever gave the order on Lyle Pickering’s murder has run out of chances…

I’ve talked a lot about the characters in this book. A newcomer could pick one up and read it as Robb (ie. Nora Roberts) provides enough backstory to get you through, but I think the series works better for regular readers. In reality – after the first dozen or so – the overarching story arc hasn’t progressed much, but that’s kinda fine as I’m happily settled in with the regular cast and a few newcomers and outliers.

Dallas’s involvement in this case is a result of a newcomer (who will probably remain an outlier we meet from time to time). It’s startingly low-tech for a futuristic death (murder thinly disguised as a faked drug overdose) with feuding gangs thrown in. But of course, all is not as it seems.

At 400 pages. given the ‘lightness’ (for the want of a better word) of this book, it could drag. But it doesn’t. Robb / Roberts paces it well and there’s constantly something happening. We probably see less of everyone’s personal lives in this outing, but there’s still that underlying theme of second-chances and right and wrong vs legal and illegal.

I commented earlier on the whole stalled story-arc thing and it’s only writing this now that I worry the series is going to become stale (NB. I felt it had a few books ago, but it picked up again.)

There’s only so many times Dallas can eye-roll about socialising or joust with ‘manservant’ Summerset, offsider Peabody can bounce about enthusiastically or Dallas and Roarke can have amazing sex.

I mentioned in a previous review I thought Robb should introduce a kid into Dallas and Roarke’s life. Either their own or someone they adopt / care for. I’m not sure how a pregnancy and motherhood would sit with regular readers…. not to mention Eve Dallas. It’d be tempting to introduce too many cliches about her suitability for motherhood etc. I think I’d prefer a child to be foisted upon them (as I thought was going to happen 20 or so books ago – from memory when friends of theirs ended up fostering a young girl).

It’s not that I don’t enjoy this series. I’m sure I’ve likened it to an old comfy warm blanket (as I did with Sue Grafton’s – now ended – alphabet series; or Robert B Parker’s Spenser series). It comforts no matter what and feels akin to catching up with old friends.

Connections 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.


Comments are closed.