Book review: Secrets in Death by JD Robb

Monday, September 18, 2017 Permalink

I requested a print copy of this book (as it’s the only series I’m attempting to collect*) and had been waiting somewhat impatiently as the release date came and went (I know… poor me! 😉 ). So when the electronic copy popped up in an online galley last week I jumped at the chance to get hold of it. Particularly given that Eve Dallas, Roarke and the In Death series are a a bit of a comfort read for me.

This is number 45 in the series and there are a few novellas and short stories as well. I know of someone for whom no. 44 was the first and they were able to enjoy it without having read the first 43, but I’d suggest if you’ve got holidays or free time, or are looking for a new series – head to the bookshop or your library and start at no. 1 and get to know the likeable and consistent characters JD Robb (Nora Roberts) has created.

Book review: Secrets in Death by JD RobbSecrets in Death
by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #45
Published by Piatkus Books
on September 5th 2017
Source: NetGalley
ISBN: 034941579X, 9780349415796, 9780349415789
Pages: 370

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…

Secrets in Death is another good quality offering in this series (in which we’ve now reached the year 2061). Interestingly this book feels like more of a straight whodunnit and doesn’t involve mass murders or anyone overly psychopathic. Well, except for the victim – Mars – who our lovely police psychologist Dr Charlotte Mira, easily labels to be a ‘sociopath’.

It’s part of Dallas’ make-up though, the fact that even though her victim is possibly more evil and unlikeable than the killer, they still deserve justice. And this case is a tad confronting for Dallas and her offsider Detective Delia Peabody in that respect as we learn of the number of people and secrets Mars was holding hostage. Dallas is frustrated that the blackmail victims didn’t feel they could go to the police, but she herself  understands the shame of some secrets….

I’ve mentioned in my last few reviews that Dallas’ boss, Commander Whitney has been AWOL, but thankfully he’s back in this new book. Albeit briefly as he only gets a few lines. Possibly he has been ill or pregnant or had some sort of scheduling conflict which rendered the actor playing his part unable to participate in recent books. Oh… wait?! #teehee

As usual there’s a good balance between stuff in Dallas and Roarke’s personal lives with the crime before them and only a couple of sex scenes which I found surprisingly palatable. (Not being a fan of sex scenes in books!) And there’s the usual stuff about Dallas’ artlessness when it comes to her gazillionaire husband’s wealth, her cynicism about all-things sentimental, her hatred for superficiality and vanity, and hidden-to-all-but-those-who-count generous-heartedness in this outing.

As an aside, I chuckled at a couple of current pop-culture references included as ‘ancient’ phrases of slang and vintage TV shows such as The Walking Dead.

I could have – but didn’t – read this in a sitting, instead savouring it over a couple of bathtime reads.

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

I received an electronic copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher for review purposes.

* And yes, had I realised Nora Roberts was going to be as prolific I probably wouldn’t have locked myself into this. Interestingly I have the first dozen or so and latest dozen(ish) so am missing some in the middle!


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