Shadows In Death is the 51st in the futuristic cop series by JD Robb. So, author Nora Roberts (writing as Robb) is obviously doing something right. The series kicked off in 1995 but—as I’ve mentioned before—our characters traverse time slowly so, Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire hubby really only exist when we’re there to see them. Just like Santa Claus. Except the opposite.
Here, Robb offers us something a little different. The ‘crime’ in question happens early, which isn’t uncommon. But usually we would spend the rest of the novel trying to work out whodunnit. Here Eve and her offsider, the delightful Detective Delia Peabody solve this pretty quickly. It’s murder for hire but things get complicated when Roarke’s (kinda sordid and unlawful) past comes back to haunt him (and those he cares about).
Shadows in Death
by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #51
Published by Hachette Australia
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Fantasy
As it often did since he'd married a cop, murder interrupted more pleasant activities. Then again, Roarke supposed, the woman lying in a pool of her own blood a few steps inside the arch in Washington Square Park had a heftier complaint.
When a night out at the theatre is interrupted by the murder of a young woman in Washington Square Park, it seems like an ordinary case for Detective Eve Dallas and her team. But when Roarke spots a shadow from his past in the crowd, Eve realises that this case is far from business as usual.
Eve has two complex cases on her hands - the shocking murder of this wealthy young mother and tracking down the shadow before he can strike again, this time much closer to home. Eve is well used to being the hunter, but how will she cope when the tables are turned?
We’ve learned a bit about Roarke’s history in previous novels (well, there have been 50 of them!) but it’s revisited here so if you’re just joining the series you get some backstory.
In short, there’s a vicious killer on the loose. Which isn’t uncommon. But Lorcan Cobbe has got a Roarke-sized chip on his shoulder that’s been growing since their childhood. Of course, we (and all of their friends and colleagues) know the Eve Dallas / Roarke team is basically invincible so all should be good. But we’re happy to settle in for the ride anyway.
I loved that this novel takes us in a slightly different direction. A cat and mouse or mouse and cat kinda scenario. Instead of needing to identify a killer, they’re trying to track one down. One who’s eluded Interpol (which exists in 2060 you’ll be happy to know!) and chalked up over 400 murders. Eve, Roarke and the team do lots of digging here and unearthing of detail about Cobbe and (as usual) I enjoyed this element.
I have to admit however the last few chapters became a little too fantastic. I mean, I know it’s the year 2061 but this felt a little over-the-top… an action-loving techie’s wet dream or similar. I was also unconvinced Cobbe would so easily change his plans near the end.
That being said, this novel is excellent fun. Robb knows her characters well. Regular readers will be happy to see a little more of Eve’s boss Whitney here as well as her mentor Feeney. And there’s a stronger focus on relationships as well as actions and repercussions, which I liked as it reminded me of the early days (years or, ummm… decades?) of the series.
Shadows In Death by JD Robb was published in Australia by Hachette is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.