Book review: Vendetta in Death by JD Robb

Saturday, October 12, 2019 Permalink

I participated in some Q&A thingy on Twitter the other day. Someone asked a range of questions for followers to answer. One was: which author’s books do we own the most of. (And I’m sure that sentence isn’t grammatically correct, but #whatevs!)

Mine was pretty easy. Thirty-two (32) JD Robb books from the In Death series, I said. And number 33 arrived the day after.

Of course, her latest Vendetta in Death, is in fact the 49th in the futuristic cop series and I’m fairly sure I just requested the next for review – the aptly named Golden In Death – out in February 2020.

Book review: Vendetta in Death by JD RobbVendetta in Death
by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #49
Published by Piatkus
on September 3rd 2019
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
ISBN: 0349422036, 9780349422046
Pages: 356

She calls herself Lady Justice. And once she has chosen a man as her target, she turns herself into a tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead, makes herself as alluring and seductive as possible to them. Once they are in her grasp, they are powerless.

The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s human resources department has already paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims—but they don’t know that his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice knows. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price.

Now Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, are combing through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life. His compulsive need to record his misdeeds provides them with a wide range of suspects, but the true identity of Lady Justice remains elusive. It’s a challenging case, made even more difficult by McEnroy’s widow, who reacts to the investigation with fury, denial, and threats. Meanwhile, Lady Justice’s criminal crusade is escalating rapidly, and if Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled…

I was a bit late getting this one and somehow missed requesting it in advance. It’s a ‘go-to’ series for me (obviously) and they’re so regular I don’t forget what happened in the previous book of the series.

I wonder if it’d be slightly difficult to (newly) enter this series that’s been going for so long. I came in part-way through (at least 15yrs ago) and remember, once I discovered it, reserving ALL of the earlier books from the local library over a Christmas – New Year week and reading one after the other until I’d caught up. (I later bought the first twenty-odd until the store stopped stocking the older books).

I’ve mentioned this in earlier reviews, but Robb (Nora Roberts) actually preserves time in between each book, so the next opens not long after its predecessor finishes…. which is why only a few years have passed over the 50 books.

Interestingly I’d just read a book by Lisa Unger about revenge killers and the ethical… ‘is it ever right’ debate and here we’re offered something a little similar.

There’s a distinct lack of consistency in the payback rendered to the (new) victims however, which kinda points Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Detective Delia Peabody in the direction of the killer. We also know ‘who’ it is then but there’s a bit of a race against time to save final victims and I found myself turning the pages quickly… a sure sign I was invested. Even though – again – the potential victim deserved…. well, perhaps not cattle prods and castration, but punishment of some kind.

Robb / Roberts demonstrates an easy familiarity with the main players. She’s had a while to get to know them and her devoted readers have had a while to bond with them. Their dialogue remains smart and sassy and eminently entertaining.

Roarke (Eve’s mega-zillionaire husband) remains as enigmatic as ever. I’m usually torn between indignation over his ‘possessiveness’ of Eve’s health and emotions (in an annoyingly paternal way); or sighing wistfully over his unabashed adoration of – and respect for – her. Mostly I feel jealous and decide he’s too good to be true.

Of course there are a few new additions from time to time but the support cast is a strong one and Robb / Roberts manages to allocate them enough time that we get a sense of who they are without losing focus on the main plot.

I end each book wondering where Robb / Roberts will take Eve and Roarke – personally, rather than professionally. Several books ago I felt the quality had dipped a little and I’m not sure if that’s because the mysteries / crimes on offer were a tad tedious, or if it felt the cast was going nowhere and there was no personal growth. I’m no longer left with that frustration, which is a good thing, but I do wonder if the author has an ultimate story arc in mind for them all.

Vendetta 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. 


Comments are closed.