Sep 112014
 

Festive in Death The kitchen knife jammed into his cold heart pinned a cardboard sign to his well-toned chest. It read: Santa Says You’ve Been Bad!!! Ho, Ho, Ho!

It’s Christmas, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in no mood to celebrate. While her charismatic husband Roarke plans a huge, glittering party, Eve has murder on her mind.

The victim – personal trainer Trey Ziegler – was trouble in life and is causing even more problems in death. Vain, unfaithful and vindictive, Trey had cultivated a lot of enemies. Which means Eve has a lot of potential suspects. And when she and Detective Peabody uncover Trey’s sinister secret, the case takes a deadly turn.

Christmas may be a festival of light, but Eve and Roarke will be forced once more down a very dark path in their hunt for the truth.

I honestly don’t know how J.D. Robb does it.  Thirty-nine books in and the stories are still fresh, gripping, emotional and funny. I keep expecting some dip in form, some ‘haven’t I read this before’ feeling but no, Festive in Death was just unique and brilliant.

The full cast we’ve come to know and love are back and as colourful as ever.  Peabody is a favourite of mine in particular, because of how she copes with Eve’s acerbic nature.  She gives as good as she gets but in her own style which makes me laugh.

Eve herself makes a lot of progress in this book, realising just how important the connections with her friends are and there are several moments that made me a bit weepy but with a big grin at the same time. Her bafflement with social norms never fail to make me laugh and Roarke’s fierce love and patience with her are wonderful.  She is her usual sarcastic and kick-ass self but her sharp edges are getting just a little softer.  Not that she would admit to it!

The crime is a sneaky one, J.D. Robb is a master at getting you to look one way while she sneaks something in elsewhere and in this book she does it wonderfully well, keeping you guessing until the last minute.  As always, the police procedure elements are extremely well written and give you the sense that it’s not all action; cases also get solved through hard work and digging through evidence, witnesses and backgrounds until you get to the truth.

The pace of the book gives you a sense of urgency; with Christmas approaching the need to get to the answers before things shut down or people go away to visit relatives is a mounting pressure.  Also looming is the party, and that was just so good I had to read it again.  Cue weepy joyful things and Eve’s antisocial tendencies, run ins with Summerset and you have one amazing read.

This book just hit all my buttons and as usual I absolutely can’t wait for the next.

Just sensational!

If you want to start with this series (and you really, really should!) then Naked in Death is the first book.

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (39)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Sep 012014
 

Thankless in Death: 37 Murder doesn’t stop for Thanksgiving. As the household of NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke prepares for an invasion of family and friends, an ungrateful son decides to stop the nagging from his parents – by ending their lives. Soon Jerald Reinhold is working his way through anyone who has ever thwarted him in his path to an easy life.

This is the 37th full length offering from J.D. Robb and it does not disappoint. Yet another murderer cutting down people for his own twisted pleasure, but in this story we spend a lot of time inside the murderer’s head as he justifies his actions – what a selfish sick bastard he is. There is no mystery as to who has done the killings, the plot is all about trying to catch him.

This book is much more about the main police story and does not focus so much on the relationships of our favourite characters, although we do get to see Eve and Roarke in their home environment and of course they have sex!  Eve has a big decision to make in this book and comes to an acceptance about herself and her role in the NYPSD.

As always, the author manages to inject emotion into the story and I found myself laughing and crying at some points particularly towards the end when we have Roarke’s entire Irish clan descend, along with some characters from previous books.

It is really difficult to keep coming up with things to say about this series as each book is as good as the last. There is little to no romance in this book, just Eve and her team doing good police work and as always having just a bit of luck – although at times it seems luck is very much with the perpetrator and against Eve.

Overall another great ‘In Death’ story with smatterings of humour that do not detract from the main story and indeed the books would not be the same without the quirks that make up Eve and Roarke’s life.

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (37)
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Rating: ★★★★½ 

 

Jul 142014
 

Concealed in Death: 38 There is nothing unusual about billionaire Roarke supervising work on his new property – but when he takes a ceremonial swing at the first wall, he uncovers the body of a girl. And then another – in fact twelve dead girls in all. Luckily for Roarke, he is married to the best police Lieutenant in town, Eve Dallas…

Another good story from J.D. Robb,  I am amazed at how she continues to think up different stories 38 books in.  While I don’t think this was as good as some of the other ones in the series, it is still up there. The story was much slower paced than usual and it was clear who the murderer was well before the end of the book – even I guessed it! There were the inevitable parallels with Eve’s childhood when it turns out the building was a centre for delinquent teens, but fortunately this is glossed over rather than made into a mountain.

I love Eve and Roarke, they are one of my favourite fictional couples, they are very settled in their relationship now and this is evidenced by the interactions between them in this book. One thing I did miss though, was the inclusion of the larger cast that we’ve grown to love – very little even with Peabody. On the plus side there were some new characters introduced (both shady and not so shady!) who I think will be featured in later books.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and J.D. Robb remains one of my must read authors, anyone new to the series could easily pick up here with no problems and enjoy it. I would definitely advise making time to read the earlier books in the series however, to truly appreciate the individuals that are Eve and Roarke.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (38)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Sep 252013
 

New York To Dallas: 33 As a rookie cop with good instincts and a dose of luck, Eve Dallas was instrumental in bringing the notorious Paedophile Isaac McQueen to Justice. Twelve years on Eve is a decorated homicide Lieutenant when McQueen escapes, determined to carry on where he left off  – but this time it’s personal, this time he wants Eve. The action moves to Dallas and the monsters from her past have to be confronted head on, along with the monster of the present.

Wow, well what can I say that I haven’t already said about this series. This is a pivotal book in the Eve Dallas series and really lays to rest the story of Eve’s background that has been rumbling and revealed, piece by piece in the previous 32 books.

Eve is taken out of her New York comfort zone and has to assist in the investigation in Dallas.  While this gave a whole new host of characters to love, I did miss the old favourites back in New York. We do get to see snippets of them in the latter half of the book though and there are also some humorous moments as Eve comments on the differences between New York people and Dallas people.

This was a very intense and emotional book to read – there is a major link to Eve’s past revealed, and for once I saw it coming! Yay me! Eve and Roarke develop an even deeper relationship as a result of what happens and through dealing with the intense emotions that get brought up. Seeing the character development across the previous books is one of the great things about this series for me.

Unlike previous books there is no murder to investigate, at least not until the latter stages (and then we know who did it) but it is all focused on a kidnapping. As a homicide cop I am surprised Eve is able to take such a lead in another city, in an area she does not normally deal with, but McQueen makes it very personal.

If you have never read this series before and did not fancy reading 30+ books you could theoretically pick it up here and have a good idea of where the characters came from. You might even be better starting with the first book after this – Celebrity in death because New York to Dallas really feels like the end of an era. In fact if I did not know the story had continued I would be worried this was the end!

If you do start with this one be aware this is not really typical of the series. The usual stories are much more focused on murder and the solving of it although the character relationships do play a big part.

In summary I still love this series, this is the most emotional book yet and if you have read any of the previous In Death series you do not want to miss this one!

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (33)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 272013
 

Origin In Death: 21 Well I have lived and breathed Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke for the last four weeks and I still can’t get enough of them!

The next ten books do not disappoint and all the characters continue to develop emotionally, not just Eve and Roarke. The stories continue to be interesting and different, and each time I pick up the next one I’m excited to see where it will take me.

I haven’t mentioned this before but there is often a humorous element in them; I particularly enjoy Eve’s comments on animals and how they will rise up and take over the world. It might sound a little stupid, but Eve has a way of saying it that makes me laugh and she clearly does not like animals and wide open spaces!

Eve’s relationships with everyone continue to develop and I love seeing her interactions with a certain infant that arrives in her best friend’s life – both terror and something else she cant quite identify!

Looking back, it is difficult to reconcile the Eve and Roarke we see now with the ones we first met in Naked in Death, their development really has been amazing but realistic at the same time.

Not really much more I can say except that as mystery series go, this is definitely my favourite and everyone should read them!

Books 21 to 30 are as follows:

  • Origin in Death
  • Memory in Death
  • Born in Death
  • Innocent in Death
  • Creation in Death
  • Strangers in Death
  • Salvation in Death
  • Promises in Death
  • Kindred in Death
  • Fantasy in Death

Note from Grete – I have to apologise for BookThing being so quiet lately but this is pretty much the reason why!  I have never read a series that grips you so completely that as soon as you finish one, you reach for the next.  They really are that good. Watch out though, you will get hooked on them and your purse may never forgive you – until the next one is released that is ;)  As a long running series progresses you expect some weakening of storylines or some repetition but I can quite honestly say they just get better and better!

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (21-30)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Aug 092013
 

Judgement In Death So I finally managed to drag my head out of this series to write a bit more about it!

It really does get better and better, and I am so caught up in it I have been unable to read anything else. One of the main reasons I am enjoying it so much is the relationship threads that run and develop throughout the series. Eve and Roarke in particular continue to develop emotionally and their relationship is very believable.

Despite being 20+ books in, the “whodunnit” aspect of the books continue to be different each time and it still surprises me when the killer is revealed.

The author writes such believable characters, both main and supporting, and I am emotionally invested in all of them.  The stories drag you in and when Roarke and Eve have their fights – some major ones at times – I feel as sick as Eve does!

In this set of books we have Eve investigating other cops, hunting for a well known assassin, a deadly computer virus and having to face up to her past head on, to name but a few.

Roarke also has a bombshell about his past dropped on him in Portrait in Death. I did not see that coming and there were more than a few tears from me as both he and Eve worked through it.

Divided in Death produced some shocking revelations about Eve’s past and again they have to resolve the issues they bring together, but not without some heartache along the way. Very emotionally intense.

Overall, even though I am reading these books straight after each other, I do not get the feeling that it is a recycled plot-line as sometimes happens with other authors. Yes there is a murder, yes Eve will solve it eventually, but I continue to be impressed with how J.D. Robb varies it up.

This continues to be a five star series for me and I must confess to being nearly at book 30 now, I just cannot get my head out of it – the housework has gone to pot, and work is an irritating distraction into my reading time!

Books 11 to 20 are as follows :

  • Judgement in Death
  • Betrayal in Death
  • Seduction in Death
  • Reunion in Death
  • Purity in Death
  • Portrait in Death
  • Imitation in Death
  • Divided in Death
  • Visions in Death
  • Survivor in Death

Note from Grete : Help! I can’t put these books down, they are so engaging and easy to read, I just can’t help reaching for the next one!!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (11-20)

Jul 312013
 

Naked In Death: 1 The In death series by Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb follows homicide detective Eve Dallas as she solves cases in New York in the second half of the 21st century. I reviewed the first book here and since then have raced though the next nine. Rather than do a review for each book I thought I would do them in sections!

I am totally in love with this series, I think it is one of the best crime series I have read and definitely my favourite. The books seem to be getting better and better and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

The characters Eve and her love interest, Roarke (really hot love interest) have really progressed during the series, their relationship has evolved and both have had to learn compromise and sacrifice. Their strong relationship is one of the things I really like about this series but it in no way detracts from the stories which are excellent – I don’t think I have guessed the killer right once! I only hope Ms. Robb does not go down the route of so many series and kill off Roarke, but with over twenty books to go I am fearing the worst.

As the books have progressed we learn more about Eve’s childhood and I know it will all come to a head in future books. I can’t wait to find the full story.

I love how Roarke seems to own everything both on and off planet, and I love how Eve struggles to cope with yet another of his buildings hosting a murder, I can almost see her expression when she realises.

My emotions have been pulled all over the place with this series and particularly in book 8 – Conspiracy in Death, I was sobbing my heart out. The writing is very emotive but the main reason is I am drawn to the characters; as there are so many books they can develop gradually, I feel like I know them personally and feel everything they feel.

There are a number of other characters in the books who are becoming much more involved and I look forward to finding out more about them as it progresses.

As mentioned above, the murder stories are very good with lots of twists, turns and red herrings. It is interesting how far away we still are from the vision of the future presented here, considering it is only 40 years hence. Although, as this series was started in 1999, I guess it seemed much further away then.

Overall I cannot recommend this series enough – the stories are all stand alone but the relationships between the various characters progress book by book and if you read the first then jumped say to the tenth, you would not be able to appreciate  how the characters ended up where they are. You could probably get away with skipping one or two though.

If you enjoy Karen Rose or Tess Gerritsen and haven’t started this series yet – why not!

The first ten books are as follows :

  • Naked in Death
  • Glory in Death
  • Immortal in Death
  • Rapture in Death
  • Ceremony in Death
  • Vengeance in Death
  • Holiday in Death
  • Conspiracy in Death
  • Loyalty in Death
  • Witness in Death

Note from Grete : As Tracey has been raving about these books so much, I picked up the first one to see what they were like and I’m now completely hooked and on book six!  I can only agree with everything she says in this review – it really is that good!

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (1-10)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

 

Jul 182013
 

Unseen: (Will Trent / Atlanta series 4) Karin Slaughter does it again!  I could be mean and leave it there… but I won’t.

Unseen is the seventh full length book in the Will Trent series and her fourteenth overall.  With every new book comes the slight fear that this one won’t be up to her usual standard, as it’s something I do see in authors of long running series.  Happily, right from the first chapter, I knew that this wasn’t going to be the case and it continually amazes me that she manages to produce such high quality stories time and time again.

In this story, Slaughter really put me through the wringer.  It’s cleverly written in a way that draws you in and there are some sections that are ‘a few days earlier‘ which could have been annoying, but actually it added some depth to what was going on with one of the characters.  She doesn’t hold back on the darker sides of life nor the realities that, if we are lucky, we never have to experience.  I get the feeling though that she hits these accurately and I can only imagine that the research involved must have been extremely harrowing.

Will Trent, Sara Linton and Lena Adams are without a doubt three of my most favourite characters.  Flawed, strong, stubborn and broken, they have all been through so much and are still (mostly) standing.  There is quite a lot of character progression in Unseen which I was overjoyed about, but also there was proof that even the nicest of people have their breaking point.  The end of the book left me with a huge feeling of satisfaction but the details of why, I’m afraid you are going to have to find out for yourself ;)

The pace of the story was good and coupled with a compelling and shocking plot, it meant I didn’t want to put the book down.

Karin Slaughter is one of the best crime writers out there in my opinion and her brand of gritty, exciting, intriguing and often horrific storytelling with superb characterisations means that she is an author I recommend time and time again.

So, if you haven’t read anything by her yet, go and start now with Blindsighted from the Grant County Series!  I won’t wait though, as you have a lot to catch up on ;)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Karin Slaughter
  • Series: WIll Trent (7)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Jul 042013
 

Naked In Death: 1 It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion. 

When a senator’s daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she’d been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washington politics and society. Further complicating matters is Eve’s growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome… and the leading suspect in the investigation

Having read and enjoyed a number of books by Nora Roberts, I felt it was time to try her In Death series written as J.D.Robb. I was not disappointed and cannot believe I’ve waited this long to start reading it!

As you can see from the blurb above it is set in the future – not something I initially realised until they started talking about antique bullets and guns from the 1990′s! It was really interesting how the police were envisaged to work in the future and what technologies are available. I found most of what was being used quite believable for the not too distant future (it was written nearly 20 years ago and probably seemed much more sci-fi then). I would have liked a bit more information about mundane things such as the Auto-Chef, but that is just for my interest and wouldn’t add anything to the story.

On to the characters – I was drawn to them from the start. Eve Dallas is a very strong protagonist but with enough of a mystery about her to allow her character to grow in future books. She does come across as a bit unlikeable to start with, but once she meets Roarke she opens up a bit and proves she is human after all.

Roarke – Oh My God, he is gorgeous! I am in lust/love/anything else I can be. He seems too perfect but he definitely has an air of mystery about him with hidden depths yet to be discovered.

I really enjoyed the mystery and the romance/sex was hot. I was pleasantly surprised at how much romance there was, I thought this series was more of a police procedural. It may be that the later books become more like that once Eve and Roarke get past their first flush of romance, but in this one it works for me! I thought the mystery plot was very well fleshed out with plenty of airtime and was not overshadowed by the romance.

Overall this is a good book, I will definitely be reading the rest of the series – not all at once though! With well over 30 books in the series I need to start saving my money to buy them all!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: J.D. Robb
  • Series: In Death (Eve Dallas) (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Mar 132013
 

Dead Sleep When Prize winning photojournalist Jordan Glass chances upon a portrait by an unknown artist in Hong Kong, she is stunned. The face staring back is her identical twin sister. The painting is part of an exhibition entitled ‘sleeping Women’ and as Jordan studies it she realises, to her horror, that the portraits are all of women who, like her sister have disappeared from New Orleans in recent months.

Wow, first book I’ve read by this author and I am now determined to find everything he has written. This was brilliant, the premise was unique and  I was drawn in to the story immediately. Jordan is no innocent girl, she is 40 years old and has experienced the worst the world has to offer from her work as a war photojournalist. She is tough but also has a softer side hiding some secrets of her own. There was a love aspect but it was a very minimal part of the story and, unusually for me, this didn’t bother me as the plot was so engaging and intriguing.

Special Agent John Kaiser is one of the FBI agents involved in the case, he was okay but the forensic psychiatrist Dr Lenz irritated the hell out of me – it was great when Jordan finally snapped and said “You think she’s dead?” I ask, coming half out of my chair. “Who gives a goddamn what you think? How many times have you been right in the past week? Once?” Hell yeah, I wanted to applaud!

There were lots of twists and turns and I was left guessing right up until the last few chapters. I did find it unusual how easily Jordan was able to become so involved with the FBI investigation, even go so far as interviewing suspects alone, but this was a necessary part of the story particularly as the book is written from her perspective.

In summary, if you like thrillers then read Dead Sleep! I was hooked as soon as Jordan walked into the Hong Kong art gallery.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Greg Iles
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)