Thankless in Death

 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 

 

New York to Dallas

 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)
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Rating: ★★★★★ 

 

 

 

 

 

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
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The Guilty One

 This is without a doubt one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read but it’s also absolutely brilliant. I started it this morning and I could not put it down; the few times I had to when life inserted itself, I was still thinking about it.

There are pretty much two stories intertwined here. One in the present when eight year old Ben Stokes is murdered and eleven year old Sebastian Croll is arrested. The second is the story of his lawyer, Daniel Hunter, who is the product of an extremely troubled childhood himself. He empathises in part with the accused and as the trial moves forward, we are taken through Daniel’s life from about the same age, when he is in foster care.

For Daniel it raises great questions about nature/nurture and the similarities he can see between himself and Sebastian.  He can’t help but wonder if his life would have been that different had he never met met Minnie Flynn.

This is a book about life; painful, weird, funny, shocking and loving. It’s about lies that can cut deeper than any knife but done with so much love it’s almost unbearable. The Guilty Ones… all of us.

The book is extremely well written and easy to read, although the pace can feel a bit disjointed as it skips between Daniel as a man and a boy, it doesn’t detract from the story nor did it keep me from reading on. It is very tense though and I did have to stop myself sneaking ahead to find out things, but if you can bear it, let it unfold naturally. I’m glad that I did.

The story is also incredibly thought provoking and even now after having finished it, I’m still trying to piece together how I feel. I think most people will find some empathy with Daniel and Minnie, even if it’s just a glimmer, as well as a whole gamut of other emotions. The trial itself was fascinating and the processes extremely well researched and laid out. I can’t say more than that about it or I would spoil it.

I think this book well deserves the acclaim it has received and it astonishes me that The Guilty One is Lisa Ballantyne’s first book. I really look forward to what she does next.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Lisa Ballantyne
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