Thursday, March 19, 2009

Promises in Death – J. D. Robb

Robb, J. D. - Promises in Death

I can’t remember now who first got me reading J. D. Robb’s series about Eve Dallas and Roarke (although I suspect the blame can be laid at the feet of “Barbara the bookseller” who has sold me a lot of books in the series since then). It doesn’t really matter. I’m hooked. I love Eve and Roarke and their ever developing relationship and I enjoy the futuristic setting and the murder mysteries to be solved. So when I heard there was a new one coming out I slapped a reserve on it at the library (I buy this series, but in paperback – I’d be broke by now if I bought it in hardcover!).

Eve finds herself with a personal stake in her latest case when the victim turns out to be the girlfriend of Li Morris, the NYSPD ME and a good friend. She is reluctantly forced to look into the possibility Amaryllis Coltraine may have been a dirty cop, even as she works to bring the killer to justice and deal with the intrusion of an old enemy into her and Roarke’s lives.

Robb’s books are always fun reads, but their quality does vary from enjoyable right through to excellent. Happily, Promises in Death is up at the excellent end of the scale. 

There is a good, solid mystery. It’s not so simple the reader can easily solve it, but not so twisty you need notes to figure everything out. The clues and progress of the case are clearly laid out and Eve works steadily towards the solution while still finding time for her own life and time with Roarke. Of course, these books are always more about the progress of the case and the relationships rather than solving the mystery. I don’t remember if I ever tried to figure out “whodunnit” when I read them, but I certainly don’t now. Instead, I just go along for the ride and enjoy whatever Robb decides to throw at me. In this case there’s a lovely balance of work and play and a light tossing of angst as Eve tries to deal with Morris’s grief and his need to be part of the case even through she knows he’s not the tiniest bit objective.

It’s all balanced very well. It was also nice to see Eve and Roarke simply working together without their issues providing the angst this time. While that can provide a great story, it’s also a pleasure just to see them interacting. There is a wonderful scene where, as they begin to realise an old enemy is involved, both promise not to antagonise the other – then they acknowledge that they probably won’t actually manage to do it and proceed to make up (or should that be make out?) in advance.

But most priceless scene is Eve’s reaction when she is left to host Louise’s hen party while Roarke takes Charles and a large number of friends to Las Vegas (Eve is horrified enough that they’re taking the innocent Trueheart, then she nearly has a heart attack as she realised Roarke will be taking Mr Mira to a strip club). Her plea to go with them and Roarke’s response is just wonderful and a total laugh out loud moment.

In the end, I did actually find myself feeling rather sorry for the murderer, something that isn’t usually the case, but this individual was actually rather pathetic in a vicious way and Eve’s method of resolving the case was harsh but brilliant.

All in all, Promises in Death is an excellent addition to the series and one I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Promises in Death
J. D. Robb
Eve and Roarke, Book 34

Qualifies for: 100+ Reading Challenge, Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge

Eve and Roarke:

  1. Naked in Death
  2. Glory in Death
  3. Immortal in Death
  4. Rapture in Death
  5. Ceremony in Death
  6. Vengeance in Death
  7. Holiday in Death
  8. Midnight in Death in the Silent Night anthology
  9. Conspiracy in Death
  10. Loyalty in Death
  11. Witness in Death
  12. Judgement in Death
  13. Betrayal in Death
  14. Interlude in Death in the Out of this World anthology
  15. Seduction in Death
  16. Reunion in Death
  17. Purity in Death
  18. Portrait in Death
  19. Imitation in Death
  20. Remember When
  21. Divided in Death
  22. Visions in Death
  23. Survivor in Death
  24. Origin in Death
  25. Memory in Death
  26. Haunted in Death in the Bump in the Night anthology
  27. Born in Death
  28. Innocent in Death
  29. Eternity in Death in the Dead of Night anthology
  30. Creation in Death
  31. Strangers in Death
  32. Salvation in Death
  33. Ritual in Death in the Suite 606 anthology
  34. Promises in Death
  35. Kindred in Death (forthcoming, November 2009)
  36. Missing in Death in the Lost anthology (forthcoming, December 2009)


fudgey said...

i never thought i would see an author on any of your reading blog sections i had ever read..
I have been listening to JD Robb for the last few months on and off
i am only up to book five.. but wow..
i am in shock..
we have a same author after all
i made sure i didn't read your review though... even though i wont get to promises until december at my current listening rate

Melissa said...

Wow, I didn't realize there were so many of the "In Death" books now! I've never read one, I may have to try them out!

Dorte H said...

This sounds like a really great book. I rarely try to guess who did it either; the other day I did guess though when I read Sophie Hannah´s thriller. It didn´t spoil the book though - you can also enjoy thinking you know who without being certain.

Erin said...

I'm only on book 7, and that was a few years ago. I've got to get reading!

Marg said...

I am about half way through this series! I am slowly catching up but Nora/JD Robb writes faster than I read her books!

Anonymous said...

I've *just* finished and am about review Loyalty in Death, which I liked (despite figuring out right from the moment they were introduced who the main bad guy of the piece was)