Haunted in Death – J.D. Robb


Pros: I liked the connection to the 1980’s

Cons: But I could do without the ghosts and spirits

I have enjoyed J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series.  The characters are a lot of fun, and the investigations are usually quite interesting.  But because there are so many books and stories in the series, I particularly like when the author includes something really “different” and the short story Haunted In Death succeeds on that level.

The entire series takes place in the future – in the 2050’s and 2060’s.  For the most part, people are still the same as they are today, but they have some really cool gadgets, and a few strange laws.  Guns have been completely banned, in favor of “stunners”, so when Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas comes across a gunshot victim, she’s shocked.  After all, most people have never seen a bullet hole, except in some old movies.

It’s further shocking when the gun is found.  It had been buried for 85 years along with another victim – a famous singer who’d gone missing in the 1980’s.  Now Eve has two victims, both killed with the same weapon, 85 years apart.

Like I said, this story was definitely “different”.

I loved the connection to the 1980’s, and hearing the people discuss “the old days”.

But there was plenty that I didn’t love about this story, too.  The victims were discovered in a house that was rumored for years to be haunted.  But Eve is as level-headed as they come, thus it’s no surprise that she refuses to believe any of that nonsense.  And when her partner, Peabody, actually believes some of the stories, and shows fear around the house, that’s not really a surprise as it fits with her character.  But when Eve’s husband, Roarke, demonstrates a fear of the house, it was inconsistent with the way his character has been presented throughout the series.  I always felt he was as level-headed and down-to-earth as his wife.  To hear him prattle on about spirits was a departure from the character I’d come to know.

As far as Eve’s investigation into the murders goes, it wasn’t the most interesting.  And, I thought it was a bit hard to follow.  As the events in the 1980’s are tied with the current events, we get introduced to several generations worth of multiple families.  Furthermore, this is only a short story, with not a lot of time to develop these characters.  So we have a lot of people to keep straight in a short amount of time.  Toss in some supposed ghosts, and it was all rather convoluted.

It all shakes out, in the end, but I didn’t think the conclusion was particularly entertaining.

Readers of the series can absolutely skip this story, without feeling like they’ll be missing out on anything.  None of the recurring characters change or grow during this story, and I doubt the events of this story will play a part in any future story in the series.  So, read it, if you come across it somewhere, but don’t go out of your way looking for it.  You won’t be missing a thing if you skip it.

Other books in the In Death series

Betrayal In Death
Born In Death
Celebrity In Death
Ceremony In Death
Concealed In Death
Devoted In Death
Divided In Death  
Festive In Death
Glory In Death
Immortal In Death
Indulgence In Death
Innocent In Death
Interlude In Death
Judgment In Death
Midnight In Death
Missing In Death
Naked In Death
Obsession In Death
Origin In Death
Rapture In Death
Reunion In Death >
Salvation In Death
Strangers In Death
Survivor In Death
Treachery In Death
Vengeance In Death
Visions In Death

Leave a Reply