Reunion in Death – J.D. Robb


Pros: Fascinating antagonist

Cons: I can’t stand Roarke!

Reunion in Death is the 16th book in the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb. Like all of the books in the series, this one stars Eve Dallas, a New York Police Lieutenant, in the year 2059.

A woman that Eve helped put away for murder a decade ago is now free. And she’s coming after Eve with a vengeance. Julianna Dunne doesn’t care who she has to hurt along the way towards her main target. In fact, the more innocent lives she takes, the happier she is. The entire book revolves around the cat and mouse chase with Julianna constantly one step ahead of Eve, and leaving destruction in her wake.

The storyline is “OK”. It’s not all that exciting, as Eve (and we) know exactly who the “bad guy” is. There’s no mystery to solve, no puzzle pieces to put together. It’s simply a matter of watching as Eve tries to capture Julianna. On a positive note, though, I do have to say that Julianna is a very fascinating character. I’m glad we got to “know” her a little bit, by getting glimpses inside her head.

There is a subplot about a cold case involving a young wife found dead in her bathtub. Eve gives this case to her aide in training, Delia Peabody. This is the first time Peabody gets to shine in her own case. It was good for her, perhaps she’ll have more confidence (and be less annoyingly timid) in the upcoming books.

A common thread in all of the previous books, is that Eve is haunted by dreams and half-memories of a past that torments her greatly. In this book we finally learn the details of the “big mystery” in her past. And it’s a doozy! Knowing what Eve survived as a child makes her sometimes annoying personality a bit more tolerable.

What I really can’t stand in this book, is the relationship between Eve and her husband Roarke. It’s the same complaint I’ve had in other books in the series: Roarke is a bully. I believe that the author is trying to paint Eve and Roarke as a couple so madly, deeply, in love, that all reason goes out the door. But what the author tries to paint as “passion” comes off as “abuse” to me. Roarke, in my opinion, doesn’t want to love Eve. He wants to possess her. Their lovemaking is never sweet and tender, it’s violent, with clothes torn, hair pulled, bodies slammed. What married couple do you know, that has to literally tear each other’s clothes off?

And, as in other books, Roarke oversteps his wife’s legal authority. He thinks nothing of going above her head, and letting his considerable wealth get things accomplished the way he thinks they should be. Eve is constantly blind-sighted by her own husband! There’s nothing like walking into your boss’s office, and seeing your husband there, and being told that a decision has just been made about how to handle your case!

Taking place in the future, these books get to have some leeway when it comes to using technology. In this book, the computer is able to run “probability models” that greatly help Eve find her prey. I find it interesting that in Robb’s version of the future, the phrase “think outside the box” is still being used. Pepsi doesn’t come in cans or bottles, it comes in tubes. And French fries are called “oil fries”. That part really cracks me up. Nothing like calling them exactly as they are!

Overall, this is an “OK” book. Not the best in the series, but not the worst, either. I prefer stories with a real mystery to solve, but at least the murderer is an interesting character.

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
Haunted 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
Salvation In Death
Strangers In Death
Survivor In Death
Treachery In Death
Vengeance In Death
Visions In Death

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