Vengeance in Death – J.D. Robb


Pros: Very exciting story, huge conflict for Eve handled extremely well.

Cons: I would cut out half the bedroom scenes.

Vengeance In Death is the sixth book in the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb.  These books take place in New York, in the 2050’s.  Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas always manages to find herself ensnared in some awful murder spree.  And her husband, Roarke, always seems to be somehow involved.

In this book, Roarke isn’t just marginally involved, he’s the killer’s ultimate target.  And the main suspect is none other than Roarke’s faithful butler, Summerset.  The killer is taking out people who helped Roarke years ago, when he wasn’t exactly a law abiding citizen.  The killer is brilliant, and diabolical in his torture and murder of the victims.  But he’s being very upfront about his intentions, even calling Eve and giving her riddles to help her find the bodies – always just a little too late to save them.  And the evidence against Summerset – it just mounts higher and higher.

I enjoyed this book very much.  We get to understand Roarke’s past, in a way that we never did before.  It helps explain his personality, which I always find annoying.  But at least now I understand, a little bit, where his attitude comes from.  We also learn about the tragedy in Summerset’s past, so that we now understand his distrust of the police, a trait that’s been prevalent in this character throughout the series.

Eve is her usual hard-nosed self in this book.  But there’s always a bit of humor infused in her harsh demeanor.  I can’t help but like her.  I particularly enjoy her relationship with her loyal aide, Peabody.  In this book, Peabody is teamed up with McNab, a feisty electronics expert who seems to have caught Peabody’s eye.

The main conflict for Eve, in this case, is that she’s sitting on evidence in her current case that, if exposed, could land Roarke in jail.  At first blush, you might think “conflict of interest” and that she needs to come forward with what she knows.  But Robb does a good job of presenting both sides of the issue, so that it’s definitely not a black and white kind of thing.  I really felt the issue was handled about as well as it could have been, so that we don’t automatically dislike Eve, for acting as she does.

Taking place 50 years in the future, these books get to have some fun with technology.  But I always consider it “cheating” when Robb makes up some fancy gadget that helps Eve solve the murders.  In this book, that doesn’t happen.  We do get to enjoy some fun stuff – flying cars, transmission jammers, and faithful mechanical servants called droids, but Eve solves the case using her wits, not some fancy techno-gadget.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the “romance” angle.  Robb takes marital relations a little too far for my taste.  I don’t need to read about Eve and Roarke’s bedroom encounters – over and over again.  We get that they love each other.  We get that they’re attracted each other.  But enough already!

Still, this was a very enjoyable book, one I can easily recommend.

Other books in the In Death series

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
Reunion In Death
Salvation In Death
Strangers In Death
Survivor In Death
Treachery In Death
Visions In Death

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