Ceremony In Death by J.D. Robb


Pros: I liked Jamie, not that he sticks around

Cons: Uninteresting characters and story

In general, I enjoy J. D. Robb’s In Death series.  Set in the 2050’s, the series follows New York Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas.  There’s usually a homicide – or several – that Eve gets to investigate along with her partner and various co-workers, as well as her husband.  Along the way, there’s frequently some decent humor, a glimpse into some cool futuristic technology, and, of course, an interesting case to solve.

Ceremony In Death is the fifth book in the series.  And let me tell you, it is definitely not the best.  In fact, it’s one of the worst ones I’ve read.

The homicides, in this book, revolve around witches.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Good witches who practice “white magic” – mixing their herbs, reading crystals, and trying to do their brand of good in the world.  And then there are the bad witches – the ones who have taken the movement too far – practicing a much darker religion that involves sacrifices, illicit drugs, and sex that definitely crosses a line.

It’s into this world that Eve is thrust, trying to figure out who killed an ex-cop and his granddaughter.  And why.

Eve is as level-headed as they come, and doesn’t believe any of this “nonsense”.  As a result, I believe her judgment is colored and it shows in her investigation.  In fact, Eve’s aide, Peabody, has a much better handle on things than Eve does, simply because Peabody has broader horizons, and can keep more of an open mind than Eve can.  The resultant arguments between the two were uncomfortable for me to read.  Put bluntly, Eve was a real witch-with-a-B to Peabody.

Another uncomfortable scene involved an argument with Feeny, Eve’s long-time friend and colleague.  Having been placed, sometimes, in exactly Eve’s shoes, I know that Eve did what she had to do.  Worse, Feeny would have known it, too, if he’d just taken a few minutes to think about it instead of spouting off.

A complaint that I have with many of the books in this series is the amount of sex, and the level of detail given.  I’m happy for Eve and Roark that they’re married and in love.  But I don’t care to read about their bedroom romps – especially as they seem to occur every 5 minutes in this book.  And I feel Roarke is just a bit heavy-handed with Eve, when it comes to sex.  He needs a cold shower occasionally.  Luckily, I’ve read enough books in the series to know that he does “calm down” a bit going forward.  But in these early books, I have to wonder, sometimes, if Roarke doesn’t cross a line or two himself when it comes to sex.

One good thing about this book is the introduction of Jamie.  He’s a young kid, smart as a whip, with some remarkable skills.  I would have liked for him to show up in other books, but as far as I know, he’s a one-time character.

Overall, Ceremony In Death is not a good book and does not do a good job representing the series.  Definitely do not start with this one, if you’re first getting into the series.  And, frankly, even if you’ve decided to read the whole thing, you might consider skipping this one.

Other books in the In Death series

Betrayal In Death
Born In Death
Celebrity 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
Vengeance In Death
Visions In Death

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