Dark in Death by J.D. Robb
In Death #46
NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are on the case again as they investigate the death of a young woman who was killed in a movie theater. But things get really interesting when famous mystery author, Blaine Delano, comes to Eve and explains that this murder is a replica of one of her books. Not only that, but an unsolved murder from a month ago is a match for another one of her books. Someone is out there, killing people while using Delano’s books as inspiration.
I liked Dark in Death but I think I just wasn’t in the mood for a murder mystery because I struggled a bit to get this one finished. The events of the book move along quickly with a few interspersed private moments between Eve and Roarke but I did miss having Summerset around as he’s on vacation in this one. There are appearances by all the usual suspects: Peabody, McNabe, Mira, Mavis and family, and the other detectives in Eve’s squad. I did enjoy the slightly meta quality of the killer in this one because it’s all about authors, obsessive fans, and people that get lost in the fictional worlds of the books they read. Though not unique to mysteries, in general, it was something really different for the In Death series.
I did have one complaint regarding something I’ve seen frequently in the last few books in the series. Roarke typically plays a big role in most of Eve’s cases as he helps her investigate using his e-skills, provides a sounding board for Eve, or just making sure she’s taking care of herself so she can keep going. But I feel like the last few books have made Roarke into more of a detective then Peabody. Eve spends a lot of time working from her home office and discussing and brainstorming her cases with Roarke who often helps her come up with ideas or leads. While Peabody just floats in the background making phone calls, booking interview rooms, and following Eve wherever she goes. I would love to see Peabody taking more of a lead in some cases or providing those “aha” moments that lead to a breakthrough in the case.
3 out of 5 stars
Multiple murder scenes and graphic descriptions of the dead
Numerous references to drug and alcohol abuse
On a chilly February night, during a screening of Psycho in midtown, someone sunk an ice pick into the back of Chanel Rylan’s neck, then disappeared quietly into the crowds of drunks and tourists in Times Square. To Chanel’s best friend, who had just slipped out of the theater for a moment to take a call, it felt as unreal as the ancient black-and-white movie up on the screen. But Chanel’s blood ran red, and her death was anything but fictional.
Then, as Eve Dallas puzzles over a homicide that seems carefully planned and yet oddly personal, she receives a tip from an unexpected source: an author of police thrillers who recognizes the crime—from the pages of her own book. Dallas doesn’t think it’s coincidence, since a recent strangulation of a sex worker resembles a scene from her writing as well. Cops look for patterns of behavior: similar weapons, similar MOs. But this killer seems to find inspiration in someone else’s imagination, and if the theory holds, this may be only the second of a long-running series.
The good news is that Eve and her billionaire husband Roarke have an excuse to curl up in front of the fireplace with their cat, Galahad, reading mystery stories for research. The bad news is that time is running out before the next victim plays an unwitting role in a murderer’s deranged private drama—and only Eve can put a stop to a creative impulse gone horribly, destructively wrong.
Published by St. Martin’s Press on January 30, 2018
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