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"Possession in Death"
by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #31.5
Other books in this series include The Other Side.
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Treachery in Death, Kindred in Death, The Other Side, New York to Dallas, Unquiet, Celebrity in Death, Delusion in Death, Calculated in Death, Thankless in Death, Mirror, Mirror, Festive in Death, Obsession in Death, Betrayal in Death, "Wonderment in Death", Down the Rabbit Hole, "Midnight in Death", Devoted in Death, Brotherhood in Death, Apprentice in Death.
Genres: Romantic Suspense
This short story falls in at 31.5 in the In Death romantic suspense series revolving around Lieutenant Eve Dallas, an NYPSD Homicide cop, and her gorgeous husband, Roarke.
I so appreciated the satisfying ending to the arrests in Indulgence in Death, 31. At least those jerks will get to spend a long time without their indulgent lifestyles. It’s not enough though for Eve, and I doubt it would ever be enough for anyone who loses a loved one.
The In Death series is a terrifying blend of the fear and the terror of murder in so many possibilities, certainly more than I could ever imagine. I so appreciate how Robb’s stories balance these horrors with joy and tears, fears and laughter, and the every day snark of life. And “Possession in Death” is no exception as the Romany magic of possession takes hold of Eve. The murder that leads to this possession is a nightmare for Eve, one that Robb finds the funny side with in the proof of possession being Eve knowing how to cook goulash, lol. Roarke adores Eve, but they both know her, um, weak areas, *more laughter*.
I do enjoy Dallas’ relationships, from the supportive and loving one she has with Roarke — I love that the super-capable billionaire is still trying to conquer the grill! — to the adversarial snarking with Summerset to her fellow cops and her partner, Dr. Mira’s motherliness, Morris’ quiet humor… I also have to laugh at Dallas’ fears. That baby Bella throws her for such a loop…or should I say slooch?
Nadine makes a lovely comment about the people at the picnic, that Dallas and Roarke always bring together the most interesting people at their parties. It’s a beautiful moment, but I hafta confess I got a laugh when Feeney then Dennis Mira find out about the whipped cream, shortcake, and pie and abandon Eve.
It’s a unique blend of life and death, and Robb makes good use of this series to raise those questions any cop or soldier must ask themselves, if they’re as bad as those they hunt, if they take joy in the killing or in making society that tiny bit safer.
It starts with regret and anger that Roarke soothes as they head down to the barbecue Eve arranged for Morris. He may be coming to terms with his grief for Amaryllis, but Li still has a way to go.
It’s that worry Eve has for Li that finds her driving Father Lopez home only to be interrupted by a dying Romanian woman whose words send a chill down Lieutenant Eve Dallas’ spine. And soon Roarke notices some interesting side-effects in the Lieutenant: fluency in Russian and a peacock tattoo.
Against her better judgment, Eve is convinced the spirit of the old woman is inside her, unable to rest until she’s found her great-granddaughter who vanished two months ago. Desperate to be back to normal, Eve is determined to find her.
Eve Dallas is a lieutenant of a Homicide division in the New York City Police & Security Department. She’s married to Roarke, who owns nearly the entire world in his very own gorgeous fashion. Summerset is Roarke’s majordomo.
Detective Delia Peabody is Dallas’ partner at work while Detective Ian McNab is her partner in life. McNab’s with the Electronic Detection Division, the e-geeks. Captain Ryan Feeney is Ian’s boss and Eve’s mentor. Dr. Li Morris is the chief medical examiner. Dr. Mira is their top profiler; Dennis Mira is her lovely absentminded professor husband whom Eve adores. Cher Reo is the assistant district attorney who has become a friend. Officer Troy Trueheart has brought his shy girlfriend, Cassie, from Records. Some of Eve’s detectives are Baxter, Renicki, and Jacobson. Callendar is one of Feeney’s e-geeks.
Detective Lloyd, out of the One-Three-Six, is the investigating officer for Beata’s missing persons case.
Friends who come for the barbecue include…
…Mavis Freestone is Eve’s best and first friend. She’s a singing sensation these days married to Leonardo, a famous dress designer; Bella is their beautiful ham of a baby. Trina is a beautician whom Eve fears more than death. Nadine Furst is a bestselling author (The Icove Agenda) and an ace reporter. Father Chale Lopez (Salvation in Death , 27) has been talking, becoming friends with Li. Newlyweds Dr. Louise Dimatto and Charles Monroe, a retired licensed companion, show up. Crack is the six-and-a-half-foot tattooed sex club owner.
Madame Gizi Szabo is a Hungarian gypsy, a speaker for the dead, come to New York to find her missing great-granddaughter, Beata Varga, the beauty with the dream of dancing on Broadway. Zach and Karrie Morgenstern run a market. Goulash is the Hungarian restaurant where Beata worked; Mirium Frido and her husband, Jan (he’s the chef), own it. Vee and David Ingall are some of their employees. Natalya Barinova teaches dance classes; Alexi Barin is her dancer son with the overweening ego; and, Sasha Korchov who now plays piano for his sister’s classes. Allie Madison is Beata’s replacement for the gala, Diabolique.
Rennie Foster murdered Janna Dorchester, and she’s worried that he’ll go after Sara Jasper next. Detective Stuben is primary on the beating death. Other dancers include Vanessa Warwich, Allegra Martin, Lucy Quinn, and more. Sylvester Moriarty and Winston Dudley are being shut up behind bars…yay!
The Cover and the Title
I can’t get excited about the cover; I prefer the usual ones. This Kindle version is a peaceful scene slightly offshore and looking back at the city skyline, waves lapping the white sand. It could be ice that I’m seeing between sand and water… It’s definitely a winter scene with all those bare branches forming a barrier between the beach and the city.
The title is truly accurate, for it’s a “Possession in Death” that pushes Eve to find the truth.