Book Review: J.D. Robb’s Secrets in Death

Posted October 20, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: J.D. Robb’s Secrets in Death

Secrets in Death


by

J.D. Robb


romantic suspense that was published by St. Martin's Press on September 5, 2017 and has 370 pages.

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four-stars

Other books by this author which I have 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", "Possession in Death", Down the Rabbit Hole, "Midnight in Death", Devoted in Death, Brotherhood in Death, Apprentice in Death, Echoes in Death

Forty-fifth in the In Death futuristic romantic suspense series revolving around Lieutenant Eve Dallas, her gorgeous husband, Roarke, and their companions and friends and set in New York City in February 2061.

My Take

Well, this was one of my least favorite stories, mostly due to how little contact we have with the usual cast. Sure there’s a dab of Peabody and McNab with a touch of Feeney, Morris, and the squad. Mira’s only mentioned. DeWinter actually feels as if she has a bigger part! Although she was due for that sitdown with Dallas — that initial scene between Eve and DeWinter was pretty funny, as they HONESTLY assess each other and why neither of them actually likes the other, *laughing*. There’s a cameo only of Mavis. I guess I just missed the usual interactions we’ve had with these core characters in past stories.

Oh, no, lol. Eve finds out how much her boots cost…! Can’t really blame her for the shock. And we know just how much of a shock it is, as Robb uses third-person subjective point-of-view. Yeah, most of the perspective is from Dallas, but we also get Roarke’s and some of the other characters’ reactions, actions, and feelings.

There were some emotional reveals in here that show this threesome — Dallas, Roarke, and Summerset — getting easier and easier with each other. Even as Summerset finds Dallas becoming more and more of a puzzle *more laughing*. I suspect this increasing ease is partly because of the feeling I’m getting that Robb is winding the series down. Eve is happier and easier in her life, in her interactions with Roarke, Mira, and Peabody. Even Summerset! And that might be another part of why Secrets in Death is not one of my favorites. It’s getting easy for Dallas. And I feel like such a hypocrite because I want her to be happy, but I also like the drama. Sure, I can see where Robb may be getting tired of trying to pull more drama out of the series, but, but, but…

There were a few small themes in here, including the “for love of a good wo[man]”, which I totally adored. And per usual, Dallas has that honorable streak that simply won’t let her quit, although there is that one minor conflict…nope, not sayin’ anymore.

Still, it is good police work all down the line, and all for a scumbag of a woman.

The Story

Why can’t something pop? A nice murder. Theft. Anything to “legitimately” prevent Dallas from having to meet with Dr. DeWinter.

Dallas should be careful what she wishes for, as she does get the murder she wanted. It just wasn’t timed right for her. Although, it certainly wasn’t timed right for the wounded woman staggering up those stairs and through the bar either.

Larinda Mars, “social information reporter”, or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, Mars was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally — with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she’s rather not have to know—

The Characters

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is overcoming a nightmare of a childhood, and part of that recovery is her need to aid and protect people as a Homicide detective. Roarke is her billionaire hunk of a husband who is too supportive to be true. Summerset is Roarke’s father figure and his major domo, who is going on vacation with Ivanna. Galahad is Dallas and Roarke’s “starving” kitty. Patrick Roarke had been Roarke’s father.

New York City Police and Security Department

Homicide is…
…based at Cop Central where Dallas is in charge. Detective Dee Peabody is Dallas’ partner in detecting while her life partner is Detective Ian McNab with EDD. Detectives in Dallas’ division include Baxter (the horndog), Jenkinson (of the eye-blinding ties), the newly minted Troy Trueheart, Reineke, and Carmichael (she’s on a child rape case) is partnered with Santiago (he’ll take the lead).

EDD is…
…the Electronic Detective Division where Captain Ryan Feeney, Dallas’ former partner and mentor, holds sway and where McNab is one of his boys.

Commander Jack Whitney is Eve’s superior. Dr. Garnet DeWinter is the forensic anthropologist who is friendly with Dr. Li Morris, the chief pathologist. Amaryllis was the cop Li loved. Miranda is DeWinter’s daughter. Elsie Kendrick (she’s brilliant at drawing faces from their bones) had her twins: Amber Grace and Austen Dean. Harvo is the queen of hair and fiber. Yancy is a brilliant police artist. Kyung is the media liaison who is not an asshole. Cher Reo is an assistant prosecuting attorney who frequently works with Dallas. Fruinski is another APA.

Bella is Mavis Freestone, a singing legend (and Dallas’ best friend), and Leonardo‘s, an exclusive fashion designer, daughter. Trina is a beautician who does the most amazing work, and despite what Dallas would like, is part of their circle.

Channel Seventy-Five is…

…the TV station where Nadine Furst, another of Dallas and Roarke’s good friends, hosts Now. Barry Hewitt has the political beat and is Bebe’s nephew. Bebe Hewitt is the majority owner of Seventy-Five and head of broadcasting. Vi is Bebe’s assistant. Kit and Michael were in meetings with Bebe. Mickey Bullion is a reporter. Randy Bullion, his brother, was at Du Vin. Sam is one of the cameramen.

Larinda Mars is a gossip reporter, er, I mean, the social information reporter with her own show: Who’s Doing What. Ross Burkoff is Larinda’s assistant. Henri is her droid (and programmed for sex). Phoebe Michaelson is an assistant to Burkoff. Larson K. “Black Hat” Derick had been Phoebe’s ne’er-do-well father. Valerie Race had been hacked. Dory is Phoebe’s roommate. Becca, Roxie, Luke, and Gio are staff at Mars’ apartment building. The Wilburs are Larinda’s neighbors.

Larinda is dating Mitch L. Day, the host of Second Cup on Channel Seventy-Five. Day is married to Sashay DuPris, a model. Monicka Poole had been one of Day’s interns.

A former playboy known for excess, Fabio Bellami was having drinks with Larinda. Deanna is his very pregnant wife. Lanie is their housekeeper. Jonah R. Ongar, part of the New York Times legal team, is cohabbing with Cheyenne Case, who works in procurement for city government. Nick Patelli is Ongar’s best friend; Sylvie MacGruder was Patelli’s date.

Wylee Stamford is an amazing athlete and baseball star who started up the Stamford Family Foundation to help underprivileged kids. Brian O’Keefe (from the old neighborhood) is Wylee’s manager. Jed is one of Wylee’s bodyguards. Gretchen Johannsen is Wylee’s lawyer. His mother operates Your Kids, a first class daycare and preschool while his father owns his own business. Mr. Aaron is a neighbor of Stamford’s parents. Big Rod C. Keith, the Guardian angel of the neighborhood, had been Wylee’s mentor when he was a kid. Dr. Preston is the psychiatrist who saved Wylee’s life.

Annie Knight is a successful screen personality, Knight at Night produced through Knight Productions. Terrance Bickford is her life and business partner who had been a hotshot financial lawyer and is on the board of Knight Productions. Melissa Forenski is the put-upon receptionist. Bill Hyatt is Knight’s protective personal assistant. Bob Turnbill is one of Knight’s attorneys. Ilene Riff is in wardrobe. Kellie Lowry, an assistant to an assistant producer, rooms with Terren Alta, a coworker, and Haley. Wally and Misha are more coworkers. Cynthia is one of Hyatt’s neighbors. Carly Ellison had been Annie’s biological mother. Carly’s sister took on the role of mother and later married Abe Knight.

Missy Lee Durante is the star of City Girl, a TV series. Tad is her jerky boyfriend on the TV series and played by Marshall “Marsh” Poster. Clarice Jenner is the director. Jade Potts plays the bitchy student. Anson Gregory is Missy Lee’s attorney. Her mother, Iris, is also a junkie, and Missy Lee has no respect for her father, Guy Durante. She loves and protects her sister, Jenny.

Scarlet Silk had been a fresh young [porn] actress.

Angela Terra is the president and CEO of Terra Consultants. Her neighbors are Jean-Paul Laroche who is with Travel Home, a global agency that lists residences for travelers who prefer a home to a hotel. Marie-Claire is his wife, and they have a son and daughter, Julian and Claudette.

Du Vin is…

…one of Roarke’s bars. Cesca Garlini, Malory, and Kyle Spinder are part of the waitstaff. Emily Francis is a bartender and the manager on duty. Bentley is another bartender. Curtis Liebowitz and Sherry are some of the cooks. Marlee is a fainting witness. Dr. Bryce Sterling tries to help. Some of Du Vin’s regulars include Mr. Hardy and Mr. Franks. Mallie Baxter is an assistant manager at a boutique.

Lorilie Saturn has an account in Argentina. Linda Venus has an account too. Karen “Starr Venus” Liebowitz is an over-the-‘link psychic. Wayne Sarvino was an out-of-control john.

View Spoiler »

The Cover and Title

The cover uses a vertical radiant of purple to orange using colored pencils for a scratchy looking sky — I like how that lower right corner dips into a more solid darkness as it meets the nightlit city skyline. In the lower third of the cover are well-lit two-story buildings on the left side of the street, the stream of white screaming by an indicator of traffic on the wet-looking cobbles. The author’s name takes up that top two-thirds in a deep and vibrant navy blue while the title is at the bottom in a white and cracked font. So appropriate for Larinda’s character.

The title is too accurate, for Larinda definitely had her Secrets in Death — and most certainly in life. Bitch.

four-stars

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