Lieutenant Eve Dallas returns to take on a case of death imitating art in Dark in Death, New York Times bestselling master of suspense J. D. Robb's 46th In Death novel (available January 30, 2018).
Read Allison Brennan's review of Dark in Death, then make sure you're signed in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of J. D. Robb's 46th In Death novel!
I’m a reader first and foremost. I love books; I’ve loved books since I was a toddler and would bring my grandpa a stack of my “favorites” to read every night before bed. According to my mother, my grandpa would try and skip pages or hide a couple books under the couch cushion, but I would always catch him and demand (I’m sure in a very cute way) that he read every page in every book I brought.
My love for stories has grown with me. I read every Trixie Belden and every Nancy Drew, and as I migrated to “grown-up” books, I loved to find a series to glom onto. While a good standalone is always fun, finding a new world to immerse myself in where I can return from time to time is always a special treat.
Sometimes, I find a series and read a bunch and lose interest. Other times, I find a series and can’t wait until the next book comes out. I might tell myself, “Okay, that book was fabulous—she (or he) can’t possibly do it again.” And then the author writes another great book. And another. And another.
Such is the In Death series by J. D. Robb. I keep expecting—after nearly 50 books—that there’s going to be a gradual decline. How can anyone, even a serious, professional author, keep writing stories with punch to keep me turning pages—to make me want to read every single page? It’s like I’m waiting for a dud … and while there have been a couple that I didn’t like as well as others, there has been no dud. No crash and burn. No steady decline. And mostly? I get a book like Dark in Death, which goes near the top of my favorites in the series.
I started reading Dark with a bit of a frown. Why? Because my first published book (The Prey) had a similar premise—a killer using an author’s books as blueprints for murder. But I certainly wasn’t the first author to use that premise, and J. D. Robb won’t be the last. The premise was where the similarities ended, however. By the end of Chapter One, I was hooked.
“What’s forty-five seconds?”
“Sorry, the shower scene. It runs for forty-five brilliant, terrifying seconds. I just wonder if the last thing she saw before … if the last thing she saw was murder.”
Forty-five seconds, Eve thought when he walked away.
More than enough time to kill.
From there, I couldn’t put the book down. I was completely invested in the police investigation, the characters—both new and familiar—and figuring out the crime along with Lieutenant Eve Dallas. And near the middle, just when I thought Robb was going to take an easy out, she did something I didn’t expect, which had me smiling as I finished the second half of the book in one sitting.
More than a good crime thriller, which Robb always delivers, there was some “insider” author commentary that had me nodding my head. For anyone who watched Castle (especially the first couple seasons) who is also a writer, there were many “writer truths” that had me doubled over in stitches. There were a few of those in Dark that had me smiling, spoken through Eve’s cynical and honest voice. Of course, Robb knows what she’s talking about.
So, I just re-read this review and realized I’m gushing. Yeah, I guess I am. One part thrilled, one part satisfied, and one part jealous. Why? Because I’m a writer, and I know that it isn’t easy to consistently write a great story. Series, standalone, or trilogies—writing is hard work.
Dark in Death has everything I want in a J. D. Robb thriller. Eve and Roarke, of course; Galahad, the spoiled fat cat; Peabody and McNab; a sprinkling of other favorites like Morris the M.E., Mira the profiler, Nadine the reporter, and the slew of Eve’s cops who—though they get little page time—have distinct personalities to add to the flavor of the story. And mostly, Dark in Death has a great murder mystery to solve with a compelling and believable villain. So here I am, done with the book and wondering when the next one is going to hit the shelves. I looked it up. I have to wait until September.
Fortunately, I have more books to read—and to write—while I impatiently wait for the next In Death.
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Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Lost Girls and Make Them Pay, among others. She was nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers and the Daphne du Maurier Award by Kiss of Death. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, Allison lives in Northern California with her husband, five kids, and assorted pets.