Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Re-Read: Visions in Death by J.D. Robb

End of the month for me means Re-Read Challenge :D Looks like I'll make it this month, and on time! Woohoo LOL. I can't believe August is over already. That means kids are back in school and that the summer is over :( Time really went by fast.

Last month, I missed the Re-Read challenge. I was hoping to read two re-reads this month, but it didn't happen. Well actually, I did. I re-read The Search after writing my review... but given the fact that I've just reviewed it... I doubt you guys want to read another review of it, LOL. Perhaps next month. I have a few ideas of what to re-read and I've been kind of slumping lately... so this will be perfect :D

Okay, enough blabla. Onto the review :)

Visions in Death by J.D. Robb
published by Berkley/Putnam in January 2004

The summer had been long hot and bloody. Fall, with its cooler temperatures was coming. Maybe people wouldn't be as inclined to kill each other. But she doubted it.'

In 2059 New York City, technology and humanity collide, Detective Eve Dallas searches the darkest corners of Manhattan for an elusive killer with a passion for collecting souls...

On one of the city's hottest nights, New York Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas is sent to Central Park-and into a hellish new investigation. Her latest homicide case is a particularly vicious case. The victim, Elisa Maplewood, a young mother, is found on the rocks, just above the still, dark water of the lake. Raped and strangled in the park, her body naked but for what appears to be a single red ribbon tied around her neck. Her hands are posed, as if in prayer. But it is the eyes-removed with such precision, as if done with the careful hands of a surgeon-that have Dallas most alarmed.

Eve starts investigating Elisa's friends and relations, and as more bodies turn up, each with the same defining scars, Eve is frantic for answers. An offer of help comes from an unlikely source. The only reason Eve agrees to meet with psychic Celina Sanchez is that she is a friend of a friend. But Celina claims to have experienced visions of the killer and can recite precise details of the case - details that the police have kept to themselves. She is also no glory-hunter - she doesn't want her name released to the media. Haunted by the visions of death that she sees, all she wants to do is help Eve catch the criminal so that she is left in peace. Though Eve remains sceptical of Celina's abilities, against her instincts, she serves the greater good, and she will use all the resources she can to track down the killer before he strikes again...

The psychic who offers one vision after another-each with shockingly accurate details of the murders. And when partner and friend Peabody is badly injured after escaping an attack, the stakes are raised. Are the eyes a symbol? A twisted religious ritual? A souvenir? With help from her husband, Roarke, Dallas must uncover the killer's motivation before another vision becomes another nightmare...
Genre: Romantic suspense, mystery
Series: In Death series, Book #22

The Story: The blurb is pretty self-explanatory, right?

My Opinion: I chose to re-read Visions in Death because Leslie has just recently reviewed it here. In my memories, Divided in Death and Visions in Death will always be a marking point in the series. First, because that's when the In Death series started being released in hardcovers... but more importantly, that's when I considered stop reading the series. As a result, I've always associated a bad feeling with these two books and as such, I haven't re-read them ever. However, I was kind of intrigued after reading Leslie's review, given she's enjoyed it so much. So I decided to give it another chance :D

After reading Visions in Death, I can definitively say that it wasn't as bad as I remembered LOL. Eve is thrown into a new case and soon realizes that she is dealing with a serial killer. While chasing the perp, Eve has to deal with a psychic with information that obviously, given at how cynical Eve is, she doesn't trust, but does not want to dismiss. She also has to confront some nightmares of her own as well Mavis' demand that Eve be her birthing coach and aiding Peabody adapt to her new position. Visions in Death was actually pretty solid. There's definitively a lot going on and at times, it felt a bit too much for me. I think that Ms Roberts tried to cram too many In Death elements in single book. You know how there are some In Death books more case-oriented and others, more characters-oriented; well Visions in Death was trying to be both at the same time. Don't get me wrong, it was an interesting case and I, like any other fans of the series, love it when it deals more with Eve and Roarke's lives; however, in this case, it was definitively too much. I mean, there was the visiting of the shelter, Eve nightmares, Mavis baby, Peabody and McNab moving together, the get-together with Charles and Louise, Eve telling Peabody her past, Peabody getting attacked. Each and any of these elements could have been explored in a book on its own and would have made for a great book, but instead, they're all put together in a single book. The most remarkable though is that Ms Roberts make it work and there is actually some balance in the Visions in Death! LOL.

I love reading  the more personal aspects of this book. Seeing Eve get-together with friends, navigating the social ethics such as the moving together gift LOL. The scene where Mavis asks Eve and Roarke both to be present at the baby's birth and their reaction. Priceless. These are definitively what make this series stand out and are the parts that readers love the most. And I do too :)

The case was okay, although it seems almost too easy, the investigation. Of course, that's all thanks to Eve and you have to admire how her mind works LOL. Problem is, they kept referring at how much the crime were horrifying... and I didn't feel it. Usually, Ms Roberts does a great job at making the case integral to the book and it engages me. However, with Visions in Death, I felt this connection was missing. Again, it comes back to too much going on in the book.  Still, the case was interesting and there was an awesome twist at the end, one that I really didn't expect... but looking back, it makes sense.

I think the reason why I wanted to stop the series when I first read Visions in Death was an overload. I've just read several In Death books one after the other and hit this one and it simply was too much. Re-reading it now, it makes me realize how pivotal this book is to the series, especially for Eve and Peabody's partnership :) In the end, it turned out to be a good and solid read for me, but not the best unfortunately ^_^;

My Grade: B. Even though it's a re-read, it's hard to forget my first impressions. Have I really enjoyed Visions in Death the first time around, I believe that the grade would have been higher. As it isn't the case, it has to make with the modest B :P


  1. Thanks for this review. It reminds me that I have to get back to my In-Death Challenge! I got stuck with Ceremony in Death and couldn't get past the first few chapters. :( But like you, I think I read those first 4 books in a row and needed a break... maybe I can try and get going again, lol!

  2. Great review, Nath. Like Hilcia, I need to get back to my challenge. I'm reading Divided in Death, and stopped halfway through. Not sure why, since I've loved the series so far. I think I needed a break as well.

  3. I haven't read this series! I did pick up the first book at the UBS though! I've heard such great things about it *cough*Roarke*cough* :D

  4. Well, I'm glad it wasn't as bad as you remembered. LOL

    I love seeing Eve in social setting. Sometimes she says what I think. :)

  5. Ha! I didn't finish my August In death book either. I'm at Betrayal in Death #13 and I'll finish it in a day or two. It's hard not to love these books, but perhaps a breather is in order...

  6. Hilcia - No problem Hils :D LOL, we all have so many books to read that we get side-tracked ^_^;

    Oh, Ceremony in Death was good though, because it's the book in which Jaime is introduced!!

    LOL, Hils, seems like your In Death threshold is a bit lower than the rest of us :P I think I read about 10 books in a row before I got fed up ^_^;

    Lori - I totally don't remember Divided in Death. Perhaps that's another one I should re-read LOL. And yes, I think it's important to take breather when reading this series... I mean, it's a great one... but after a while, it just becomes too much ^_^;

    Mollie - It's pretty daunting to start the series now, with so many books out, but seriously, it's a great one :D You're in for a treat :) and LOL, yes, Roarke is great!!

    Leslie - I think when I read Visions, I was really at my limit ^_^;

    LOL, you're talking about the house-warming gift, right? Kidding. What I like about Eve is she's honest and really, totally clueless LOL.

    Christine - Nod nod. Well actually, you're doing pretty good now? 13 books in 8 months when the original goal was a book/month? I think you can afford a break :)

    How are you liking Betrayal. I enjoyed it, because we got to see a bit more of Roarke's past :)

  7. This was a forgotten book for me as well. I can't remember why I'm assuming it has to do with the psychic angle because, like Eve, I'm a cynic. But after having read Leslie's review, I went back and half-a**edly re-read this book and it wasn't as bad as I remembered it either. Lol.

  8. Tabitha - LOL. Actually, when you read the book, the psychic angle was very small.

    I'm glad it wasn't as bad for you either LOL. In any case, it didn't have much impact on me.