Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb

Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb
published by Putnam in September 2012
After years on the force, Eve Dallas didn't think she could be shocked anymore... until now.

It was just another after-work happy-hour bar downtown, where business professionals unwound with a few drinks, complained about the boss, maybe hooked up with someone for the night. Until something went terribly wrong. At first it was just a friction in the air. The noise intensified. The crow seemed oppressive. some sharp words were exchanged, some pushing and shoving.

Then the madness descended. And after twelve minutes of chaos and violence, eighty people lay dead.

Eve Dallas is trying to sort out the inexplicable events. Surviving witnesses talk about seeing things—monsters and swarms of bees. They describe sudden, overwhelming feelings of fear and rage and paranoia. When forensics makes its report, the mass delusions make more sense: it appears the bar patrons were exposed to a cocktail of chemicals and illegal drugs that could drive people to temporary insanity—if not kill them outright.

But that doesn't explain who would unleash such horror—or why. Eve's husband, Roarke, happens to own the bar, yet he's convinced the attack wasn't directed at him. It's bigger than that. And if Eve can't figure it out fast, it could happen again, anytime, anywhere. Because it's airborne...
Genre: Mystery/Thriller, romantic suspense
Series: In Death, Book #35

The Story: Eve Dallas has been on the force for a long time and she's seen what humans can do to one another; however, she can't help but be shaken when she walks in the crime scene of her newest case. Eve and her team quickly figure out that an air-bone cocktail of substances is what caused the people in the bar to turn against one another, creating the massacre... which means they have to work fast to find out who is behind it. The threat to the people of New York City is such that Eve is forced to work with Homeland, not her favorite people. And as if it was not enough, Eve is also dealing with a new set of nightmares, an aftermath of  the events of New York to Dallas.

My Opinion: You know what is great about an In Death book? It's the fact that you can just read and relax because it's a no-brainer :) You don't have to wonder how many books the author has planned for the rest of the series, who is it going to be the main H/H or even whether there is going to be any progress on the overall story... And that's why I believe this series is so successful. That and the fact that we love Eve, Roarke and all the secondary characters :) Reading an In Death book is like catching up with friends and Ms Robb has the knack of settling her readers in the story as if it hasn't been six months since the last installment... and Delusion in Death is no exception. In fact, I'd say that Delusion in Death is one of the better installments I've read in recent years :)

The strength of Delusion in Death in my opinion was the case. I really liked it. It was interesting and the way Ms Robb carried it out, compact and efficient. Recently, I've been in the mood for romantic suspense books, but not the ones featuring ex-military characters. Instead, what I want is cops or FBI agents, doing investigative work... and that's exactly what you get in Delusion in Death - though of course, Eve gets some help from her genius husband and that's always handy :) It'd be nice though that from time to time, everything doesn't work out so well for Eve and that she doesn't zoom in immediately on the key victim or key suspect or key witness ^_^; Although nobody could fault Eve from not looking at every option and crossing her Ts and dotting her Is. And I know that Eve is very experienced and has a lot of resources and so on, but sometimes, it just seems too easy... In any case though, the legwork in Delusion in Death was solid work and so was the mystery and the motivation.

For those who like the more emotional aspect of the series, you'll be pleased with Delusion in Death since Eve is coming to terms with the events in New York to Dallas. Personally, I didn't care much, although everything Eve is going through does make sense. My issue here is I was never happy with what happened on the personal level to Eve in Dallas and also the fact that for us, readers, it's been a year since those events, so we've come to terms with it, but for Eve, it's only been a couple of months... So obviously, she hasn't... but I can't help but wish Eve has moved forward. Still I recognized that given the events and Eve's background, the nightmares and the need for her to work it out fit and are actually necessary for her personal growth. It also brought some slight conflict between Eve and Roarke and it was nice to see them dealing with it. It showed us how far Eve and Roarke have come in term of compromise and marriage :)

In short, Delusion in Death is nothing out of norm for an In Death installment. However, it had an interesting intrigue which was well executed and combined with our familiar and lovable cast, made for a solid and very enjoyable read :) Although it'd be nice if Eve stopped taking Roarke everywhere. Actually, it'd be interesting to see a day from Roarke's POV and see him in his element. Just saying.

My Grade: B. As I said, an enjoyable read and more importantly, it had me engrossed and wanting to know what happened :)