Strangers In Death by J.D. Robb (‘In Death’ series Book #26)

 Strangers In Death by J.D. Robb

‘In Death’ series Book #26

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages – Publisher: Berkley (August 5, 2008 ) – Language: English – ISBN-10: 0425222896 – ISBN-13: 978-0425222898

Back of the Book reads:

In 2060 New York, Lieutenant Eve Dallas is about to discover how the ties that bind strangers can kill…

(Inside cover)

In 2060 New York, some murders still get more attention than others, especially those in which the victim is a prominent businessman, found in his Park Avenue apartment, tied to the bed – and strangled with cords of black velvet. Fortunately, homicide cop Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s billionaire husband, Roarke, happens to own the prime real estate where Thomas Anders’s sporting-goods firm is headquartered, giving her some help with access. Before long, she’s knocking on doors – and barging through them – to look for the answers she needs.

But some things don’t add up – and everyone’s alibi checks out, from the wife who was off in the tropics to the nephew who stood to inherit millions. Was this the crime of passion – or a carefully planned execution? It’s up to Dallas to solve  this sensational case in which those who seem to be intimates sometimes guard secrets from each other – and strangers may be connected in unexpected, and deadly, ways…

Strangers In Death at

Strangers in Death at

Strangers in Death at

25-Sep-08 to 26-Sep-08

Review: When Eve is called to a homicide on Park Avenue, she finds herself in the bedroom of Thomas Anders, sports fanatic and the head of Anders Worldwide. Sixty-one, he, like his father before him, ran a top enterprise of sporting-goods turned into more; several cities set up to help underprivileged children with sporting-goods to play sports. Unfortunately, Anders’s life was cut short. His body was found by his House Manager (housekeeper); each arm and leg tied to either the headboard or footboard with velvet cord, and a velvet cord around his neck. Upon first glance, looks like a lover’s tryst gone wrong. But that doesn’t sit well with Eve – and her gut instinct was correct. Everything was too clean, made too easy, and once confimed that he’d been drugged, Eve is on the hunt for a killer.

After meeting the characters involved in Anders’s life, Eve believes in her gut that the wife, Ava Anders, did the deed. But how could she? She was off in the tropics with her two best friends on an girls-only holiday. But something about Ava sets Eve off. Too pristine, in every way; from attire to manner to emotion. However, proving it is Eve’s challenge. And Eve enjoys a challenge.

Along the way, the more the facts fit together, the more and more they point away from Ava, but Eve refuses to let go. She knows Ava is in up to her pretty little head, and she’ll be damned if Ava gets away with it. Baxter, on the sidelines, asks Eve to take a look at a case a couple of months old that he and Trueheart have been working on. They can’t close it, the trail’s gone cold, and they’re hoping a fresh set of eyes can help in closing the case. But upon another glance, Eve catches something that wouldn’t have caught anyone’s eye: the wife of the victim in Baxter’s case is loosely connected to Ava, through Anders’s charity of sporting-goods. No all Eve needs is a confession to wrap it up.

I’ll admit, I am a huge fan of Nora Roberts (I have everything she’s ever written), but my ultimate fave is her J.D. Robb series. And while I’ve been a faithful fan since I stumbled upon this series back in 2003, I didn’t find this one as thrilling as the rest. Although different, I thought it was good just the same. Just not 5-star good.

Eve is called to the homicide of Thomas Anders. But something ring’s false to her – everything seems staged somehow. Meeting up with Morris, the ME, over Anders’s body, one thing stands out. Anders had been drugged. And even though he was strangled, it was still a slow death. Something’s wrong, and Eve plans on figuring out what it is. Question is: How? The wife was in the tropics, sharing a huge suite with her two friends. There are witnesses. The nephew has an airtight alibi. Was it murder for hire? Eve doesn’t think so, and after going through their financials, there is no evidence of a payoff.

The more Eve investigates, the more her gut points her toward the wife. But there’s nothing to support it. So Eve digs and digs and digs until she finds something, with the usual cast of characters: Roarke, Peabody, McNab, Feeney, Baxter and Trueheart.

Now, usually, there are several suspects and it takes the entire book to figure out who it is, if you can figure it out. But Eve is so sure that it was Ava, directly or indirectly, that the story pretty much stayed focused on Ava, the wife. It was different from the norm, and I can’t say I liked it overmuch. It was like putting a stereotype on the rich – something that Eve is intimate with as she is married to a billionaire. The greed key has been played so often that I was hoping for something more.

The way the case came together was different. A twist I wasn’t expecting. I figured for sure a hired hit. Far from it. The more I got into the story, the more it had a sort of Hitchcockian feeling to it. Now, anyone who’s watched a Hitchcock movie will understand when they read this book.

What was disturbing was how a woman can play a roll such as Ava did, to rise herself to the top, to get everything she wanted, all for the sake of “because I deserve it.” How she tested the waters with ‘potential candidates’ to help her with her crime, the questions, the manipulation, reduced to threatening kids – the kids and the mothers that she’s supposed to be helping, caring for.

Wasn’t any action in this one at all. More running around, thinking and tying things together than anything. It didn’t have the feel for what I’m used to, and I wasn’t thrilled. Yes, I liked how Eve played her hand, how she slipped Ava up, but it was from point A to point B that wasn’t thrilling.

I must, however, comment on the fight that Eve and Roarke had. I have yet to hear of a couple, married, common-law, or even roommates, not having argued about money. While most arguments are based on the money spent, over-spending, etc…, their argument was the opposite: Eve had spent the money from her paycheck but didn’t even thing to ask Roarke for some, even knowing that she had an account in her name that Roarke set up simply for her to use. But to her, it’s his money, and she didn’t marry him for his money. She can’t just take it, it doesn’t feel right to her. The money he has is because he earned it, legally or not. And while each of them has a hard time understanding why the other is being so pig-headed about it, they finally get it, and it becomes a compromize between two people who love each other, regardless of their financial situation. That was a part of the book I adored. Every time Eve and Roarke get into a personal argument, they seem more and more like real life people than characters in a book, like a truly happily married couple, going through what just about every married couple goes through. I can give top marks for that!



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