Well one funny thing is that I had forgotten how terrible some of the covers are on these later installments. I also totally forgot an entire book (Salvation in Death). The one good thing about reading/posting reviews of the series this year is that I had flat out forgotten some of the stories out there. I stopped buying hardback and paperback copies of the series after New York to Dallas, so I still have some books to go that I can just pull off my shelves to re-read.
Here we go:
“Strangers in Death” (In Death #26)-5 stars
Updated review as of November 7, 2022-
5 stars-Honestly this one is really really good. I would give it a full five stars now with no problems. I loved that Robb played around with Strangers on a Train for this installment. It was actually cleverly done. And once again I say, that when Eve is just tracking down a regular old murderer that is not a super murderer or serial killer, the series is better for it.
Please note that I gave this 4.5 stars and rounded it up to 5 stars on Goodreads.
I was in a reading slump and finally climbed out of it due to some old In Death re-reads. I also read the latest and it reminded me all over again why I went from I love this series, to okay I can see some slowing down, to just meh. That said, “Strangers in Death” is one of my favorite re-reads even though I didn’t give it five stars.
Eve Dallas and her partner Detective Delia Peabody are out to figure out who killed Thomas Anders. It appears to be a sex act gone wrong, but after Dallas takes one look at the scene, and who Anders was in his personal and professional life, she suspects murder. Now the hard part is proving it. I really have to say that the main reason why I gave this just 4.5 stars was the fact that Dallas guesses who dun it really early (I mean I think it was around the 15 percent mark) and the rest of the book is just her pulling it together. We also have another case tying into this one and you start to put two and two together on how this was done. We get the usual countdown clocks in this book. Eve being run down, Roarke nagging her to eat, Eve consuming the size of a small bucket of coffee, and just good police work. I did skip over the romance scenes just because they read so samey to me at this point. One good thing is a callback to a martial problem between Eve and Roarke (Innocent in Death #24) and I liked that Robb included that. Too often serial books just gloss over things that have happened before and act like problems the couple have endured can just be swept under the rug. The setting of Eve and Roarke’s home and Eve’s office at the precinct are utilized a lot more in this one. The ending was satisfying though I noticed the epilogue felt a bit short to me. I think I was waiting for something else to happen and then the end just comes.
Salvation in Death (In Death #27)-2 stars
Guys, I did not recall this book at all. I actually stared at it for a few moments when I saw it and was like is this a mistake. It didn’t make much of an impression on me the second time through either. I think it’s because for the most part, Robb has pretty much stayed away from religion outside of some of the holiday books (Halloween/Christmas/New Year’s Eve). There is some call backs to this one about Summerset’s daughter Marlena. And of course the big yeah you know Roarke flat out killed some people, yadda, yadda, yadda, let’s move past that quick. Honestly at this point if you have been reading this series, you knew this already, so no one come at me about spoiler’s please. I will forever think this is weird and really wish that Robb had never put that bit into Roarke’s background. There is also some further callbacks with two characters from another “In Death” book too. I am always pleased when Robb does this, but enough to save this installment for me. I will say that the whole purse fight that Robb depicts between two women is so weird and I was baffled at it’s inclusion. The book just really does read like filler to me.
Ritual in Death (In Death 27.5)-3.5 stars
Trigger warning: Rape
One of the series that was published in an anthology around Halloween back in the day. I realize we don’t really get the mini installments anymore these days. The story starts off with Roarke and Eve at a party when a naked man with a knife interrupts saying he thinks he killed someone. Eve identifies the man as a doctor named Jackson Pike and tracks him back to a suite (606) where they find a dead woman who has been murdered and put in the middle of a pentagram. It’s an interesting case here and you have Eve and Peabody following the clues to figure out who killed the dead woman. This was honestly a hard one to read all. We find out that the dead woman was gang raped and I felt myself getting queasy at this point. There is a callback to this one as well, we have Roarke reaching back out to Isis who I can’t recall what book she popped up in. I maybe rolled my eyes at Roarke being an ass in this one. And honestly it made zero sense to have Isis even involved. Eve knows who did the killing, but somehow Roarke has to be involved for whatever reason. Bah.
Promises in Death (In Death #28)-4.5 stars
This was really good. This death though has repercussions that are still being felt more than a dozen books later. Eve catches the case of a murder of a detective in this one, Amarylis Coltraine. We know that Coltraine was dating Morris and her death will knock him and the rest of the NYPD for a loop. Probably the only thing that I found really annoying in this one though was the ties back to Roarke and a killer that got put away before, Max Richter. I think the only reason why I rated this so high was the relationships in this one really made it. You have so many people pulling together for Morris. But finding out the way of why Coltraine was killed and how it links back to Max was engrossing. I maybe felt pity for one of the characters at the end of this.
Kindred in Death (In Death #29)-5 stars
Trigger warning: Rape.
This one was really good and very bleak at times. A NYPD captain arrives home to find his 16 year old daughter dead. He requests Eve to investigate. This case had everything. I really didn’t know where things were going and I loved how all of the pieces came together. We also have some call outs from things from prior books, Eve discussing Charles and Louise’s wedding which is fairly soon. I maybe laughed at one point since we have Eve arresting someone in front of the soon to be bride and groom.
Missing in Death (In Death #29.5)-2.5 stars
A tourist goes missing on a ferry ride. I once again forgot I had even read this one back in the day. This was really boring and I honestly hated how the whole thing even shook out in this one. Roarke asking Eve to not report someone to HSO and she agreeing to it just made me roll my eyes some more.
Fantasy in Death (In Death #30)-3 stars
Once again I don’t like it when Robb tries to tackle something akin to some science fiction madness that doesn’t make sense. We have a case of a game that leaves people dead. I honestly stopped paying attention to the how is this even possible because I just found myself losing interest throughout this one. I also maybe laughed at NYPD and others wanting to keep this close hold because people would lose it if they found out how technology can be used to kill someone.