Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Death Challenge Review: Kindred in Death

Kindred in Death
J. D. Robb

In Death Series/Book 29 (plus 6 novellas)
Putnam/April 2009
Library book

*Some mild spoilers*

From the inside cover ~

When the newly promoted captain of the NYPSD and his wife return a day early from their vacation, they were looking forward to spending time with their bright and vivacious sixteen-year-old daughter who had stayed behind.

Not even their worst nightmares could have prepared them for the crime scene that awaited them instead. Deena has been brutally murdered in her bedroom, and her body showed signs of trauma that horrified even the toughest of cops; including our own Lieutenant Eve Dallas, who was specifically requested by the captain to investigate.

When the evidence starts to pile up, Dallas and her team think they are about to arrest their perpetrator; little do they know yet that someone has gone to great lengths to tease and taunt them by using a variety of identities.

Overconfidence can lead to careless mistakes. But for Dallas, one mistake might be all she needs to serve justice.

For a second there I was caught up on the series then Fantasy in Death was released Tuesday and I'm back to being just a wee bit behind. But that's okay because after I read Fantasy in Death next month I'll get to go back to the beginning. :)

It's another homicide that Dallas and Peabody are called to but this time it hits real close to home. Peabody actually knows the victim and Dallas takes it hard because the victim is a teenage girl. It's a brutal scene they find, made worse because the parents are the ones who come home to find their child murdered. The parts regarding the teenager's death were very hard for me to read. Anytime it's a kid it's just really hard reading. The emotions Dallas, Peabody and the whole gang show makes the reading just a little easier because they are feeling what I'm feeling. Robb as usual does a great job showing the reader the dark, gritty side of the life of a homicide detective.

The focus of the story is really centered on solving the murder, which it should be, but it did seem to be more so in Kindred than the previous books. The secondary storyline of Charles and Louise's upcoming wedding was kept more in the background than usual. Charles and Louise's relationship is one that I enjoy, especially Eve's reactions and confusion about it. She's seen so much in her life and yet she still can't understand how Louise can be okay with Charles' career. Eve's bafflement of friendships and everything that goes with them is an aspect of the series that I love. The evolving relationships of not only Eve and Roarke but all of the cast is, for me, what makes this series stand out.

The murder mystery takes a unexpected turn when another victim turns up. It's up to Dallas, Peabody and the team to figure out how the murders are connected. With the first victim being the daughter of a high ranking police officer there's a lot of pressure to solve the case. Dallas shows her experience by not letting the brass get to her or push her in a direction she thinks is wrong. The one place that Dallas' confidence shines is in the police work. I love reading how she "works the scene" and gets into the killer's head. She is also doing well with training Peabody and giving her more responsibility with the cases. I think that a sign of not only Peabody's maturity but also Dallas'. In the early books she seemed like such a loner, reluctant to ask for help and when she did ask for help it was usually with an attitude of near loathing. Eve hates to show any weakness.

The case moves along and there were times when it seemed to move a little too slow and I found myself hoping we would get some more Eve and Roarke time. This was definitely a darker novel than many of the previous stories. The intricate details in the crimes, finding the clues and discovering how they all relate was for me sometimes a little confusing. There were many additional characters to keep track of. One character that I was happy to see again was Jamie Lingstrom. He was 16 when we first meet him in Ceremony in Death and he's now 18 and in college. He's great because he's got this hero worship going on with both Eve and Roarke. Jaime is super smart when it comes to electronics but he wants to be a cop. Roarke tries to lure Jamie into working for him after college but Jamie is determine to be cop. He adds that youthful perspective to the story and this time he also broke my heart a little. I hope we get to see more of him.

The ending, catching the bad guy etc. was okay. Yes, the evidence all came together but it felt kind of off in that the motivation for the killer was off. I got the why but the motive was just whacked. Sick, crazy people out there I guess. I did like the wedding preparations and hope we get to see more of it in the next book. And if anyone is betting on who the candy thief is, my money is on Feeney. :)

Rating: B+


  1. Ohh, this is the new release? I have such a long way to go... but it's good to see that B+ for book 29, Leslie. It means the series is still holding up. :)

  2. Hils ~ this is from last year. I hope to get to Fantasy in Death, the newest book, next month.

  3. I thought Kindred was very good and I love seeing Jamie :D

    Great review, Leslie :D

  4. Ooooo! I skimmed your review because I'm only at book 6... BUT I noticed the mention of a repeat character from CEREMONY IN DEATH whom I really liked. At least I have something to look forward to between now and the next 23 books. LOLOLOL!