Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Delusion in Death

Delusion in Death
J. D. Robb
Futuristic Suspense
In Death/Book 35
Putnam/September 11, 2012

*Spoilers for previous books

It was just another after-work happy-hour bar downtown, where business professionals unwound with a few drinks . . .until something went terribly wrong. And after twelve minutes of chaos and violence, eighty people lay dead.

Lieutenant 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 gives 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 anyone to temporary insanity—if not kill them outright.

But that doesn’t explain who would unleash such horror—or why. And if Eve can’t figure it out fast, it could happen again, anytime, anywhere. Because it’s airborne. . . .

You would think after 35 books the series would have lost it's appeal several books ago.  Instead, Robb continues to captivate readers with the gritty, often destructive portrayal of the life of LT. Eve Dallas and her futuristic world of  New York City.

This time the body count builds up quickly and I think that's one thing that bothered me about this book.  It depressed me.  So many victims.  Not only the dead but their families, friends as well as the survivors and the people who live and work in the neighborhood.  Delusion in Death is well written, no surprise there, but it has a very dark tone that never really lifts.  Dallas is still dealing with the fallout of her trip down memory lane in New York to Dallas (September 2011).  Eve's reunion with her long lost mother has brought on more nightmares Eve must deal with in addition to her usually ones fueled by her father. 

The mystery surrounding the possible suspect(s) in the attacks is compelling and filled with the usual detailed police procedural aspects I've enjoyed in previous In Death novels.  I did like how all the pieces began to fit together and seeing Dallas and her team working on the different angles is always interesting.  There is also Dallas and Roarke's relationship which has pretty much leveled out and offers no real surprises but still continues to enthrall this reader with their deep love and affection.

The wasn't a whole lot of Dallas/Peabody time, which I missed.  Peabody is my favorite secondary character and I have completely enjoyed seeing how the relationship between her and Dallas has evolved over the series.   There were a lot of characters involved not only on the police side but the victims and witness side as well.  That may have been why it felt thin at times, as if we weren't getting as deep a look into the character's lives as I would have liked.  Granted, many of the characters are well known by now but it still felt a little stilted with regards to relationships. 

Even with the depressing vibe running throughout the story, I still enjoyed catching up with the gang from future New York City and look forward to more time with them.

Rating:  B


  1. Oh, you've already reviewed it!! LOL, I was going to ask you to buddy review it with me :) Perhaps the next one.

    I feel Delusion in Death was one of the better installments in recent years. The mystery was quite interesting :) I do have issues with it though, but they're not the same as you. And I get why you think it's depressing... but it plays out good.

  2. I was brave and read your review even though I have maybe 10 books to go until this one. Thanks for writing it spoiler free. ;)

    I get bummed with high body counts in these book too, but sometimes that disturbing part is good because it's making me really feel! Sometimes I get "oh hum. Another murder." la la la. And get focused on the police procedural and everyone's personal lives. So every now and then I guess it's good to be reminded that murder is depressing! lol! You know what I mean, right?

  3. Nath ~ I managed to get through this one pretty quick and wanted to get my thoughts down before I forgot. LOL

    Christine ~ Very true - this one certainly made me feel. I think it would have helped balance the grim if there had been a little more lightness rather than so much dark. There was a scene with Mavis and Bella on the phone with Eve that was adorable.

  4. LOL, I hear you, Les! I should do the same!