Title: Obsessed in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Year Published: 2015
I’ve been a long-time reader of the J.D. Robb’s ‘In Death’ series, although I firmly feel that the best books of the series are books 4-8 (ish), before the novels start feeling formulaic. That said, I enjoyed this latest offering more than several of the more recent books.
I’ll admit, I much prefer mystery novels where we get to figure whodunit along with the detective instead of watching the detective chase the murderer around and try to catch them. The ‘In Death’ novels tend to vary between the two styles (and occasionally the author likes to add a third style in, where we try to figure it out, and then Dallas “talks it over with someone” and pinpoints the murderer based on “gut” but we’re not told who. I’ll admit, those drive me bananas). In this case, we are not told who the murderer is (but neither are the main characters) and we don’t really get a chance to solve it until the main characters do. We are told as soon as they know, however.
The story starts with a murder of a lawyer that Eve has had dealings with in the past – and a message left by the killer at the crime scene. The murderer views this death as a gift for Eve, and signs the message “Your One True Friend.” As the case continues to unfold, Eve is faced with the fact that the murderer has put her on a pedestal, and eventually all idols will fall.
The story takes us to visit most of the fan-favorites in the world – Mavis, Mira, Nadine, Peabody, McNab, Feeney – without throwing in others that aren’t necessary for this story (notably Trina, who often is thrown in there when it’s not logical, and Charles and Louise). There’s just enough action in the story without it feeling overwhelming and like Eve is just getting into fights all the time, and enough procedural work to make it feel like an actual detective novel.
Watching Eve face down the killer in the end, surrounded by her men, and realizing that they too were her family, adds another layer to her life – something that has stagnated a little bit over the past few books. (And, I admit, I have a fondness for most of her men – watching the way they interact with each other but always stand up for each other.)
A solid offering in the world, but not a stand-out book. 3/5 pages