In this novel from number-one
New York Times-best-selling author J. D. Robb, the newly promoted captain of the NYPSD and his wife return a day early from their vacation, looking forward to spending time with their bright and vivacious 16-year-old daughter, who stayed behind.
Not even their worst nightmares could have prepared them for the crime scene that awaits them inside. Deena has been brutally murdered in her bedroom, and her body shows signs of trauma that horrify even the toughest of cops, including our own Lieutenant Eve Dallas, who is specifically requested by the captain to investigate.
The evidence piles up, and Dallas and her team think they are about to arrest the perpetrator. But little do they know that someone has gone to great lengths to tease and taunt them, using a variety of identities.
Overconfidence can lead to careless mistakes, but for Dallas, one mistake might be all she needs to bring the killer to justice.
In Death series' lead characters, Dallas and Roarke, narrator Susan Ericksen and author J. D. Robb are a match made in heaven. More than 30 books into this series, these two halves of the perfect audiobook whole have become the gold standard for how to keep listeners coming back book after book.
Erickson's narration has the strikingly confident acting chops of a charismatic lead actor in a great long-running television series. She knows and inhabits her cast of characters decisively, while carefully mining the little diamonds of growth and change that Robb seeds into these stories.
From Dallas' driven, prickly authority, to Roarke's potent charm, to Peabody's nerdy earnestness, and the handful of unique, well-drawn secondary characters, the cast here is entertainingly diverse but hasn't grown too large for listeners to catch on quickly to who's who. And kudos to Ericksen for making it easy by capturing each voice clearly, and using finely tuned pace and timing to bring out all the wit, blood-chilling suspense, and sizzling romance in Robb's storytelling.
Great villains are also a trademark of this series. The bad guy here is a master manipulator, a chameleon who slips and slides through the city, killing with a cruelty that shakes Dallas to her core. Ericksen gives him a guileless menace that rings terrifyingly true. Watch for a terrific 90 degree twist near the end that provides that perfect combination of thrill and 'a-ha!' to round out this plot.
Robb's In Death series is, like all the great police procedurals, built on rich character development. Dallas is sexy, acerbic, absolutely tenacious, and destined to rub people the wrong way. Roarke is drop-dead gorgeous, filthy rich, and utterly in love with his wife. This is partnership as the ultimate romantic relationship, and a crime-fighting team that's unstoppable.
In July 2009 The New Yorker magazine featured a long overdue profile of the immensely successful Nora Roberts (a.k.a. J. D. Robb). So if you're a first-time listener coming to see what all the fuss is about, the In Death series is about to become your favorite new way to kick back and enjoy a great story well told. Nancy Carter
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