Tag Archives: J.D. Robb

Concealed in Death

concealed in deathRecently, I read another J.D. Robb novel, Concealed in Death, and unlike the last one, this one rejuvenated my enthusiasm for the series until I really started thinking about it.  Yes, I had no idea who’d “done” it.  My suspicions were confirmed, but I didn’t know how they’d pulled the whole thing off until it was revealed.   J.D. Robb, a pseudonym for Nora Roberts, always provides easy entertainment without the necessity of too much brain power, and this provided the break I desperately needed between the first and second Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn.  (St. Aubyn created fascinating characters who are spectacularly broken, and leave a reader feeling drained. Seriously, when a book about a serial killer is considered a break…).

Concealed in  Death provided a great escape without taking too much time or taxing my heart and mind.  Sometimes you need that, but I still remember when her villains were chilling and it was a race to get to the next page to make sure the main character survived (with the shows I watch and books I read, no one is safe!).  The reader does get more insight into Mavis Freestone’s backstory which is always engaging, but I was longing for a bit more…traumatization whether that arrived in the form of emotional turmoil or physical danger, I didn’t really care.

Maybe I’ve become desensitized to the drama and excitement.  There’s plenty of that to go around in the other entertainments I pursue, but still…surely escapism isn’t the only thing these books have left in them, is it?  Maybe, I just want to be pushed.  Think harder, feel more, experience something I haven’t before.  Maybe pure escapism just isn’t for me anymore?  Perhaps, what I really need is a break from both Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb.  These go-to standards for simple entertainment haven’t lived up to my expectations recently.  Night Circus, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Fault in Our Stars… these all far exceeded my expectations, and I’ve got a stack of books by authors I don’t really know waiting to be read.

Now, this could all just be a symptom of wanting to change directions in other areas of my life as well…too much self-introspection for me this afternoon!

First Lines:

Neglect could kill a building brick by brick.  It was, to his mind, more insidious than hurricane or earthquake because as it murdered slowly, quietly, not in rage or passion, but with utter contempt.


‘Til next time,


I Don’t Want To Sound Thankless: A Book Review

Thankless in DeathThankless in Death, the most recent installment of J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series (or at least the newest one I’ve read) sees one of my favorite characters, Eve Dallas, chasing a killer (as a homicide detective, this is something she does quite often).  Thankless in Death is the 37th book in this series, and Dallas has come a long way since that first book, Naked In Death.  As always, I enjoyed the well written characters, witty banter, creepy villain, and got caught up in the story right away.

Eve Dallas’s character has evolved from the woman who doesn’t have anything in her life except her job to a woman whose job is still who she is, but, to her bafflement, it is no longer the only thing she is.  The novels have become less about the cases, the villains and justice for the dead and more about the rest of Dallas’s live.  Her husband, her friends, and her determination to find a balance between the personal and professional (who doesn’t struggle with that?).

Thankless is a good book, an easy read, and fun.  However, I miss the focus on cases.  I want that thrill that I used to feel when I read this series, the discovery of the killer and his/her motivations, the struggle to find them or find proof of their wrongdoing, the danger Dallas so often flings herself headlong into.  Usually, I have a hard time putting books in this series down.  Typically, I get them read in a day, maybe two.  I took a week and a half to finish this book.  It was easy to walk away from.  I didn’t struggle to keep my eyes open just so I could read one more chapter this time.

J.D. Robb is a pseudonym for Nora Roberts, and with good reason.  The “In Death” series didn’t resemble a typical Nora Roberts book.  Sure, Dallas’s love interest is a handsome-as-sin Irishman with long dark hair, striking blue eyes, and a body that makes Eve’s mouth water.  Yes, there is a compelling love story, and the main character is a strong, intelligent, wittily sarcastic woman.  All of these are pretty typical in Roberts’s novels.  However, this was different, a police drama with a futuristic setting in which the romance took a back seat.

My disappointment in Thankless in Death comes not from the plot, the characters, the settings or descriptions, but in that the lines between J. D. Robb and Nora Roberts have become blurred.  This read more like a Roberts novel than what I’ve come to expect from books in the “In Death” series.  My sincerest hope is that the author returns to the case centric plots that had me on the edge of my seat, unwilling to put the book down for even a moment, and villains who often left me with a chill.

Thankless in Death was a good choice for vacation reading.  Good escapism is never a bad decision when you’re already escaping from real life on vacation.  A good book that you don’t mind putting down to go do vacation-y things, but won’t hesitate to pick back up again when you have a little down time, is pretty much perfect.  I was just hoping for the lip gnawing and desire to skip ahead to find out what happens next that I’d come to expect.

First Lines:

He was sick of her nagging.

Bitch and complain, bitch and complain, and nag, nag, nag, every time she opened her damn mouth.

‘Til next time,