Sunday, February 26, 2017

Echoes in Death

Echoes in Death: An Eve Dallas Novel (In Death, Book 44) by [Robb, J.D.]
















Echoes in Death (In Death series #44) - J. D. Robb
St. Martin's Press
Release Date: February 7, 2017

Rating (out of 5):
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Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

Synopsis: As NY Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are driving home, a young woman—dazed, naked, and bloody—suddenly stumbles out in front of their car. Roarke slams on the brakes and Eve springs into action.

Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for her husband Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil”...
While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked, this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:
What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?

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While some long running series start to grow stale after awhile, J. D. Robb's In Death series is one of those rare few that keep running strong.  Echoes in Death is no exception.  Full of red herrings, brutal murders and assaults, and enough echoes of Eve's own past to shake her up, Echoes is a fast-paced thriller from start to finish.

When Eve and Roarke find Daphne Strazza wandering the side of the road- dazed, naked, and bloody- they have no idea the extent of the evil they will uncover.  At first it seems like a burglary and assault with the accidental murder of Dr. Anthony Strazza, and Strazza's unpleasant, god-complex and abusive behavior leave plenty of people on the suspect list for who'd want him dead.  As a series of like-crimes is uncovered it becomes less about Strazza's abusive tendencies and more about one very sick, very twisted man with a hidden agenda all his own.

Echoes in Death did an exceptionally good job of balancing Eve's personal and professional lives.  We saw more sweet, private moments between Eve and Roarke than usual- including a lovely blizzard scene.  There was also a very touching moment between Eve and Galahad that we don't usually see, though of course that was followed by the cat tricking a second breakfast out of Eve!  My only complaint is that I find it absolutely criminal that Roarke is only now introducing Eve to that "classic" vid- The Avengers.  Reading this book over Oscars weekend, I was a little disappointed not to get a scene between Nadine and Eve (or Nadine, Peabody, and Eve) congratulating Nadine on seven Oscar nominations for The Icove Agenda- but that would have been a bit too much added to the book, and I expect we'll come back to that in a later book since it will probably involve a glitzy party that Eve can't get out of! 

The mystery is a bit more traditional than some of Robb's more recent books- we don't see anything from the killer's point-of-view, and solving the crime is based on solid cop work and instinct.  Not a complaint, but a change of pace from some of the more recent books like Thankless in Death  and Apprentice in Death.  As always, I enjoyed not being sure of the killer until the end- although to my credit I suspected him at the first meeting, then fell for the red herrings Robb threw out to forget about him.  But I refuse to give away the finale, so you'll have to read Echoes in Death for yourself to discover the killer ending.  Robb does a great job writing villains who feel so entitled that they assume they'll get off even after confessing.  And the final twist reminds you once again why this book "Echoes".

Echoes in Death may be one of the best In Death books in awhile (although I'm biased, I love them all).  Fast-paced, smart, and a perfect blend of violence, murder, wit, and love.  Red herrings and plenty of suspects lead to a must read new Eve Dallas mystery!


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