Monday, February 29, 2016

Brotherhood in Death- J.D. Robb

Brotherhood in Death- J.D. Robb (In Death series #42)
Berkley- Penguin Random House
Release Date: February 2, 2016

Synopsis: Dennis Mira just had two unpleasant surprises. First he learned that his cousin Edward was secretly meeting with a real estate agent about their late grandfather’s magnificent West Village brownstone, despite the promise they both made to keep it in the family. Then, when he went to the house to confront Edward about it, he got a blunt object to the back of the head.  Luckily Dennis is married to Charlotte Mira, the NYPSD’s top profiler and a good friend of Lieutenant Eve Dallas. When the two arrive on the scene, he explains that the last thing he saw was Edward in a chair, bruised and bloody. When he came to, his cousin was gone. With the mess cleaned up and the security disks removed, there’s nothing left behind but a few traces for forensics to analyze.   As a former lawyer, judge, and senator, Edward Mira mingled with the elite and crossed paths with criminals, making enemies on a regular basis. Like so many politicians, he also made some very close friends behind closed—and locked—doors. But a badge and a billionaire husband can get you into places others can’t go, and Eve intends to shine some light on the dirty deals and dark motives behind the disappearance of a powerful man, the family discord over a multimillion-dollar piece of real estate . . . and a new case that no one saw coming.

Warning: Spoilers!

Unlike so many, the In Death series manages to get better and more vividly alive with every addition.  Wonderfully written, with twists and turns to each case, the reader sees new aspects of the futuristic New York City and new layers to familiar characters in each book.

Brotherhood gives us more layers to one of every reader's favorite people: Dennis Mira. The husband of Dr. Charlotte Mira, readers have fallen in love with the sweet, slightly absentminded professor right along with Eve.  Here we get more scenes with Dennis, and meet his cousin Edward- Dennis' polar opposite.  A former senator, heavy into appearances and society, Edward and his wife Mandy are as far from Charlotte and Dennis as it's possible to get.  When Edward's case goes from a disappearance to multiple homicides, Brotherhood is one of those books where you have a hard time feeling sympathy for the murdered men.  First because they (and almost everyone they associate with) are horrible human beings, and then as motives become clear, because of the men themselves.  

One of the things that gave Brotherhood additional layers was that throughout the book, almost every character finds themselves asking: what is justice? "Justice is served" is a sign hung with each of the murdered men.  The more Eve and her team look into the case, the more it becomes obvious that the murder victims are being killed by women they made victims over the years- rape victims.  Do the women have the right to administer their own justice? Eve, Roarke, Peabody, McNab, even APA Cher Reo ask themselves this. Do multiple wrongs make a right? Brotherhood bring up moral gray areas (and areas that don't usually seem gray) and the reader finds themselves questioning their own philosophy right along with the characters.  

Along  with the darkness, Robb mixes in enough light to help break up the tension in all the right spots.  There are some wonderful scenes between Dennis and Eve that make you love Dennis Mira even more than you thought possible.  And there is an unexpected, prefect friendship scene between Eve and Peabody that I loved.  Of course there is also some great humor- a room full of dolls, Eve gets to threaten a computer system in creative ways we haven't seen in awhile.  And there's a graphic, not to be missed description of the only reason Eve would learn to sew that will make you grin every time you think of it.

A wonderful, thought-provoking addition to the In Death canon, and an absolute must read!  

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