After hearing good things about the In Death series by J.D. Robb for a while, I picked up the first book, Naked in Death, and was quickly hooked. Since then, I have read all the books and continue to pick up the new books as soon as they come out. I just finished Kindred in Death, the twenty-ninth book in the series.
The In Death series is a romantic suspense series set about fifty years in the future in New York City. Eve Dallas, a homicide detective on the New York police force, is the main character for the series. Each book covers a different investigation that Eve is working on as well as taking some time to deal with other aspects of her life, like her marriage to the very wealthy Roarke or her friendships. Various different things about the future, like how cars have the ability to fly as well as drive on the roads, are in every book. Each book has a different main plot, but there are a few continuing subplots and references back to earlier books, so things will make the most sense if the books are read in order. A little over two years has passed since the first book.
Eve's relaxing holiday weekend with Roarke is interrupted when she is called in to deal with an investigation. Deena, the sixteen-year-old daughter of a recently promoted police officer, is brutally raped and murdered while her parents are gone for the weekend. Captain MacMasters, her father, personally requested that Eve handle the investigation. She wastes no time getting a team together that includes Feeney, McNab, Roarke, and Jamie, a young man who is planning to join the EDD after college. Eve and the others first met Jamie after the murder of his sister. Before the team has enough evidence to make an arrest, another brutal rape and murder happens. While all of that is going on, Eve is also dealing with the upcoming wedding of one of her friends.
Kindred in Death begins showing Eve and Roarke enjoying the end of a holiday weekend. For many of the books in the series, they begin with Eve doing something work related or with a description of the murder that Eve will be investigating. It isn't a major plot point, but it is nice to read a bit about Eve and Roarke being able to relax and enjoy some time off even though they stayed at home. Little things like that add to the series overall, and help illustrate how Eve has changed since the beginning of the series and how she has more balance in her life. I think little details like that help make the books and series stronger.
Like several of the previous books in the series, Eve ultimately ends up investigating more than one murder in Kindred in Death. Much of the book is focused on the investigation into Deena's murder. The second murder happens a bit later in the book, and it is clear right away that the same person is responsible because of the similarities. There is a decent amount of mystery to what happens and I think it was resolved in a way that makes sense. It doesn't seem like the conclusion just comes out of nowhere. Only a few scenes involve some suspense, though I don't feel like the book is predictable.
Neither of the murders are described as they happen in Kindred in Death. The murders are very violent and brutal, so the scenes are not pleasant. The bodies are described in detail and from the condition of them, Eve and her team are able to peace together what the victims went through. It is very disturbing, especially as far as Deena is concerned since she was so young. It is upsetting and difficult to read at times. That aspect of the book may bother some readers. A little bit of violence that isn't graphic turns up once or twice. Even though this book deals with disturbing murders, there isn't that much violence.
The relationship between Eve and Roarke continues to be important in Kindred in Death without being the main focus of the book. When the books are read in order, their relationship progresses from their first meeting, through their wedding, and into their married life. I've really enjoyed how their relationship has progressed and how both of them have dealt with being married. By the time of this book, they have been married just less than two years. I'm thinking their anniversary will turn up in one of the next few books. They do have an active sex life and a few sex scenes turn up in the book. The scenes are descriptive without being that graphic. People who don't like to read those types of scenes will probably want to pick a different book. Two other characters, Delia and Ian, are involved, though nothing about their relationship is shared during the book. That did disappoint me a bit since I like them. A little bit of the book is focused on the upcoming wedding of two of Eve's friends and how she is panicking a bit about it.
Eve and Roarke have been in every book of the series, making them the most developed characters. Roarke hasn't been around as much, so he isn't as developed and there still seem to be a few mysteries about him. Not much new is added about either of them in this book, but that's fine since they have been so thoroughly developed before this. Summerset, Roarke's butler, turns up every so often without doing too much. He and Eve continue to insult each other, though they have a bit of a truce.
Delia Peabody has worked with Eve for about two years, first as her aide, and now as her partner. Delia is getting more confident in her abilities at work. Ian McNab, a detective in the EDD, has been involved with Delia for a while and the two of them are living together. He usually ends up working on the investigations since he is one of the best detectives in the EDD.
Feeney is back as well, mostly in the background. He and Eve have a long friendship that goes back to when he trained her. Commander Whitney, the man that Eve reports to, turns up slightly more often than he has in previous books. Li Morris, the medical examiner, is back as well and he does briefly touch on something from the previous book. Jamie is a college student that Eve and Roarke both took an interst in after his sister's murder. He's very talented with computers and had been one of Deena's friends.
Dr. Mira, the psychiatrist who works for the department, shows up briefly. She tends to provide profiles of suspects. Mavis, Eve's best friend, only makes a short appearance. She is a fun character, so it is always nice when she pops up. I did like that she had her baby with her and that Eve had to hold her at one point. Eve still has no clue how to deal with the baby, so those scenes are entertaining. Louise is a doctor who became one of Eve's friends through an investigation. She is also the friend with the upcoming wedding. The man she is marrying, Charles, turns up during a short scene, so he really doesn't have much to do. He has gone through a lot of changes since his first appearance in the books. The various other characters that turn up are somehow tied to the investigation and don't have as much to do.
J.D. Robb, the author of the In Death series, is actually Nora Roberts. She already had an established writing career when she started writing the In Death series and she decided to use a different name. I've read all the books in the series as well as many of her other books and I've enjoyed them all. Both sets of books are well written and feature well developed characters and plots. There is more focus on the mystery aspects of the stories in the In Death books while her other books have more focus on the romance and relationships. One of her books, Remember When, has both names listed as authors. The book begins in current times and then concludes in Eve's time. Eve's portion of Remember When is set between the events in Imitation in Death and Divided in Death.
Kindred in Death does have some more disturbing elements, but it is still a very well done, entertaining book overall that fans of the In Death series should enjoy. People who like books by Nora Roberts may also enjoy this series since they are written by the same person.
In Death Series
Naked in Death ~ Glory in Death ~ Immortal in Death ~ Rapture in Death ~ Ceremony in Death ~ Vengeance in Death ~ Holiday in Death ~ Midnight in Death (Short Story) ~ Conspiracy in Death ~ Loyalty in Death ~ Witness in Death ~ Judgment in Death ~ Betrayal in Death ~ Interlude in Death (Short Story) ~ Seduction in Death ~ Reunion in Death ~ Purity in Death ~ Portrait in Death ~ Imitation in Death ~ Divided in Death ~ Visions in Death ~ Survivor in Death ~ Origin in Death ~ Memory in Death ~ Haunted in Death (Short Story) ~ Born in Death ~ Innocent in Death ~ Creation in Death ~ Eternity in Death (Short Story) ~ Strangers in Death ~ Salvation in Death ~ Ritual in Death (Short Story) ~ Promises in Death ~ Kindred in Death ~ Missing in Death (Short Story) ~ Fantasy in Death ~ Indulgence in Death ~ Treachery in Death ~ New York to Dallas ~ Celebrity in Death ~
J.D. Robb and Nora Roberts
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