Obsession in Death, by JD Robb

>> Monday, April 06, 2015

TITLE: Obsession in Death

PAGES: 416

SETTING: 2060s New York
TYPE: Police procedural & romance
SERIES: By my count, 42nd full-length title in the In Death series

Eve Dallas has solved a lot of high-profile murders for the NYPSD and gotten a lot of media. She—and her billionaire husband—are getting accustomed to being objects of attention, of gossip, of speculation.

But now Eve has become the object of one person’s obsession. Someone who finds her extraordinary, and thinks about her every hour of every day. Who believes the two of them have a special relationship. Who would kill for her—again and again…

With a murderer reading meanings into her every move, handling this case will be a delicate—and dangerous—psychological dance. And Eve knows that underneath the worship and admiration, a terrible threat lies in wait. Because the beautiful lieutenant is not at all grateful for these bloody offerings from her “true and loyal friend.” And in time, idols always fall...

Eve Dallas has made many enemies over the years, but in Obsession in Death she comes against someone who considers hirself a friend. A well-known defense lawyer has been found dead in her home, and when Eve and Peabody respond to the call they are surprised to see the message written on the wall next to the victim. It's addressed to Eve. It makes it clear that the killer is an admirer of hers and is trying to tie the loose ends Eve herself cannot (being, as she is, constrained by the rules of her job). The dead woman is a macabre offering, and Eve is sure it won't be the last. And when this person realises Eve is not properly appreciative, will they turn against her and go for the people she cares about?

This was a middle-of-the-road kind of entry in this series. Nothing special, but good and satisfying and working perfectly well as a comfort read. This is one of those cases where the investigation combines the development of the plot and the personal aspects of the series (which can sometimes be a bit separate).

It's obvious the killer takes some sort of twisted inspiration from Eve and sees quite a few similarities between them. So Eve has to consider this, and it leads to an acknowledgment of just how much her life has changed since the solitary days before she met Roarke. The number of potential "bad" victims, people the killer could target as a "favour" to Eve, is large, but the number of potential victims if the killer turns and starts to go after Eve's friends is even larger.

The only aspect that didn't work so well was that I felt Robb overestimated how well we readers would remember previous books. The 40+ books in this series all cover a period of about 2 years in Eve's life. This means that when Eve and her team discuss the victims and their involvement in previous investigations, they don't do a lot of verbal catch-up. This makes sense; they all remember the cases well. I didn't, and I've read every single book in the series. Some of the earlier ones I've actually read multiple times. This includes Rapture in Death, which is where the first victim shows up. The thing is, that book came out almost 20 years ago (!). I reread it more recently, but I still had no idea who all these people Eve was talking about were. Fortunately, there's a wiki for the In Death series and that was really helpful to remind myself of what had happened. Still, Robb really should have realised the great majority of her readers would not remember the books as well as she does!



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