84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2009
The horrible rape/murder of young and innocent Deena, daughter of Captain Jonah McMasters, shocks the whole NYPD. Instead of enjoying some much needed time with Roarke Eve has to deal with one of her worst cases.
It's soon clear to her that Deena was just means to an end and that her unspeakable suffering was a way to take revenge against her father, who's head of the NYPD drug squad.
Eve and her team work 24 hours to solve the case because they know that killing Deena was only the first act. Searching in McMasters past brings them closer to the killer but not near enough to prevent a second horrible rape/murder. Now it's up to Eve and her team to outwit the murderer and rescue his next victims.
"Kindred in Death" is an awesome book but it was still hard to read for me. The murders are just so brutal and horrible and because I'm a big sissy I had to force myself to read through the really bad parts. The book plays within a few days but there are so many bad things happening that it seems longer. The search for the killer is breathtaking and I couldn't lay the book down before they finally had him.
One thing was clear after the first few pages. There will never be justice for the torture, rape and murder of an innocent, young girl and of a bride just days before her wedding. Sometimes life just sucks and to accept it is not always easy.
The books focuses mainly on the case but there are still some private and funny moments (thank god for that). I especially enjoyed reading about the preparations for the upcoming wedding of Charles and Louise. Of course Eve doesn't understand or even cares about all the small details regarding the wedding and it's so funny when she has to deal with them. But still she is a loyal and good friend for Louise when it come's to the important things (even if it means that she has to deal with Trina).
Roarke is like he is 99% of the time - just perfect. He and Summerset are very affected by the murders because they remind them of what Marlena had to endure. Roarke works hard to help Eve deal with the case and her own memories.
For the first time in the series Eve seems to get a better handle on her violent and disturbing dreams. She realizes that compared to Deena she was lucky enough to be able to defend herself against her father. Because of that she finally seems to understand that killing her father was not bad at all. To be honest I had to cry when reading this scene because it's something I wished for Eve to realize for so long.
It's also nice to meet Jamie Lingstrom again and to see how his life has changed. He's still so sure about being a cop after college. I guess this time Roarke will have to accept defeat because he just can't lure Jamie with his money.
So all in all "Kindred in Death" is an awesome book and J.D. Robb continues to amaze me. Even after 30 books the series just get's better and better and is never boring or just average.
But still I'm very relieved that "Fantasy in Death" (coming January, 2010) will deal with a different kind of murder.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2009
KINDRED IN DEATH is an excellent (though grim) installment in a first-rate series, one of the best ongoing mystery series I know. This is not a book for the faint-of-heart; the details of the crimes are hard to take, though they are not excessive. J. D. Robb never indulges in gore or cruelty for gore's or cruelty's sake. Nothing is here that is not necessary to the evolution of the plot, the development of the characters, and the telling of the tale.
With each installment, Robb further deepens our understanding of the character of Lt. Eve Dallas, her husband Roarke, the other police detectives with whom she works, and the other regular characters. I don't know how she does it, but she manages to do it with subtlety and skill. Sometimes it takes just a small detail inserted in just the right place to open up a whole unexpected dimension of a character.
Of course this review won't give away any plot elements. Suffice it to say that the title makes good sense when the last page is turned; that the plot is eminently fair; and that Robb both obeys and honors the late Isaac Asimov's rules for mystery and detective stories set in the future. In fact, Asimov would admire these books.
All in all, a deeply satisfying book and an excellent addition to an excellent series.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2009
The strength in Robb's In Death Series is in Eve Dallas' personal journey towards finding kindred spirits, kin and family. In an earlier novel, Eve justified her ploy to use herself to lure a murderer out of his craven cover by saying she could count on one hand the people who care for her and about whom she cares. Shaken, Roarke asks her how many cases she has had and how many dead she has "stood" for. Hundreds! Roarke knows that Eve cares profoundly and that she has never forgotten each face and name. We, too, care deeply about Eve and can not forget her.
Through out the In Death series, this brilliant, courageous, difficult and troubled heroine gathers kin, friends, love and family, the ultimate forces behind all of the books. Dr. Mira often reminds Eve that the cases are personal, a fact which drives Eve to right the wrongs, give dignity once again to the dead and restore them to their family. Indeed, family factors into this novel when a lovely daughter of a police captain is raped and murdered. Eve knows first hand the horror of the abuse this innocent suffered. Now she examines the dynamics and dysfunction of the murderer's family and other family units. What drives one terrorized child to kill and another equally terrorized to stand for the dead as Eve does?
On this quest Eve learns about herself. But this courageous defender is tentative and inexperienced in outward displays of affection. Brilliant and confident, Eve stands for the dead, yet awkward and vulnerable she stands before those who love her. Usually Robb surrounds Eve with people who love her, but this interaction is somehow lacking in this novel; the novel is more procedural and less personal. Indeed, Kindred is not perfect, but when one loves the characters, it matters less. But still I wanted more.
I wanted more interaction with Peabody and others, for a family and kindred baseline, a foil to the plot line. Eve and Roarke seemed on their own, missing the personal insights and touches friends provide. I wanted a car chase, of all things, featuring Eve's fully loaded, low profile car, a present from Roarke in Promises. Actually, I even wanted more of the Greek chorus-Summerset. He pushes the spitfire Eve to be a better person. I waited the entire book for a good Summerset dig. The funny exchange occurred when he remarked on Eve's banged up face: "I see you have had your monthly facial, Lieutenant." I laughed, at last, at the dialogue as I usually do throughout all of the novels.
Still Mira supported Eve. In one scene Dr. Mira escorts Eve on an interview and compliments Eve for her kindnesses. Amusingly, Eve shows off before Mira with a chase and take down of a petty thief, winning Mira's amazement and approval. Is it coincidence that Mira's name begins with M-for mother, or am I searching for a symbol? Wonderful scenes between motherly Mira and unfolding Eve appear in all of the books and in this one also. Mira matters to Eve. Even Mira's daughter reveals to Eve that Eve is a child of Mira's heart. Who could doubt Feeney's (F for father) protective, nurturing relationship to Eve and his developing kinship with Roarke, "son-in -law" and mutual defender of all things Eve. However, to some extent, the novel lacked Feeney's presence.
In Kindred, Robb surrounds Eve with families, some dysfunctional and dangerous, willing to destroy their own, and others growing and changing positively. Ultimately we needed to see more of Peabody's free- ager family or of Mira's, including Mr. Mira and grandchildren, or of Mavis, Leonardo and baby Belle Eve, all kindred souls who enfold Eve with their warmth, comfort and stability. In fact, we needed more of Charles and Louise whose wedding ceremony should have been the focus of the novel. Nevertheless, Robb's series is fantastic, and I eagerly await the next novel. I love Roarke and Eve, two self described "lost souls" who did cement their love and family ties while hosting Louise and Charles' wedding, a marriage of two kindred spirits held amidst their extended family- their kindred.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I loved this book for many reasons. It gives you continuity of the characters, shows growth of the characters, made me laugh, made me cry, and was an intriguing, brilliant and twisted story line that was revealed at just the right pace. Several times, I was guessing where it was going and ended up being surprised.
I enjoyed some of the newer characters, for example the 90 year old grandmother who was a potential victim, what a hoot. Imagine her as Eve in the future.
The relationships are intertwined and complex. Here are several not plot revealing, situations that stuck out for me as advancing the characters: Roarke doesn't tell Eve he is giving young and brilliant e-detective Jamie a scholarship. Eve's unconscious questioning of motherhood and what might be her own destiny. Eve's nightmares continue in this book, but they are changing and she now has power over them. Peabody is interviewed by the victim on the impact of her being a free ager and a cop in NYC. Roarke becomes more human, he is shown as being tired and frustrated and not always getting his way, while still being the perfect mate for Eve. Eve really steps up and into her power in this book. All the other regulars are woven into the story perfectly too. I kept waiting for Nadine to show up, and she did, exactly where she was needed to be.
This book is a great story, that captures the multiple faucets of humanity regardless of the fact that it is set in the future and in the center of the world, NYC, as Eve muses at one point. It is my favorite in the series and I've read them all in order. The only book I've rated a 5, so far.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2009
I am a major "In Death" fan. That being said, I must confess slight disappointment in the latest installment. The brutality was disturbing, but I can deal with that. My first criricism is the shortage of what I call "normal" scenes, e.g. run-ins with Summerset, funny encounters with McNab, Peabody, Mavis, etc. Even Eve's scene with the terrifying Trina was too brief. The book deals with a truly monstrous killer; that's why it needs more lightening up, not less.
My major criticism is that the central core of the story and motivation is too similar to that of Survivor in Death.
One aspect of the series that has always bothered me is that we generally do not learn of the fates of previous killers once Eve arrests them. JDR does a bit better with that in this book, mentioning the status of the previous book's villain. I guess I'm just bloodthirsty, and I'd really like to see some of the perps (like the killers of Nixie's family in Survivor in Death) suffer in a major way! I would like to see this book's bad guys go through a wood chipper! But that's just me.
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2009
I am a loyal reader of the JD Robb books, but I was disappointed in this latest intallment. It was a police procedural with minimal involvement of characters we have come to know and love in the In Death series. I got the impression that Nora Roberts is tired of writing about the life and times of Eve and Roarke and the gang, so she simply left many of them out, and others had barely more than a line or two. It's Eve's interactions with friends and her support system that make the In Death series special, and I think their overall absence in this book is what made the focus on the brutal crimes difficult for readers.
I also was disappointed in the motive behind the crimes- it made no sense. The killer was basically a puppet for someone else, and there was no character development for the puppetmaster nor a reasonable motivation for the puppetmaster's involvement in the crimes.
For JD Robb fans, I would recommend reading this book, but get it from the library instead of spending your money on it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2010
I have read every "in death" book in the entire series, I actually own them, they are all on my bookshelf, and I have enjoyed every single one of them, until this one. This episode is very low on content and very high on graphic content. I was so disgusted by their constant description of the atrocities inflicted on the 1st murder victim -- a 17 year old rape victim -- that my stomach turned and I am really turned off the entire series now. I am seriously considering chucking the whole set. I genuinely hope the next book is better because right now one of my favorite reading guilty pleasures is in serious jeopardy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One might think that with the 39th offering in a series an author might be slowing down - quite the opposite is true with J. D. Robb who ratchets up the suspense, scariness, and sex in KINDRED IN DEATH. For this reader it's the best Eve Dallas tale yet.
Set in 2060 with NYC as the primary backdrop we find our erstwhile police lieutenant and husband Roarke enjoying a leisurely Sunday, and planning a day in the Caymans. (Just one more perk for being married to a handsome over the top wealthy Irishman with his own plane). However they're interrupted, "He (Roarke) watched the cop take over, face, posture, as she picked up the communicator to respond to her commander."
Jonah McMasters, who has recently been promoted to NYPD captain, and his wife have just returned from a brief trip to find their 16-year-old daughter, Deena, dead in her own bedroom. She has been savagely assaulted, repeatedly raped, and strangled. It soon becomes obvious that the killer took his time, enjoying the slaughter and the pain he inflicted. McMasters has specifically asked for Eve to handle the case.
There is no sign of forced entry to the home, moreover no apparent reason for murdering an innocent young girl. This is a tough case for Eve in more ways than one as in viewing Deena she relives the abuse she once suffered. "She knew what it was to be helpless like this, abused like this, terrified like this."
With little if anything to go on Eve assembles her team, and meticulously starts to work. If ever there was a crime she wanted to solve this was it. Her team feels the same way as a crime against a police officer is an attack on each one of them.
When an initial clue is found it becomes clear that the murder was committed to hurt McMasters, perhaps a payback, but for what? Readers will be both entertained and intrigued as they follow the steps taken to eventually track down a fiendish killer. Future technology, and the involvement of Roarke who can pull all sorts of strings, make the reading even more fascinating.
Even if one has not read a previous Eve Dallas thriller it is easy to come to know the other characters, and appreciate them for their distinctive personalities and skills. Mix in a wedding for which Eve will serve as matron of honor (not exactly her favorite milieu). Somehow, amidst all the viciousness Robb manages to mix a little humor, methinks a rare talent.
KINDRED IN DEATH is that rarity - a complex murder mystery that seems within the realm of possibility resulting in shivers, chills, and non-stop reading.
- Gail Cooke
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2009
I love the In Death books. They are consistently well written and entertaining and not only do I adore Eve and Roarke, Robb has given us one of the best ensemble casts I've ever encountered. Each book gives me the opportunity to catch up on a group of people that have become, in a sense, old friends, and I look forward to each release.
However, I sometimes hesitate to recommend the series to others because a number of the entries could be considered fairly gruesome (I have three friends who never got past Naked In Death, the series debut) and Kindred in Death is one of the most difficult to read. While I understand that murder is ugly and crime not pretty, I've felt a couple of the stories have gone a bit over the edge and this is one of those.
Usually, the personal aspects of the character's stories - Eve & Roarke's relationship, the humorous moments Robb so deftly inserts, etc. - can help me to still love even the grimmer entries. I have to admit that this one was more of a struggle than the others have been.
Still good, still riveting and still recommended, but with a touch of hesitancy and a warning that this is not one of the lighter entries in this great series.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2009
I actually read an advanced copy of this latest book in the series a month or so before it came out and had been anxiously waiting for the time it was officially released to see if others had the same response that I had to it. I read the book in about a day and a half, but by the end, I really felt disappointed.I agree with those who were unimpressed with the weak plot. It had a regurgitated feeling about it. Been there/read that. And after the big build up to Louise and Charles's wedding in previous books, I wanted a little bit more about them and their wedding ceremony (I was disappointed not to get more of a description of Eve and Roarke's wedding ceremony when it finally happened, too!!) In any case, I ended up going back and reading some of my favorite titles from the series -- Naked, Portrait, Judgment, Glory, Immortal,etc. -- I guess to compensate for my dissatisfaction with "Kindred." It has never occurred to me that some of the books in the series are being written by someone other than Nora Roberts, but I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility. If it's true, however, it is a real cheat to the fans and followers of this series. I've been reading it since the very first one, and I'm sure I will read future ones, it's just unfortunate that the quality of the writing has become so sporadic that buying the book won't guarantee me that I will have a good read as I once again visit old "friends." Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb has found a basic formula for writing her books that have clearly worked more than well for her. But I think that one of the reasons I stopped reading the books she writes under Nora Roberts -- after being a devoted follower for many years -- is that it became too formulaic and predictable. It felt like she had become afraid to mess too much with what had made her so successful. I really don't want to see that happen with the In Death series. We know what she is capable of when writing it. All I can say is don't play it safe. Don't screw it up!