Review: “Devoted in Death,” J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts

Pros: Suspense
Cons: “Meh” dialogue; didn’t really pull me in
Rating: 3 out of 5

Expected publication date: September 15, 2015
Review book provided by publisher.

 

J.D. Robb’s (Nora Roberts’s) Devoted in Death is not the best example of the series.

In Devoted in Death a young man and a young woman have developed a twisted taste for torturing and killing others, and it’s all wrapped up in their love for each other. People are dying horrible deaths and Eve, who gets the case, knows she’s working against the clock to find the latest kidnapped victim. She also has a hunch that the two have been killing for longer than anyone thinks, and this gets backed up by a Deputy Banner, who’s been tracing the line of victims much farther than she has.

 

Deputy Banner is a good new character–partly the slow-seeming country bumpkin cop, but in reality a dedicated, smart officer of the law. I hope we end up seeing him again sometime (you never know in this series!). The bad guys, Darryl and Ella-Loo, waver on the border between completely insane, and a little too silly. The darkness of their actions tips the balance away from laughter, thank goodness. Speaking of which, do not read this book unless you’re okay with reading about torture, rape, and other dark topics. I think most readers of the series know this by now, but I try to note when things get particularly dark. The dark stuff is handled well (IMO) and not done to be titillating.

It was nice for once to have a plot that didn’t directly touch on the personal lives of Eve, Roarke, or one of their friends, just because things tie back to them so often that it can be ridiculous. The book stands alone fairly well if you want to check out the series without hunting down the first book.

The bad part: I didn’t feel particularly pulled into this one, and I’m not entirely sure why. My best guess is because the dialogue was only okay. Normally Robb writes snappy, quotable dialogue; in the past I’ve found myself reading whole exchanges to my husband. I didn’t do that even once in this installment. The dialogue was just okay, which is weird and unfortunate.

This hardly prevents me from looking forward to the next book–in any series of this length there will be ups and downs. But this isn’t the best of Robb’s work.

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