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5.0 out of 5 starsThe In Death book I've been waiting for!
Reviewed in the United States on February 3, 2016
* This review was originally published on my book blog, Will Read for Feels.
OMG, OMG, OMG! I will warn you now I am going to gush from now until the last line of this post, because ladies and gentlemen, J.D. Robb is back in business! Now, I’ve been a fan of Eve Dallas and Roarke for over half my life now, and I don’t think there’s ever been a book in this series I’ve disliked, but outside of the gut-wrenching New York to Dallas, I’d probably say that the past 10 books or so have not had the magic of the first books.
I remember thinking to myself, not long after rereading the previous book, Devoted in Death, “Maybe it’s just that this series has lost its shine for people who’ve been following it for as long as I have.” And there may be some truth to that; there are only so many times you can tell a joke to the same person and still have them laugh, only so many times you can gut a character and show us what’s inside them before we feel like we’ve seen it before. But then comes Brotherhood in Death and all those doubts get thrown out the window.
First of all, those jokes? Like, for example, Eve Dallas’ perpetual mangling and/or sideways analysis of common English idioms? They’re one of the things that I just found totally endearing about the character, but in recent books, I’ve had to wonder how much she was putting on. Well, in Brotherhood in Death, you see it clearly, almost as if the author had been aware of this growing skepticism. While Dallas may not have been putting it on in the beginning, some of it she does on purpose now. Not to be sly or to make the joke flat, but because she knows that sharing these thoughts that she might otherwise have kept to herself makes the people she loves laugh or helps ease tension, she lets the silliness loose. And seeing that now makes this endearing two times over, because when you’ve loved someone a long time, sometimes you do do these things, not because you’re not aware that they’re silly, but because you know it makes that person smile.
Second, there’s her childhood trauma. There’s no doubt our heroine has been dealt a crappy hand as far as the birth family cards are concerned, which highlights the absolute win of her chosen family. This book brings out those raw feelings of outrage and sympathy and horror, but for the first time, there’s also a sense that while this isn’t something that just goes away or can be gotten over, the character has found a way to live with it and live well, and it isn’t just that she’s doing it, but more importantly, she knows it and vocalizes it to one of the people who has helped her get to the place she’s at. Where books like Divided in Death and New York to Dallas made readers aware of just how bad it was, there’s a hopefulness in Brotherhood in Death, like for the first time you truly understand Dallas is going to be okay, because she knows she’s going to be okay, even on the days when she’s not.
Third, there’s supporting character love. We all know Dennis Mira is just adorbz, but it’s lovely to know that this gentle teddy bear has a spine of steel and is more than deserving of walking through life hand in hand with the estimable Dr. Charlotte Mira. And there’s the promise of more fun supporting characters who may just hop on the Dallas train in the next books—or at least I hope so! One comes in the form of a geek-speaking e-man on Feeney’s team who makes Dallas’ head spin, plus another uniform Dallas may bring into her department.
I can’t say enough how much this book satisfies. I feel like my loyalty as a fan has been rewarded because while I liked or even loved many of the books that came before it, none have left me as excited about the series since the first two (I read both in one sitting more years ago than I’d care to count).
I will say this, though: on the feels, this book delivers again and again. There are moments so sweet I worried that people would see the goofy expression on my face, and moments so raw I had to reach for a Kleenex. Interspersed with these was humor that had me grinning, and I hit the last page with just a general sense of rightness with the world that you get when close friends have everything going for them and want to share their happiness with you. As far as books go, as far as Dallas and Roarke go, (and let me tell you, in my book fandom, that’s a very, very, very long way), Brotherhood in Death knocked it out of the park for me. And, as always, I can’t wait to read whatever comes next!
Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2018
Part of what I usually like about this author’s books is that she not only tackles difficult subjects, but she also has lighter moments to help us get thru them. This story is dark the whole way thru, and I almost didn’t finish it. The ending didn’t even make it feel like justice was done because it was dark as well. Another main draw is her relationship with R, but that was almost nonexistent in this one. He was there, but more tokenly. Unlike her other stories, this is not one I will reread.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2016
I have really enjoyed the In Death series but am beginning to feel that some of the material is being recycled and an unwelcome element of sentimentality is becoming more and more evident. I suppose there are only so many variations on murder but what always made this series different was the superb characterisation, the dark humour and the 'luxury porn' of Roarke's world. I do enjoy the descriptions of his life style and his gorgeous homes. Keep Eve sassy and tough, keep Roarke sexy, nurturing and funny, keep Summerset involved and bring back Mavis and Bella I say. Nevertheless, I did enjoy this book, just not as much as some of the previous ones in the series. I do hope that they will not become formulaic. There is still plenty of mileage in the cultured and disapproving Summerset and the Peabody character could be mined for much more rather than letting her become a ditzy surrogate younger sister/daughter. Remember how she started out? Tough, immaculate and snarky? When did she become pink, sentimental and silly?
With over 130 reviews already it hardly needs another one for this latest entry in the 'in Death' series, but here it is. Nora Roberts aka JD Robb is a publishing phenomenon with more than 40 novels in this series alone never mind her other astonishingly prolific output. She started out in the romantic novel genre and that style underpins her much-grittier 'in Death' series featuring future cop Eve Dallas and her unfeasibly rich/handsome/dangerous husband Roarke. At the heart of the series is the romance between these two damaged characters. It teeters on the edge of cliche, with troubled cops and darkly mysterious leading men littering genre fiction. But the author gets away with it simply because of the way she portrays her lead characters and the obvious delight she takes in this harder-edged series. Ms Roberts also gets in a good measure of subversion. She's a US author, yet her future America has freely-available abortion, contraception and legal prostitution following a never-explained Urban War, with firearms now banned - pretty much a reversal of current attitudes. The series is set around 50 years ahead in a future New York, allowing Ms Roberts free rein to do what she wants in her plotting. Lieutenant Eve Dallas takes on the hardest cases and the author has thrown everything at her heroine from serial killers and political bombers to electronic terrorists. It has been an enjoyable journey for her readers and Brotherhood in Death is a worthy continuation of the series. In this novel Eve's father-figure Dennis Mira is injured when his cousin Edward Mira is apparently kidnapped. Edward Mira is a former judge and senator, a powerful man who made enemies over the years. Has something from his past resurfaced? Of course it has, but not in the way you might expect. As the bodies pile up Dallas has to confront her own past as an abused child. That might sound familiar if you've read any of the series but again Ms Roberts manages to avoid an assembly line feel of scenes being endlessly recycled. The emphasis is on Dallas and several usual characters make little or no appearance in this novel. Even Roarke is somewhat sidelined until his other-side-of-the-law skills are required. It works, although this is not perhaps the most intense entry in the series. Recommended.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 6, 2016
Received this book yesterday afternoon, and stayed up until I'd finished it. Nora Roberts/ J D Robb went through a short period where the In Death series dropped in quality, but this must be one of - if not the - best so far. It begins with the absent-minded but instinctively astute Dennis Mira getting thumped on the head when he interrupts an odd meeting between his cousin, the retired Senator, Edward Mira, and someone else; when he regains consciousness, the house is empty, and there is blood, other than his, on the floor. Even without a murder or a body, Eve Dallas is immediately involved, her affection for both Dennis and Dr Mira drawing her into the mystery. Then bodies do start appearing, tortured, brutalized - and bearing messages which clearly show them to be revenge killings - but for what?
The nature of this case causes Eve's personal history to rise up once again, but in a more purposeful way than the constant harping on about it in previous books. There's another significant step in her relationship with Roarke running through this novel, but it is subtly underplayed alongside the horror and sheer nastiness of these crimes and their causes. There's a wonderful scene between Eve and Dennis Mira; there's Trueheart's promotion to Detective; there's the enjoyable banter within Eve's crime team, and some really spine-chilling, gut-churning moments which you might prefer to skim over rather than read in detail.
This is a hard-hitting, exceptionally-well written book, and can be forgiven the odd slip of calling Morris 'Morse', which hasn't happened since the early days of the series. Buy it, read it, but be aware, the subject matter is never an easy one to deal with, but here is even worse. It's brilliant writing even when its content appalls.
4.0 out of 5 starsNot great - but good and enjoyable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 9, 2016
Lately the books in this series have become very formulaic but although this novel contained most of what we expect in a JD Robb title I found the book more enjoyable and fresher than others. You don't have to have read the previous novels in the series but if you have you will recognise the characters and their characteristics and that makes it more enjoyable because it feels like you are meeting friends again.
Eve Dallas is very fond of Denis Mira, the husband of her friend Charlotte who is also the police psychologist. When he is found wounded in his family home the investigation leads to death and conspiracy which Eve and her team, including her husband, have to unravel in order to achieve any form of justice. It's an investigation which brings to the fore Eve's traumatic childhood, a plot theme that has been diminishing in recent books.
These books are more sentimental and cosy than the earlier volumes but the author actually raises a few interesting questions about how we look at some difficult issues. Eve and Roarke also have to find their way through a personal problem when Roarke interprets Eve's behaviour in a way that she doesn't mean.
I look forward to these books and I feel that, although this was not one of the great entries in the series, this was enjoyable because of the familiarity of the setting and the characters but also because the author has written a well plotted story.
5.0 out of 5 starsCan't get enough hoof these books.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 25, 2017
It's really weird...these, characters have become part of my life. (Sad really).. I have all her books so far, and each one is, good. How she can think of storylines for her books, I'll never no, but don't stop, each one is good. Sometimes, I wish there was more going on in their household, along with the murders, not sure what. But this story was good, because I actually had others as the murderers at the beginning. Then when you understood more, it was easier to have an idea "who done it" . These stories have a bit of everything. When I read a book, I'm 100 % into it, I'm there! That's what's these stories are like for me. So for me personally they're great and I love them. Main thing I love Roarke, jealous of Dallas. Haha. But it's only make believe, isn't it?