Book Review: Devoted in Death by J.D. RobbDevoted in Death by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #41
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on September 8, 2015
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three-stars
Eve Dallas tracks a couple whose passion is fueled by cold brutalityin the newest crime thriller from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Obsession in Death and Festive in Death.

When Lieutenant Eve Dallas examines a body in a downtown Manhattan alleyway, the victim’s injuries are so extensive that she almost misses the clue. Carved into the skin is the shape of a heart—and initials inside reading E and D . . .

Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don’t ever intend to part again. Ella-Loo’s got dreams. And Darryl believes there are better ways to achieve your dreams than working for them. So they hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone—an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. A desire for Darryl. And a desire to kill again.

As they cross state lines on their way to New York to find the life they think they deserve, they will leave a trail of evil behind them. But now they’ve landed in the jurisdiction of Lieutenant Dallas and her team at the New York Police and Security Department. And with her husband, Roarke, at her side, she has every intention of hunting them down and giving them what they truly deserve . . .

I’m a huge, huge, huge fan of J.D. Robb’s In Death series featuring homicide cop Lt. Eve Dallas, and I’ll admit that I haven’t missed a single one of the 40-odd stories in this series. With so many installations, it can be difficult to list all of them, although I do believe I’ve read each at least twice. Some of them have reread numbers in the double digits. So of course I was always going to read Devoted in Death.

When I first read the blurb, I was especially intrigued by the whole Bonnie-and-Clyde aspect, as it’s one of the items on my wish list for the series (and I have to say that this author has done a good job of fulfilling my wish list; there are only a few items that haven’t been ticked off). Robb has done tandem killers before, but never a couple on a killing spree. So I fully expected the story to be fast-paced and twisted. Which it was.

Ella-Lou and Darryl might not be the smartest or even the most sinister of the villains in this series, but they are certainly very prolific and also notable for the glee they seemed to take in killing people. It was kind of like a madcap version of a B-grade rom-com, with a whole heap of torture and murder tossed in. They might well be Robb’s campiest villains yet, which was a surprise and quite fun to read.

What I didn’t expect was to end this novel with a vague feeling of disappointment. It wasn’t that it was a bad novel; it was a pretty decent procedural, and the progression of the main story line was well-paced. There were also a few gems of dialogue that had me laughing out loud. Particularly the bit about oxymorons. But as an Eve Dallas book, this just felt a little flat to me, like a filler novel. And I’ve said before that I do enjoy some downtime in long-running series, where nothing major happens in the overarching story line following a big event. But I still expect these novels to involve character development and some contribution to the overall story. It was disappointing to end the book feeling like nothing would have been lost from the series had this novel never been written. As it was, the highlight for me as far as character development went was the very minor bit about Officer Troy Trueheart taking the detectives’ exam and Baxter all but clucking over him like a mother hen.

Has Devoted in Death tarnished the shiny brightness of my J.D. Robb fandom? I’d say not. I am quite looking forward to getting the next J.D. Robb anthology, Down the Rabbit Hole, which comes out next week. And Robb’s February 2016 release, Brotherhood in Death, features one of my absolute favorites of the supporting characters, Dennis Mira, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. It’s going to be a long wait, though. And while I’m definitely planning on giving this novel a reread at some point, it definitely won’t go into my list of favorites from this series. In fact, it may come out in the bottom spot.

 

Feel Factor Rating:

fan-factor5

swoon-factor4

steam-factor2

intrigue-factor1

 

Reading Order (Full Novels):

Naked in Death • Glory in Death • Immortal in Death • Rapture in Death, • Ceremony in Death • Vengeance in Death • Holiday in Death • Conspiracy in Death • Loyalty in Death • Witness in Death • Judgment in Death • Betrayal in Death • 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 • Born in Death • Innocent in Death • Creation in Death • Strangers in Death • Salvation in Death • Promises in Death • Kindred in Death • Fantasy in Death • Indulgence in Death • Treachery in Death • New York to Dallas • Celebrity in Death • Delusion in Death • Calculated in Death • Thankless in Death • Concealed in Death • Festive in Death • Obsession in Death • Devoted in Death • Brotherhood in Death

 

About J.D. Robb

J.D. Robb is the pseudonym for a number-one New York Times-bestselling author of more than 170 novels, including the futuristic suspense In Death series. There are more than 300 million copies of her books in print.