Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review: Delusion in Death by J. D. Robb

Delusion in Death
Author: J. D. Robb
Publication: Putnam Adult (September 11, 2012)

Description: It was just another after-work happy-hour bar downtown, where business professionals unwound with a few drinks . . .until something went terribly wrong. And after twelve minutes of chaos and violence, eighty people lay dead.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is trying to sort out the inexplicable events. Surviving witnesses talk about seeing things—monsters and swarms of bees. They describe sudden, overwhelming feelings of fear and rage and paranoia. When forensics gives its report, the mass delusions make more sense: It appears the
bar patrons were exposed to a cocktail of chemicals and illegal drugs that could drive anyone to temporary insanity—if not kill them outright.

But that doesn’t explain who would unleash such horror—or why. And if Eve can’t figure it out fast, it could happen again, anytime, anywhere. Because it’s airborne. . . .

My Thoughts: This was another strong entry in the long-running In Death series. By internal chronology, Eve and Roarke have only known each other for two and a half years. I have been reading these books since 1995. 

This episode is more of a police procedural than has been the case in recent novels. Eve is called in to work a case where people in one of Roarke's bars went crazy and killed each other - eighty-three of them. Someone released an air-borne drug cocktail with LSD and other components that caused hallucinations and triggered violence. Eve as a huge number of suspects to sort through as she tries to decide if this is some new outbreak of terrorism or some more mundane murder plot. 

Eve is also still dealing with the repercussions of her meeting with her biological mother and the trauma that caused in her life. While she has always had nightmares about her abusive childhood, since her return from Dallas they have become much more severe. Roarke manages to convince her to finally talk with Mira about the dreams. He uses some marital blackmail and convinces Eve to see Mira because he can't stand the pain she is in. 

The case has a lot of resemblance to some terrorist attacks that happened in Europe during the Urban Wars. Sommerset shares some information that puts Eve on the right track. It was interesting to see how the relationship between Eve and Sommerset has changed over the course of thirty-five books.

Because there is the possibility of terrorism, Homeland Security gets involved in the case. This is hard for Roarke because Eve convinced him not to destroy Homeland when he found out that they knew Eve was being abused by her father and let it continue because they were watching him for other reasons. Roarke had to put aside his need for revenge at Eve's request. Luckily, Homeland has done some housecleaning of its own and sends and agent that Eve can both like and respect to work with her.

Together Eve and her team, along with Roarke's able assistance, manage to build a case against the suspect and stop him before he can complete all of his terroristic plans. After the first half, this wasn't so much a "whodunnit" as a "how can we gather the evidence to prove it" sort of mystery.

I always treasure each new opportunity to visit with Eve and Roarke and really enjoyed this episode. I can't wait for the next one to arrive.

Favorite Quote:
She turned to him. "You can start with money, power, and position since that's your deal."

"All right."

"I'll take jealousy, personal gripes, and the rest."

"Because that's your deal?"

She shrugged. "If you cheated on me, I wouldn't kill a bar full of people. Just you," she said with a big smile. "And I'd do it myself because that's how much I care."

"I'm touched." He moved to her, cupped her face. "Don't work yourself into a stupor. You have to take your own power and position at your eight o'clock briefing."
I bought this one as I have all the rest of the In Death series. You can buy your copy here.

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