Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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

Haunted in Death
Author: J. D. Robb; read by Susan Ericksen
Publication: Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged; Unabridged edition (September 29, 2006)

Description: Number Twelve is an urban legend in 2060 New York City. The hot club in the 1960s, it is now reported to be haunted…and cursed. Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called there to investigate the apparent murder of Radcliff Hopkins, its new owner and the grandson of the man who made Number Twelve a cultural icon. Several bullets from a banned gun end his dream of returning the building to its former glory. With everyone around her talking about the supernatural, pragmatic Eve won’t let rumors of ghosts distract her from hard evidence. The case becomes even more bizarre when it appears to be linked to the suspicious disappearance of a rock star eighty-five years ago. As Eve searches for the connection, logic clashes with the unexplainable. She may be forced to face the threat of something more dangerous than a flesh-and-blood killer.

My Thoughts: This was my first audio-book and I chose a good one! Haunted in Death is a novella in J.D. Robb's In Death series. It originally appeared in the Bump in the Night anthology along with stories by Mary Blayney, Mary Kay McComas, and Ruth Langan. Since I somehow missed that anthology the story was new to me.

The plot is relatively simple. A murder is discovered in a building that is assumed to be haunted and/or cursed and Eve needs to figure out what happened. The victim is the grandson of the former owner of the building which was a swinging club in the 1960s. The owner of the club had a girlfriend who disappeared and attained legendary status. She was a 24-year-old rock star. Then the owner locked himself into the luxury apartment above the club until he died. Since then the building has gone through lots of owners who all seemed to have bad luck there. 

The victim is a guy with multiple ex-wives who was always looking for the next big score - nothing illegal but none of his grand plans ever came through. He had big plans to restore the club and capitalize on the legend of Bobbie Bray. He was shot with an antique gun which turns out to be the gun used to shoot Bobbie Bray too. When investigating the murder of Radcliff Hopkins, Eve finds the bones of another crime victim in the apartment above the club. Apparently the body had been walled in at death but had been found by Radcliff.

Eve traces Redcliff Hopkins past to see if there are clues. Everything seems to lead back to his grandfather's day and the mysterious disappearance of Bobbie Bray. And, it seems, Bobbie Bray has never left the building. Eve hears voices and music but dismisses it. She is far too rational to ever believe in ghosts. Though Roarke is willing to believe in the possibility of ghosts which puts he and Eve somewhat at odds. Eve does have to come to the realization of why she doesn't want to believe in ghosts which helps us understand her and helps her understand herself.

The thrilling climax also includes a visit from the ghost - though Eve will deny it if anyone should ask.

The audio was well-done. All of the characters were given voices that were distinct enough to tell them apart. I liked the emotion in the reader's voice and the suspense that she created. I liked the pacing of the story and the reading. This was a very pleasant way to spend about three hours.

I bought this audiobook because I didn't have the story in any other format. You can get your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Morning, Kathy! Terrific review.
    I read this one this month, as well. I adore this series & especially the paranormal novellas that go along with the traditional novels. This series is one of the most fun & diverse I've read!


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