Saturday, February 23, 2019

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

Connections in Death
Author: J. D. Robb
Series: In Death (Book 48)
Publication: St. Martin's Press (February 5, 2019)

Description: In this gritty and gripping new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Eve Dallas fights to save the innocent―and serve justice to the guilty―on the streets of New York.

Homicide cop Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke, are building a brand-new school and youth shelter. They know that the hard life can lead kids toward dangerous crossroads―and with this new project, they hope to nudge a few more of them onto the right path. For expert help, they hire child psychologist Dr. Rochelle Pickering―whose own brother pulled himself out of a spiral of addiction and crime with Rochelle’s support.

Lyle is living with Rochelle while he gets his life together, and he’s thrilled to hear about his sister’s new job offer. But within hours, triumph is followed by tragedy. Returning from a celebratory dinner with her boyfriend, she finds Lyle dead with a syringe in his lap, and Eve’s investigation confirms that this wasn’t just another OD. After all his work to get clean, Lyle’s been pumped full of poison―and a neighbor with a peephole reports seeing a scruffy, pink-haired girl fleeing the scene.

Now Eve and Roarke must venture into the gang territory where Lyle used to run, and the ugly underground world of tattoo parlors and strip joints where everyone has taken a wrong turn somewhere. They both believe in giving people a second chance. Maybe even a third or fourth. But as far as they’re concerned, whoever gave the order on Lyle Pickering’s murder has run out of chances…

My Thoughts: The story begins with Eve and Roarke going to a fancy cocktail party at Nadine's new home. It is interesting to see Eve realizing how many people are now a part of her life. And it is rather dismaying for Eve too.

Eve meets Rochelle Pickering. She's a child psychologist who is dating Crack who is one of Eve's friends from even before she met Roarke. Roarke is planning to hire her to be the head therapist an An Didean - a residential project to help young girls. Naturally being Eve, she takes an opportunity to check her out for any criminal past.

The next thing she knows, Crack is calling her because they have found Rochelle's younger brother dead of an apparent overdose when they return home. Rochelle doesn't believe that Lyle killed himself. He did have a troubled past with gang involvement and drug use but prison and rehabilitation worked for him. He's clean, he's working, he's happy and rebuilding trust with his family.

It doesn't take more than a brief look for Eve to realize that Lyle was murdered instead of falling off the wagon and overdosing. Her investigation takes her deep into the Bangers - Lyle's former gang - where she uncovers much more than the usual gang violence. There is dissension in the ranks, a corrupt disbarred lawyer, and plots and betrayals. There are also a whole bunch of stupid members of the gang.

While the case is pretty easily solved and lots of gang members are taken off the street, Eve is generally sad. She begins to think that the system that is her moral center has failed. It takes Roarke's support and his own explanation for why he helps her solve her cases before Eve regains her balance.

This was filled with the usual snarky banter between Eve and Peabody. It also explores more of Eve's unique viewpoint regarding social things and her usual mangling of idioms. Her relationship with Roarke and her friends remains strong and gives her emotional support as she does a difficult job.

The series continues to be strong even in this 48th episode.

Favorite Quote:
"We should do a girls' night," Peabody said. "Go to a club and -- no, a piano bar! Classy. We could all have fancy drinks, and --"

"Consider this conversation the closest you'll ever get me to a piano bar with a bunch of women drunk on fancy drinks. Who's on the mother?"
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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