Saturday, March 27, 2021

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

Faithless in Death

J. D. Robb
Series: In Death (Book 52)
Publication: St. Martin's Press (February 9, 2021)

Description: In the new Eve Dallas police thriller from #1 New York Times-bestselling author J. D. Robb, what looked like a lover’s quarrel turned fatal has larger—and more terrifying—motives behind it…

The scene in the West Village studio appears to be classic crime-of-passion: two wineglasses by the bed, music playing, and a young sculptor named Ariel Byrd with the back of her head bashed in. But when Dallas tracks down the wealthy Upper East Side woman who called 911, the details don’t add up. Gwen Huffman is wealthy, elegant, comforted by her handsome fiancé as she sheds tears over the trauma of finding the body—but why did it take an hour to report it? And why is she lying about little things?

As Eve and her team look into Gwen, her past, and the people around her, they find that the lies are about more than murder. As with sculpture, they need to chip away at the layers of deception to find the shape within—and soon they’re getting the FBI involved in a case that involves a sinister, fanatical group and a stunning criminal conspiracy.

My Thoughts: Eve's next case starts out simple. What looks like a lover's quarrel leaving a young female sculptor dead in her studio quickly becomes a much deeper and darker case. First of all, why did Gwen Huffman wait more than an hour before calling in the discovery of the crime? And why did she call her lawyer-fiancé before she called the cops?

Gwen's lies and inconsistencies quickly alert Eve and Peabody to the idea that something is being hidden but neither could have imagined the scope of her secrets. As they investigate Gwen and her background and contacts, they discover that she is part of a cult called Natural Order. It hates anyone who isn't straight, anyone who is mixed-race, and women generally. 

Founded by Stanton Wilkey who Roarke describes as "a charismatic lunatic", it has been growing in great secrecy for years. Eve's friend reporter Nadine Furst tried to investigate it when she was a young reporter with no success. All attempts to get the details, including the FBI's attempt to get an agent undercover, have been unsuccessful. But when Eve goes to interview Wilkey, she is surreptitiously passed a note which indicates things are even worse than everyone feared; a young woman is being held captive after being abducted and having her identity erased.

As Eve investigates possible killers of the young sculptor, she also discovers the members of the cult are imprisoning women and forcing them into marriages and motherhood. This triggers all sorts of reminders of her own childhood and deepens Eve's determination to destroy this cult and its members. Luckily, her contacts in the FBI and Interpol are also determined to do the same thing.

While this story deals with a deep and dark crime, there are still happy notes. Mavis and Leonardo have bought a house with the intent to grow their family. The house also has a sort of guesthouse/mother-in-law suite that they intend to rent to Peabody and McNab. Roarke found the house, which is a real fixer-upper, and is helping with the rehab. There are also the usual problems with idioms this time including "lo and behold," "a flash in the pan," and "irons in the fire" that added some humor to a story with lots of darkness.

Fans of the In Death series will enjoy this latest episode and be glad to spend time again with Eve, Roarke, and the family they have built around themselves. 

Favorite Quote:
She made her way downstairs and found Peabody walking her way.

"My charm's on high today." After a little hip wiggle, Peabody tried a hair toss.

"Never, never do that again."

"You're going to want to do the same when I tell you Dickhead already had the sheets done. Two separate DNAs from fluids, both female. One from the victim, one not in the system."

"Good, solid. But I don't do the wiggle and toss."

"'Cause you've got no hips and really short hair. But inside, you're wiggling and tossing."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I love the In Death series, I’ve been slowly working my way through it for years. They never fail to entertain me.


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