Skip to main content

Review of "Devoted in Death" by J.D. Robb

Devoted in DeathThe In Death series has been one of my favorites for the past 11 years (boy does that make me feel old).  I can still remember the first time I read a full J.D. Robb novel--I was sitting in my backyard in New York, lounging on one of the chairs while my cousin was swimming in the pool.  I was supposed to be watching her as the rest of the family was at work or waiting for one of my other cousins to be born, but I was more interested in what I was reading than in paying attention to her.  Thankfully, she was almost 11 and a better swimmer than I was, so I didn't really have to worry.  Anyway, that first book was Betrayal in Death and while it isn't one of my favorite books in the series (I tend to skip it whenever I do any re-reads), it held the right amount of catnip for me to get hooked.  From that point on, I grabbed copies wherever I could, reading them in as best an order as I could.  This is why it literally pains me to say that I absolutely hated Devoted in Death.

Eve Dallas has just landed a big case--a serial killing duo has set up a home in the New York City of 2061 and she and her team must catch them in order to save their most recent victims.  Ella-loo and Darryl consider themselves in love and meant to be (gag me).  To them, this means killing innocent people while on the worst cross country road trip ever.  When they reach NYC, they know they've found a home.  Unfortunately for them, they also found themselves the most dogged cop the NYPSD has and she won't rest until they're locked up for good.

This isn't the worst plot I've ever read and I doubt that Nora could contrive a bad plot if she were tortured by two love sick psychopaths.  It was, however, poorly executed.  First, why did we need to know who the killers were before even opening the book?  They're on the cover copy for fuck's sake!  What good is a mystery when we're clued in on who the bad guys are before the story even starts?  It is like watching old episodes of Password on Gameshow Network and seeing the password flashed across the bottom of the screen--where is the fun in that?  I want to play, dammit.

Aside from wanting to figure out the whodunit along with Eve, Roarke, et al, revealing who the killers are takes some of the urgency out of it.  Sure, Eve is scrambling to find them, to get any clue to their identities that she possibly can, but I'm not.  I'm sitting there trying to pay attention to the book and not to whatever drama is going on between Adam Levine and Blake Shelton on The Voice.

Another problem I had with the book was the glaring factual error that showed up early in the book and had me scratching my head, wondering how it could have gotten past not only Nora but editors, proof readers, and scores of people at Jove.  What's this error, you ask?  Well, once Eve has clued in to the fact that there were two killers instead of one, she starts coming up with theories as to how they lure their victims to them and she figures that they do as Dahmer did and pretend to need help getting a piece of furniture into a van.  The thing is that Dahmer was not the serial killer to do that.  Bundy was.  One of the things that Bundy liked to do was put his arm in a plaster cast and try to put a chair into his car, asking some poor woman for help when she crossed his path.  Dahmer, on the other hand, trolled gay bars for his victims.  How the hell do you confuse Bundy, slick Young Republican and wannabe lawyer, and Dahmer, anti-social candy factory employee and cannibal?  How did no one catch this before it went to print?  How?  It boggles the mind.

Even with that, I was still planning on giving this at least 3 stars, which while not a great rating is about the same as I would give to many of the other In Death novels that have come out over the past five years or so.  Then, nearing the end of the book, Eve and Roarke are trolling the area where they believe Darryl and Ella-loo are holed up with their newest victims and find a van that matches the one they believe they're using.  Instead of trying to get a warrant, which they wouldn't get based on the evidence she had, they start looking in the windows and at one point Eve asks Roarke to open the passenger door for her.  Holy 4th Amendment, Batman!  I know they've used some sketchy methods of obtaining information in the past, but this goes well beyond anything they've ever done before and the first that they ever did out in public and not from behind Roarke's unregistered computers.  Sure, it was late, but NYC is the city that never fucking sleeps.  Someone could have seen them and if that happened, Darryl and Ella-loo wouldn't have seen the inside of a cage--on planet or off.

angry Castiel

I did read until the end because I was hoping there would be some way to redeem this shit show, but nope.  That never happened.  The capture scene was completely unsatisfying and anti-climactic, the interview scenes felt drawn out, and I just didn't care any more.  All I wanted to know at that point was if poor Jayla (I know someone with this name and always thought her mother made it up, but I guess not) survived and whether or not Trueheart passed his detective's exam.

1.5 Stars


  1. That is one book I won't be reading. I've read some of her novels, but thanks to you I'll pass. Someone just didn't do their research on killers.

  2. I honestly don't know what happened with this book. I've read all of the others in the series and while some haven't been as good as the others, this is the first time that I had to force myself to finish reading it.

    I wouldn't discount the other 40 books based on this one. I'd suggest Ceremony in Death, Vengeance in Death, Conspiracy in Death, Holiday in Death, Loyalty in Death, Seduction in Death, Visions in Death, Kindred in Death, Indulgence in Death, Fantasy in Death, Treachery in Death, New York to Dallas, and Obsession in Death. Those are the ones that I tend to re-read and all give you a good idea of the characters. Many would probably suggest Naked in Death, which was the first in the series, but I've had some issues with it recently. I don't think it holds up as well as some of the others and can't recommend it without saying that Roarke isn't at all the way he seems in that book.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fifteen Years Later: Review of "His Sinful Touch" by Candace Camp

Title: His Sinful Touch
Author: Candace Camp
ISBN: 0373789963
Publisher: HQN
Series: Mad Morelands #5
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $5.99 (e-book) $19.96(Audible)

Most readers remember their first, the first book of their particular genre that they read, whether they enjoyed the book or not.  I have two firsts--the first romance I ever read was a Harlequin Intrigue written by Amanda Stevens.  If you've read my blog before you probably already know this.  The first historical romance I read was Mesmerized by Candace Camp, which was also the first book in her Mad Morelands series.  

I was a senior in high school when this series began and I remember seeing the paperback version of Mesmerized on the shelf at the Target on Queens Blvd (yes, I spent a lot of time on Queens Blvd as a teenager), and was pulled in by the gorgeous cover.  Apparently, that book has had several covers over the last 15 years, but this is the one I remember:

Isn't it pretty?  Of course from the cover I…

Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

Title: Edge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
ISBN: 9780399583087
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)

It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so befor…

The Internet of Things: Review of "Hacking IT" by Kimberly Dean

Title: Hacking IT
Author: Kimberly Dean
ISBN: 9781386835561
Publisher: Self-published
Series: Hackers #1
Price: $3.99 (e-book) $9.99 (paperback)
Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

Have you ever seen the description of a book and known immediately that it was going to be awesome and upon reading it were faced with the possibility that it might actually be better than you originally thought?  For me, that book was Hacking IT by Kimberly Dean.  A female white hat hacker using her skills to uncover a black hat hacker, who has stepped away from his computer and entered the real world?  Um, yes, please.

From the Publisher:
Independent software developer Kylie Grant is on top of her game in the world of IT. She has loyal clients, a good reputation, and a prestigious membership in technology giant Afire Industries’ small business accelerator. Things are going well until she stumbles across an innocuous issue with the lighting in the building where she rents space. When she digs into the problem, she discovers some…

Review of "Come Sundown" by Nora Roberts

Title: Come Sundown
Author: Nora Roberts
ISBN: 1250123070
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Price: $14.99 (e-book) $16.49 (hardcover) $23.95 (Audible)

I read my first Nora Roberts novel when I was a 16-year-old high school junior.  I remember seeing her books in all of the drug stores long before the fateful day on which I decided to actually buy one but had never thought anything of them.  From that day on, La Nora became the gold standard--the author all others had to live up to, the one to beat.  I remember sitting at my mom's kitchen table with one of her paperbacks and a sheet of paper, marking down which of her books were available at the libraries near me.  Her backlog was (and still is) immense and I was going to read them all.  While I still haven't read all of her books, I've read a good chunk of them, many of which have a place on my virtual keeper shelf, which is why I was so deeply disappointed in Come Sundown.

From the PublisherA novel of suspense, fam…

Review of "Ace of Spades" by Sandra Owens

Title: Ace of Spades
Author: Sandra Owens
ISBN: 9781503948990
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Series: Aces & Eights #3
Price: $4.99 (e-book) $9.17 (paperback) Free (Kindle Unlimited)

I was really excited for this book.  I devoured the entire K2 series a couple of years ago, but somehow I missed the first two books of the Aces and Eights series.  I'd hoped that I'd be able to jump right into this book without having read the others, and in a way I was able to do so as the main plot had nothing to do with the others.  However, I feel that had I known the characters' backgrounds a little bit more, I would have felt more of a connection to them, which would have helped me have a better reading experience.

From the Publisher:
Two FBI agents struggle with desire in the shadow of a killer, in the third installment of Aces & Eights. Nate Gentry has been a rock for his two younger brothers since the day their mom walked out and left them with their abusive father. Now that…