Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Visions in Death" by J. D. Robb (pub. 2004)

Once again the butt-kicking NYPSD cop, Lt. Eve Dallas, is primary on a series of murders. The murders seem to be some sort of work of a serial killer. All victims are brutally raped and beaten then murdered and their eyes removed. Sounds like a grisly case and yes it is. This time around Dallas gets some help from a psychic who is seeing visions of the murders.

The psychic is pretty much only affirming what Dallas and her partner Detective Peabody already know, the murderer is a man who has a vengeance against women and is really, really big in size and strength. The key to wrapping this case will be the murder weapon, red chording, which is used to strangle and then tie the victims in a praying position for discovery. The chording is found in most craft stores, but Dallas uses all her faculties to wrap this one. Besides that this is the future and computers are much more powerful and everything is accessible.

One thing with all the " Death" books by J.D. Robb is that there is always some sort of separate meaning to the books. In this one it is the definition and discovery of friendship. Because of her troubled life Dallas has never allowed herself to have friends, not close ones anyway. This book develops as Dallas is discovering how tight her circle of friends really is and the strong bonds held between them. She also tells Peabody the entire story of her past in forming a tighter bond with her police partner and friend.

Peabody becomes a target of the murderer and (spoiler alert here!!!!) she is severely beaten and ends up in the hospital. The friendships and bonds become even more clear at this point and the extremely well written characters in the series all surround Peabody in her hospital room as she recovers and the reader is given the great treat of really feeling like being a part of the scene.

With that spoiler alert I will also let hang this; there is a great twist at the end of the book so just when you think the crime is solved and the murderer put away.....hang on to your socks.

I've somewhat complained in the past about the fact that these books are really written by romantic thriller author Nora Roberts, and that she always throws in the romance in the books. In this book she really makes it work with the discovery of friendship and I really appreciated that. I still am not fond of all the sex in these books. Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means a prude, but I just don't like reading about folks having sex, bordering on the erotica, the sex scenes in these books allow me to skip several pages and getting the book read much faster.

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