Secrets in Death is the 45th book in J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series. This costs US$8.99 on Kindle; it was US$14.99 at launch but I knew that the price usually falls after about 3 months so I waited. It’s quite expensive and I don’t usually pay so much for this type of books but if you’ve followed my Sunday Book Club from way back, you’d know that I hate this series but I can’t stop myself because I have already read 44 books so I cannot stop now! I know my rationale is totally ridiculous and I hate myself every time I purchase yet another.
**This part of the review consist of Spoilers
I’ll skip the introductions because it’s repeated in every single book. In this book, NYPD Lieutenant Eve Dallas was out for a drink with Dr DeWinter at a hip bar Du Vin, which is owned by her extremely wealthy husband Roarke, when Larinda Mars, a gossip reporter, stumble out of the toilet and dies in front of them as someone had slit her brachial artery.
It turns out that Mars have been sidelining as a blackmailer, finding secrets about the rich and famous and then either bleeding them dry or trading for juicier secrets. Through her blackmailing schemes, Mars have actually accumulated about a billion dollars but she still couldn’t stop – because psychologically she is a hoarder and she thrives on it.
As a human leech, Mars had a lot of enemies which means a whole lot of suspects in the pool, and a lot of secrets being dug up including some that involved both Dallas and several of her close friends. In the end, we find out that her killer is actually Hyatt, the personal assistant of one of the rich being blackmailed – he’s all self-righteous and obsessed with his boss Anne Knight, and decided that he had to kill Mars to stop her.
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been reading a lot of really bad chick lit lately and it has increased my tolerance for bad books, or that J.D. Robb (who is really Nora Roberts) has actually found a better ghost writer. It actually reads like a big improvement from the last 5 books, and I didn’t cringe as many times over fake little fights between Eve and Roarke which always end up in really hot sex because they finally didn’t do it in this book!
The plot is as usual predictable – the author pretty much points out how Eve suspects this guy that was really getting on her nerves in the first few pages and you know it is definitely him. I would wish that she had pointed him out, and in the end it was somebody else who is much nicer. But there are at least enough little plot crumbs dropped here and there to lead you to the ending, rather than her usual just-fill-in-with-hot-sex-to-make-the-length.
So in all, I actually had quite a nice time reading this book. It’s not an amazing detective book, but it’s one of those detective books that is still readable without using too much brainpower, which I like to have sometimes. Sometimes detective books takes a lot of thinking and it takes a lot of focus, but this is just one of those that you could read while eating a pot of noodles and watching TV simultaneously.