Shadows in Death (In Death, #51) by J.D. Robb (Goodreads Author)
Amy Caudill‘s review
Once again Eve Dallas is pitted against a vengeful and hate-driven murderer, only this time the culprit is not a previously unknown killer, but rather a childhood rival from Roarke’s past.
The man who desperately wanted to be the acknowledged firstborn son of Roarke’s criminal father, despite genetic evidence; who resented Roarke for his recognized parentage; has decided it’s time he claims what Roarke “stole” from him, the name of Patrick Roarke. The once vicious child thug has become a successful contract killer, and a job in New York seems serendipitous, especially when Roarke appears at Eve’s side at the sight of Lorcan Cobbe’s latest completed assignment.
As usual, there are sci-fi elements in the story coupled with the suspense and murder, as the foundation setting is the not-too-distant future, in a world that has survived and thrived after a social upheaval known as the Urban Wars. However, the sci-fi elements are limited to technology that is not too fanciful or advanced, since at best the setting is only about forty years in the future. The main focus is on the police procedural, along with elements of suspense and murder, and held together by the glue of the relationship dynamic between Roarke and Dallas.
This novel, the fifty-first in the series, is less than usual about solving a mystery, since we know the culprit very early in the story, but more about a manhunt coupled with the strength of the relationship between the main characters, as well as their relationships with the supporting cast.
The NYPSD have embraced Roarke, Eve’s husband, and a frequent “civilian consultant,” as one of their own, and respond to the threat against him as they would to a fellow officer. There is something very gratifying about seeing a huge group effort affected against the sadistic killer.
The conclusion gives long-time readers the satisfaction of seeing justice served with a side helping of teamwork, loyalty, and cooperation on an international scale. However, those new to the series can still enjoy the various elements of the police drama, as well as the romance and friendship between various characters, as this ensemble effort showcases the some of the best of the larger universe.
This is a definite must-read to those who enjoy strong female characters in a mystery-thriller environment with just a little bit of science fiction elements. I award this story five stars as I am amazed the series is still going so strong after fifty-one (and counting) books.