Warning: This book review contains spoilers for the book “Echoes In Death” by J.D. Robb. If you wanted to avoid spoilers, I suggest reading the book first, before reading the rest of the review beyond the Trigger Warnings section.
I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Echoes In Death” by J.D. Robb! I’ve actually read books by this author before, as J.D. Robb is another name for Nora Roberts. I’ve never read any of Roberts’ mysteries as J.D. Robb, so I figured I’d start with this one. Here’s a summary so we know what this book is about:
“As NY Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are driving home, a young woman—dazed, naked, and bloody—suddenly stumbles out in front of their car. Roarke slams on the brakes and Eve springs into action.
Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for her husband Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil”…
While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked, this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:
What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?”
Because this is a murder mystery book, there is definite murder involved, and though it’s not described at the moment of the kill, there are quite a few post-murder scenes in this book where Eve will examine the crime scene and deduce what happened in graphic detail. There are also many mentions of abusive relationships, potential incest, multiple cases of rape and assault, as well as domestic abuse that play into the main plot. If you’re uncomfortable with this kind of content, please either read carefully or avoid reading this book.
Plot Development: 4 out of 5 stars
The main strength of this book was the overall plot. I enjoyed unravelling the mystery as it went. I think that the actual investigation of the case kept me on my toes as a reader throughout the book, which is a good thing when said book is supposed to be a murder mystery. There weren’t really any sideplots other than the eventual reveal, throughout the book, that Anthony Strazza (who got murdered) was actually a horrible husband and person in general, and though that was a dead giveaway from the summary, the way it was executed in the book was well done.
The only critique I have for this is that the ending felt very rushed. I do think the confrontation of the true criminal was well done, but the epilogue, immediately afterwards, felt very rushed in revealing that Daphne was the one who actually killed her husband in the end. I wish that bit was drawn out a bit more than just one chapter, especially given how much care was put into Eve trying to make sure Daphne (who survived the crime at the beginning of the book) was okay.
Character Development: 3 out of 5 stars
Romance Development: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Eve, as an individual, is your run-of-the-mill detective. She’s on the case, she won’t stop until the case is solved, and she’s determined to bring criminals to justice (especially as shown through how she handled encountering the culprit of the crimes depicted in this book). I also really enjoyed her scenes where she’s just trying to take care of the most recent (still-living) victim Daphne, because it shows how much she cares for people, and that sense of care helped her stick out to me and sympathize with her character.
I also enjoyed reading Daphne Strazza, and some of the other minor characters in this book due to their snappy dialogue and the depths they were given. I would elaborate more, but that would lead to major spoilers.
In terms of romance, we don’t see a lot of interaction between Roarke and Eve in this book, despite being love interests, due to the massive focus on the main plot. What scenes there were were fine, but I also think the sex scenes were just unnecessary and didn’t really add much to the romance. I also didn’t sense a lot of chemistry between them, which didn’t help.
Overall, I’m rating this book 3 out of 5 stars!
It’s definitely worth reading for the mystery, as well as for some of the characters. However, if you are very sensitive to the trigger warnings I listed earlier, you may want to skip this one.
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