Readers’ Advisory 2: Obsession in Death. J.D. Robb

Eve Dallas has a murderous, obsessed, determined-to-be-her-best-friend secret admirer.


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Quick Facts

Published 2015 G. P. Putnam’s Sons

404pp. 97803333399170874. $27.95US, $32.95CAN

Mystery, Crime Fiction, Suspense

Available in print, eBook, and audiobook

Why I Read It

The In Death series is on my list of always read, buy as money is available, do not pass up, because you could miss something important books. I haven’t missed a release since I discovered them way back around the mid-2000’s with Divided in Death. A futuristic lady cop who falls in love and marries a criminal, semi-reformed, who has a most tragic back story that makes her believe she is incapable and undeserving of love, but is also a ranking officer in the New York Police and Security Department (NYPSD). I can’t remember the exact hook for Divided that made me want to read it, but I know that after I finished, I caught up in the series with a quickness and have been following ever since. I must also mention that J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts, Queen of Romance.

TLL’s Tag

Eve Dallas has a murderous, obsessed, determined-to-be-her-best-friend secret admirer.

The Rundown

We meet the killer before we see the crime scene. The killer is writing in a diary, a letter to an imaginary friend. “The icy blonde bitch deserved to die.” Eve surveys the crime scene with the eyes of a cop who has seen entirely too much death, but determined to find justice for the dead. She ignores the note on the wall for as long as she can, because, honestly, it creeps her out. She knows it means someone did this for her. She knows this is grounds for her to be pulled off the case. She knows this is seriously fucked up, but she will do her job.

After making her case to Commander Whitney, she is allowed to stay on the case, but the killer isn’t done. The killer isn’t happy with the lack of acknowledgement from Eve. So the killer kills again. This time, the killer leaves a longer note, addressed to Eve, giving the impression that without some sort of feedback, the killer will start on those Eve loves. It’s a surprisingly long list. With no physical evidence or clear camera footage, Eve and Peabody are going through the fan and hate mail Eve’s received over the last few years, hoping that the killer has written to her before. They must go over all the angles, including the possibility that the killer is connected with the NYPSD.

When the confrontation arrives, no one is prepared. Eve has put herself in danger purposely before. What will she do when she’s not given that opportunity?

Here’s what I think

The is one of the bigger novels in the series, at least weight-wise. It felt thick when I got my hands on it. I figured that to be an indication of a good story. I was not disappointed. Because the killer is murdering people for Eve, we get to go through a good number of Eve’s past cases. I’ve always thought the dream sequences were a great part of the story and this time s no different. Many past criminals and murderers show up in Eve’s dreams, helping the reader make connections and remember who did what when. We are reminded that as much as Eve loves to hate Summerset, she needs him in her life and doesn’t know what she or her husband would do without him.

Roarke. Ah, Roarke. He always has great scenes, but he gets to really shine in front of Commander Whitney at the climax of the story. It’s not many police commanders that will allow a family member into a tense situation. Then again, this is Eve and Roarke. Where she goes, he goes…as much as possible. Their relationship doesn’t get as much page time as it did in past books, but there are little hints that show they are progressing and loving and, generally, a healthy couple. Eve getting breakfast for Roarke that isn’t pancakes or waffles. Roarke designing a workout droid for Eve named Crusher.

Many of the characters we know and love appear, including Mavis, Leonardo and baby Bella. Garnet DeWinter, a new and fairly unknown character with great potential. I really hope she sticks around, even if only to bring comfort and peace to Morris, the medical examiner.

This is one of my favorites in the series. Whether that says more about me or the series, I don’t know. My other favorites are Treachery in Death and Innocent in Death. Yeah, crooked cops, child murderers, and creepy obsessed people.

Final decision

Intense and good. Slightly slower paced than normal, but still an awesome read.

5Q–Hard to imagine it being better written

5P–Every reader of this author wanted it yesterday

Readalikes, courtesy of NoveList Plus


Lisa Jackson

Karen Rose

Mariah Stewart


The Perfect Husband, Linda Howard

The Surgeon, Tess Gerritsen

Kill and Tell, Linda Howard

Appeal Factors

Fast-paced, suspenseful, mildly sensuous

Book talk ideas.

Your True and Loyal Friend p. 6

The Homicide Creed p. 31

Book discussion questions

1) What would you do if you found out you had a secret admirer?

2) How do you feel Eve’s interactions with baby Bella are progressing?

3) What do you think caused Lottie to have such a break with reality when her mother and sister died? The death itself or something else?

4) Were you as surprised as Eve when you realized how many people she could call friend and would hate to lose?

Clues to the Future

Lt. Eve Dallas, Roarke, Det. Delia Peabody, NYPSD, JD Robb, Obsession in Death, Nora Roberts, mentally unstable characters, friendship, crime fiction

Awards and Lists

New York Times Best Seller

USA Today Best Seller

Links to the Author, Interviews, and Reviews

Author website:

Fiction Vixen Review:

Kirkus Review:

The Romance Dish Review:

The Popular Romance Project Interview:

BookBrowse Interview:

Project Paranormal. This a webseries produced by From the Publisher’s Office. I’ve posted the first episode in the set Spotlight on J.D. Robb:

USA Today excerpt:

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