Other J. D. Robb reviews can be found in the Archives.

 
Delusion In Death
by J.D. Robb
(Putnam, $27.95, PG-13) ISBN 978-1101-600207
*****
Pulling a page out of the modern-day concerns about biological warfare, Delusion in Death highlights a heinous crime. An airborne substance infects people into seeing things, into fear and paranoia and within minutes into killing the person sitting next to them. The first strike is at one of Roarke's bars while it is filled with white collar workers enjoying happy hour. Over eighty people die from wounds inflicted upon them by the person sitting next to them or the person sitting across the bar from them. It is a gruesome scene that Eve and her team walk in on.

Motives seem hard to come by and yet, could be anything. Terrorism? A jealous boyfriend? Someone wanting to kill themselves with a big splash? Eve and her now expanded team have a lot of ground to cover and soon realize that the madness isn't going to stop when the next day another forty die during lunch at a favorite diner.

Once again, D. Robb has written a story that is gruesome and compassionate at the same time. Eve suffers from dealing with these senseless deaths and she is angered enough to find the perpetrators. With little to go on, using first her intuition and then her skills at building a case, she and her team work long hours to find the right person, the right motive and the right evidence that backs up that intuition.

The whole gang is here to help. But in addition, there is the added stress of having to work with someone from Homeland Security. This requires Eve and Roarke to get past their feelings about the agency left over from their discovery in Dallas. Eve is also trying to handle her feelings from the discovery of her biological mother. She turns to Mira at Roarke's request, thus cementing her relationship with Mira even more than previously. Her relationship with Sommerset also takes a turn, as he has some information that is pertinent to her case. These relationship pieces are part of the essence of the series and each tale adds depths to one or more of them.

Ultimately, the skills of the detectives, the e-work and ego of the murderer help Eve to solve the case. Delusion in Death offers a crime unlike others in the series, but at the same time, there are some similarities to the Cassandra case and others. However, the twists and turns seem fresh and always offer the reader surprises when they think things are final.

It is difficult to rate the books in the series, because they always stimulate the senses, the libido and of course, the compassion from the reader. While in the midst of these tales, I find it hard to put down each book. And since I have started reading these, I believe I have read every one at least two times. Delusion In Death will sit on my keeper shelf and will be relished when it reaches the top of my to be re-read list. Fans will not be disappointed and just maybe someone who picks up the author for the first time will be forced to go back to the beginning over and over again, just like the rest of us.

--Shirley Lyons


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