Delusion in Death
by J.D. Robb
Review by Gayle Surrette
Putnam Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780399158810
Date: 11 September 2012 List Price $27.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
On the Rocks, a bar on Manhattan's Lower East Side is a popular spot for area office workers to stop into after work for a drink while deciding where to eat, or a time to unwind before heading home, or a place to have a quick meeting to gear up for the next day's out-of-office event, or even just to get a few or more drinks to forget the troubles of the work day. At first it was just a regular happy hour but suddenly it was a killing zone. No killer with a gun and a grudge. No postal employee on a killing spree of his coworkers. Just everyone suddenly killing their friends, coworker, seat-mate with whatever implement came to hand, including teeth, broken glass, chair legs, heels, or nails. When it was over, eighty-three people were dead in under twelve minutes. The few who survived couldn't remember anything except weird hallucinations, but not how they were injured or what had happened to their friends.
Lt. Eve Dallas and Det. Delia Peabody got the call. Eve knew it was going to need to be handled quickly and by the numbers because either someone was hiding the real bodies in the mass of victims, or it was totally random. They hoped it was just a one-off until the next event, but by then they knew better how to handle it and there were more survivors.
Fear. The city was in the grip of fear. Someone was just randomly releasing a drug that caused people to kill each other, and there was no way to know where that person would strike next. No one felt safe in a public place: restaurant, coffee house, theater, concert hall, etc.
Their one clue was that it might be related to some incidents during the Urban Wars and for more on that, Eve needed to deal with Summerset. These attacks are different, but they do seem related and that's the only thread they have to pull to find the killer.
I've found all the in Death to be well plotted even when I could guess the killer. This time I had a good idea who it was but trying to figure out how and why kept me on the edge of my seat until the last page. Robb definitely taps into the fear of being just a random victim -- not doing anything wrong or even being hated -- just being in the wrong place when some wacko decides to vent his or her rage.
Altogether, I'd say this is one of the better in Death books. The relationships with all the characters are maturing. There are 34 previous books but luckily they can be read even if you haven't read any of the previous books. There's usually enough of a backstory to not to leave you at sea as to what's going on with the characters. These take place in our near future around 2065, so things are a bit different but there's still police procedure and forensics and homicide investigations.