Three in Death
by J.D. Robb
Review by Paul Haggerty
Berkley Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425219713
Date: 29 January 2008 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Three in Death brings together three shorter works featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas, darting back and forth across several years of Dallas' career. From Roarke and Dallas' first Christmas together in "Midnight in Death" to Eve trying to survive a mandatory trip to Roarke's City-in-the-Sky, Olympus Resort, in "Interlude in Death", dead bodies just have a way of turning up. And when they do, Dallas will stop at nothing to bring their killers to justice, no matter who they may be or how long ago the murder took place. Two of the three stories that make up Three in Death have a few interesting details outside of the stories themselves. "Interlude in Death" was made into a jigsaw puzzle and "Midnight in Death" was later expanded and rewritten as Creation in Death.
"Interlude in Death" takes place onboard Roarke's Olympus Resort, where Eve has been sent to give a talk at a police conference. Well known for her reluctance to leave the Earth's atmosphere, Eve is downright cranky at having been ordered to attend. Of course, no matter how bad things appear to be, they can always get worse, as when Commander Douglas R. Skinner, legend among law enforcement, informs her he's going to take Roarke down no matter what, and if Eve doesn't help him, he'll make sure she goes down right alongside him. Eve doesn't react well to threats, and especially not when bodies start showing up, bodies which someone is trying to pin on Roarke.
"Midnight in Death" stars the return of a serial killer Dallas put away years ago. Crazy as a loon he may have been, but that doesn't make him stupid. When the chance comes to break out of prison, Dave Palmer heads straight back to New York to take up his old experiments, the culmination of which will be the long, slow, and painful death of Eve Dallas. Eve needs to figure out Dave's latest game before too many innocent people get carried out of his laboratory of pain, feet first.
"Haunted in Death" matches up the recent death of Radcliffe C. Hopkins III with an 85-year-old body found in a walled-off room upstairs. To make the match better, Radcliffe was offed with the same revolver, apparently stored with the corpse upstairs. But who knew she was there to begin with, and what connection is there between her and Radcliffe, who wasn't even born when the first murder occurred? There's plenty to puzzle out, which makes the ghost haunting the place all that more annoying, especially since Eve doesn't believe in the paranormal.
If you haven't read the Eve Dallas books, these stories might be a bit confusing since they tend to jump around over the course of several years of the series. But they give a good taste of the universe, characters, and relationships that make the In Death books what they are.