September 14, 2012

Review - Delusion in Death

Delusion in Death
In Death Bk 35
J.D. Robb

Published: 13 September, 2012
PIATKUS, Paperback Trade, 388 p.
ISBN: 978-0-749-95512-0

Available at all good book stores.

'What would cause someone to want so many people, surely many of them strangers, to slaughter each other?'

The scene that greets Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her team one terrible evening in New York is more shocking than any of them have ever witnessed. The usually comfortable downtown bar is strewn with bodies - office workers who have been sliced, bludgeoned or hacked to death with the nearest weapon available. It appears they all turned on each other in a desperate blinding rage.

As Eve and her husband Roarke - who owned the bar among his many properties - investigate the big- business workers of the city, they link the attacks back to the Urban Wars and the chemical warfare used all those years ago. With another slaughter imminent, Eve must turn to unexpected sources in order to stop a killer who is getting revenge by creating mass carnage...

Delusion in Death was certainly worth the wait.  There are only a handful of these books that don't rate 4 plus stars from me, but this isn't one of them.  Set very soon after Celebrity (and only weeks after Eve's confrontation with McQueen and Stella), Eve is thrust back into the headlines with the mass murder of 83 bar goers.
A lot of our favourites make an appearance in Delusion.  Dr. Mira and Summerset are always on hand, with Peabody of course working side by side with Eve.  Strangely though, Mavis only has a quick scene, and most of the other cops only rate a mention now and then - even Feeney and McNab seem to revolve around Eve's peripheral view as she races to find a killer and prevent more murders.
Be warned - this book has the highest body count to date (127) but apart from a few instances we are spared a lot of the gruesome blow-by-blow details that have come up in some of the previous books.  Having said that, the descriptions that are included can be quite graphic, so if you're really squeamish you might have to skim a few sentences.  This is a back to basics book.  It's about the crimes and the murdered people that Eve takes under her wing.  While there are some funny moments, this is a police procedural at heart.  So if you're expecting to go through the emotional wringer with Eve and Roarke again, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but Robb has concentrated on the murders this time.

My only criticism, and it's a small one, is the adding of new(ish) character very late in the piece - you know who I mean if you've read Delusion.  They were only mentioned in passing a few times in the book, then BAM! new character out of the blue.  Thankfully it works, but it wasn't what I expected that's for sure.
For those of you who haven't picked up Delusion yet, I would highly recommend you get your butts down to your local library or bookshop. For you newbies, start with Naked in Death (Book 1) and read them in order. This is important as the world of Eve can get a bit complicated, and with references from previous books being regularly thrown around you'll get lost if you haven't read them.
So, in all I enjoyed Delusion in Death.  I devoured it in no time (about 4 hours) and while it wasn't as funny as Celebrity in Death, it was a great addition to the series.  Robb will have to come up with something big to top the last few books.  Alas, I keep waiting for Eve to get pregnant, but I suspect that will only happen in the final book :-P

Be sure to pre-order your copy of Calculated in Death - due 26 February, 2013.

A Werewolf Weekend

Even though I was supposed to be studying, I couldn't resist reading the three werewolf books that arrived in the post late last week.  I would have posted the reviews earlier in the week, however a quick visit to family left me in a wireless (and mobile phone) blackspot.  But now I'm back and unpacked, so without further delay, here are my fav furry reads for the month.

A Werewolf in Manhattan
A Wild About You Novel Bk 1
Vicki Lewis Thompson

Published: 04 January, 2011
Signet Eclipse, Mass Market Paperback, 324 p.
ISBN: 987-0-451-23247-2

Emma Gavin writes bestselling novles about werewolves, but that doesn't mean she believes in them - and she certainly doesn't think she'll ever meet one.  But that's exactly what happens when her books catch the attention of a rich and powerful pack of Manhattan Weres, who have kept their extistence hidden for centuries.  Alarmed by the accuracy of her novels, they're determined to findout if a renegage is acting as her informant.

Aidan Wallace, the pack leader's son and heir, knows he's the wolf for the job, but when he gets close to Emma, they rea both surprised by an attraction too strong to deny.  To surrender to it, Aidan will have to risk everything - including the security of the pack he's sworn to protect ...

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book.  Like most of you, I love a good werewolf romance, but I'm finding it harder to locate books that offer something new.  A Werewolf in Manhattan did.  I found the idea that an author could accidentally spill pack secrets - and be under pack surveillence - rather interesting.  Especially when the wolf heading the investigation becomes emotionally involved with the naive, and innocent, author.

Much in the same style as her Nerds series, it's a fast paced story that keeps your interest till the end.  A definite must have if you love MaryJanice Davidson or Dakota Cassidy's books.


Werewolf in the North Wood
A Wild About You Novel Bk 2
Vicki Lewis Thompson

Published: 04 October, 2011
Signet Eclipse, Mass Market Paperback, 320 p.
ISBN: 978-0-451-23498-8


When she used to walk around her grandfather's property outside Portland, Abby Winchell loved the idea that Bigfoot was somewhere out there too.  Now her grandfather swears he's seen two creatures that fit the legendary description - and he has the evidence.  Sort of.  Grandpa Earl may be a bit dotty, but when his neighbors invite a renowned anthropologist to disprove his theory, Abby decides to send the man packing ... until she sees how hot he is.
Anthropology professor Roarke Wallace can't risk news being made of a Bigfoot sighting in the north woods - not with a local pack of werewolves to protect.  Disproving the evidence should be easy, but ignoring Abby is not.  Her fiery red hair makes him want to sit up and beg, and his obvious attraction is making the pack suspicious ...


From werewolves to Sasquatch?  This was a little bit of stretch even for me.  However, when I put aside the hunt for the Sasquatches - what is the plural of Sasquatch anyway? - and concentrate on the romance between Abby and Roarke, I found it to be your average paranormal romance. 

In the first book, you get more of a sense of a relationship between Aidan and Emma, as he'd been watching her for months.  However, I find the whole concept of instant bonding more than a bit tedious now.  As a story device it's been used and abused as a way to throw two characters together without trying to put the effort.  Can't quite make your heroine fall for your hero?  Hey, she gets bitten and now it's love at first bite - or 'first sniff' according to the cover.

Werewolf in the North Woods is a decent book to have when you need to take something with you on the bus, but I found that my attention wandered throughout.  Perhaps the next book in the series will pick up the slack?


The Accidental Werewolf
Dakota Cassidy

Published: 01 November, 2011 (reprint)
Berkley Sensation, Mass Market Paperback, 321 p.
ISBN: 987-0-425-24271-1

Marty Andrews is having a bad week.  First, she's bitten by a mangy mutt while walking her teacup poodle.  As a result, her salon-perfect blonde hair begins to darkening by the day to something that's sooo not in her color wheel.  Her mood swings have turned her into The Hormonal Hulk.  Worse yet, the hair on her legs is growing at a rate evan a body slam into an entire vat of wax couldn't cure.  Last, and most important, her dream job as a sales rep for Bobbie-Sue Cosmetics is going to hell in a handbasket...
The only high point is Keegan Flaherty, the drool-worth man who shows up at her door.  Of course, he's clearly insane.  Keegan claims that he accidentally bit Marty, and since he's a werewolf, she is now, too.  Red meat cravings aside, Marty refuses to believe a word until a kidnapping makes her realize there's more at stake than her highlights.  And she must put her out-of-control life in the hands of the man who makes her blood run wild in more ways than one...

I first picked this book up, years ago, at my local library - and I'm so glad I did.

Usually an author has their character being nearly mauled to death, then having to come to terms with their new 'condition'.  It is done in the most traumatic and emotionally draining fashion, but  Dakota Cassidy has made becoming a werewolf a fun lesson in how it could really put a crimp in a gal's life.  I got the giggles when I read about the constantly regrowing leg hair, and the trauma of Marty having to deal with the regrowth from hell. 

Every other book I've read with werewolves, they turn furry at the drop of a hat.  No problems.  But not our girl, Marty.  Her stubby little tail problem made me laugh even as I cringed in sympathy.

This is a great take on the classic werewolf tail (sorry Marty, couldn't resist :-P ).  If you like your paranormal romance books with an edge of sarcastic humor and wet-yourself-laughing moments, then Dakota Cassidy's books are for you.  Will definitely be buying the rest of the books in the series :-P


Stephanie Laurens
To be released September 25, 2012
Avon Books, Mass Market Paperback, 496 p.
(also in ebook and Large Type formats)
ISBN: 978-0-06-206863-7

Neville Roscoe, notorious and enigmatic, lives resolutely outside society, bound only by his own code of honor - until challenged by his desire for the one woman he cannot have.
Miranda Clifford is a lady imprisoned by rigid respectability - until tempted by a passion beyond her power to deny.
Flung together in peril, through danger and intrigue, they discover a love impossible to ignore ... or keep.

Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.  I have been following Stephanie Laurens Bastion Club and Bar Cynster's for nearly 10 years now, and although I enjoy the period, I don't read regency romances, except for these.  I have already pre-ordered my copy.