Passions in Death
July 4, 2024

Book Review

Passions in Death

reviewed by Sandra Hoover


Goodreads | Crossmyheartbookreviews

Passions in Death is the fifty-ninth book in J.D. Robb’s futuristic, police procedural style In Death Series.  For new readers feeling overwhelmed with the sheer number of books, you can be confident jumping in at any point as each title in the series stands alone with a murder mystery solved and needed backstory included within the pages of each book.

However, the main characters as well as some of the repeat support characters are introduced in early books, and character development is a key part of the storyline throughout the series. Hard-core Dallas fans will tell you that it enhances your reading pleasure to start with Naked in Death and proceed through the series in order of publication. 

Drinks flow freely at The Down & Dirty Club which is open on a Monday night for guests of the pre-wedding party of Erin Albright and Shauna Hunnicut. The brides and their tribe of friends’ drink, sing and dance the night away in celebration of the two women’s upcoming nuptials, leaving all inhibitions on the floor with their clothes.  During the height of the party, Erin slips away unseen to a back room to prepare for a special surprise she’s planned for her bride-to-be Shauna, and that’s where Lt. Eve Dallas, accompanied by her ridiculously wealthy husband Roarke, finds her lying in a pool of her own blood. Eve’s momentarily taken aback as she recognizes the room as the same one in which she had once fought for her own life, and she vows to get justice for this woman whose future has been brutally stolen from her. As the story unfolds, evidence points toward a cold, premediated murder of passion by someone close to the victim – someone she trusted and considered a friend. No one has a bad thing to say about the victim . . . so which member of her close tribe of friends murdered her? 

A gripping, deeply emotional police procedural, Passions in Death displays Robb’s expertise in continuously delivering highly visual, masterly plotted, strong character driven stories that keep fans clamoring for more. Her ability to meticulously maneuver Eve and company through the solving of yet another complex murder case is highly entertaining and nothing short of amazing.  While Passions in Death is a bit slower paced than some of the other books, the short list of red herrings, lack of apparent motive, and frustrating perplexity of the case keeps both characters and readers on their toes while setting a mysterious smoke and mirrors atmosphere and tone throughout. As always, I find Eve’s mind a fascinating place to be when she’s sniffing out clues and homing in on the murderer with the intensity of a bloodhound on the trail of prey before striding into the interrogation room with fire in her eyes and justice on her lips in an old fashion showdown with the villain reminiscent of the final gunfight at the OK Corral. There’s never any doubt who the victor will be. 

Passions in Death is another highly visual, inventive masterpiece by Author J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts, highlighting the many intricacies of relationships especially within found family or a close circle of friends.  Fans will appreciate appearances from a few of the series’ regulars like Peabody, Mavis and Bella.  Passions in Death is a compelling, highly addictive blend of crime and police procedural suspense with a sexy side of fairytale romance ala Eve’s own mysterious prince of a husband, Roarke. Highly recommended to fans of the series as well as fans of intriguing mysteries and suspense thrillers.


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