Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Leverage in Death (In Death #47), by J.D. Robb (author), Susan Eriksen (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, September 2018

Dallas, Roarke, Peabody, and the rest are confronting a nasty pair of killers, smart, capable, but definitely not pros, engaged in a bizarre and deadly form of market manipulation. The very first victim is a man who walks into the meeting where the luxury airline he works for and an economy airline are going to finalize their merger, and blows himself up with a suicide vest, killing eleven other people and injuring more.

He had absolutely no discernible motive to do this. He was heard to say to the president of his company, right before he detonated the bomb, "I'm sorry, I don't have a choice." He had plans for celebrations after the meeting, first with his own staff, and then with his wife and daughter.

The wife and daughter are found, alive but somewhat battered, and bound with zip ties, at home.

Dallas is challenged at first to even work out what the motive for the crime is, but both one of her men, Baxter, who invests his own money cautiously in the stock market, and her very own "expert consultant, civilian," Roarke, who has gotten very rich understanding not just his beloved computer systems, but also markets, explain what will happen to the two companies' stock. First it will crash. Then it will be announced that the merger is still on, and it will climb in value again. There will be a narrow window when someone who is prepared to move immediately can make a very handsome profit.

With the first success, it seems inevitable that the killers will strike again, but where? There aren't that many high-profile mergers close to completion at any one time, especially since there's evidence suggesting the killers are likely to want to stay local. What else can they manipulate the same way?

They find out all too soon.

As with any case involving multiple murders and a killer or killers who don't plan to stop, it's a tense and stressful time. I'm reminded again in this book how both Dallas and Peabody have grown into their roles, and how both Dallas and Roarke have tackled their own personal issues, and the challenges of two such strong personalities from such different backgrounds being married to each other.

Dallas is also mastering a role that comes much more naturally to both Roarke and Somerset: being part of the extended family of Mavis and Leonardo's young daughter, Bella. I think it is maybe even not freaking Dallas out quite so much that she's starting to understand Bella!

But the new stress in this book is that the movie based on tv reporter friend Nadine's book about the Icove case, The Icove Agenda, is up for an Oscar. Well, several Oscars. Best Movie, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song (Mavis, of course.) Probably several others, too, but these are the ones stressing Dallas out!

Somehow she keeps all the balls in the air, as she always does, and it's another satisfying visit with Dallas and company.

Also, I was struck this time by just how much Susan Eriksen is just the right voice, and the right reader for the In Death series.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.