Friday, October 9, 2020

Shadows in Death (In Death #51, by J.D. Robb (author), Susan Ericksen (narrator)

Macmillan Audio, September 2020

Dallas and Roarke are back with another difficult case to solve.

Roarke's highly questionable past occasionally comes back to haunt him and Eve in awkward ways. The latest is exceptionally awkward. A rival and enemy from his hard childhood years in Dublin has arrived in New York and intends to kill him--after first killing everyone else who matters to him.

And Lorcan Cobbe is a skilled, professional assassin.

Cobbe claims to be Roarke's older half-brother, but Patrick Roarke, while employing him as an enforcer, never acknowledged him as his son. For all the elder Roarke's abuse of him, he did acknowledge the younger Roarke as his son. And that's what Cobbe, obsessed with Patrick Roarke as his hero and idol, can never forgive the boy that Patrick did acknowledge.
That hatred has burned for a long time, but now Roarke has achieved a level of wealth and success that's far beyond Cobbe. When he comes to New York to kill a woman whose husband finds divorcing her would not serve his interests, he does that job quickly and efficiently, but the trip morphs into a mission to finally eliminate Roarke.

Cobbe, driven by emotion rather than money this time, can't resist taunting Roarke--showing himself briefly to ensure Roarke knows he's there, and then other little taunts and challenges, and of course threats of what he'll do to Dallas before he kills Roarke.

Cobbe thinks Roarke is weak, because he's not a killer, and had the chance to kill Cobbe years ago and didn't  It doesn't even occur to him that Dallas could really be dangerous.

Dallas, Roarke, and the NYPSD are not usually all one team, what with Roarke's criminal past and discomfort around cops even though he's married one. Roarke can't handle this threat on his own, though. Doing things entirely his way would hurt Eve, and maybe break their relationship. Working with them will also give him the help of men and women who, even though they're cops, he likes and respects, and who can bring real resources to the effort. And Eve knows that Roarke can't just set aside his old instincts and attitudes entirely in this direct and personal threat--a threat to him, but also to her, and Somerset, and his family back in Ireland.

It's a bit of a hurdle for both of them, when it means also working with Interpol, in the person of an English investigator who has been hunting Cobbe for six years.

It's a tense and exciting story, and we're reminded again how much these two have grown since they first met, in a case where Roarke looked like a possible suspect.

Content warning: A sweet little cat dies very nastily, as part of one of Cobbe's taunts.

I loved this book, and strongly recommend it, for a good mystery, good relationships, and being true to the characters we've come to know and value.

I bought this audiobook.

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