Review of “Thankless in Death” (In Death #37) by J.D. Robb

Robb, J.D. Thankless in Death. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2014.

Hardcover | $27.95 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0399164422 | 402 pages | Romantic Suspense

5 stars

Thankless in Death has a lot of elements we’ve seen before in the In Death series, including a psychopathic killer on a manhunt, but it is that very thing that made it one of the better ones for me. While some of the books tend to complicate the cases a bit with different technologies and fictional advancements, my favorites are the ones that delve into the traditional and timeless cold-blooded murder and the quest to find him.

It also shows off Robb/Roberts’ eerie talent of truly getting into the mind of a psycho once again, and as much as I loved seeing Eve and the gang trying to catch him, my favorite parts were the portions from his perspective, delving into the reasons he chose each of his victims, and how he felt they wronged him, something no rational person would let escalate to these heinous acts, even if someone upset them. I would love to pick Roberts’ brain on the writing of these scenes, as they are pure dark, morbid perfection.

Given that those violent moments, it’s a welcome relief to have them juxtaposed with scenes of a the lead-up to and the carrying-out of Thanksgiving dinner, with an absolutely beautiful final scene featuring recurring characters, like little orphaned Nixie and her new adoptive family, the DeBlasses. Given that these are among the characters over the course of the series who’ve faced monumental losses, it is heartwarming to see them focusing on the positive and being thankful for what they have, especially Nixie, who expresses her gratitude toward Eve in the sweetest way.

This is one of the installments that I really enjoyed for its balance of the gritty and the emotional, and its interweaving of a great, if somewhat cliche, message.

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