Written by JD Robb –- After a phenomenal career full of bestsellers, Nora Roberts decided to take on a pseudonym and a new challenge. Nora Roberts became JD Robb and published her first book from the In Death series, Naked in Death, back in 1995. Readers instantly took to the main character Eve Dallas, a tough cop with a dark past, and her mysterious love interest Roarke. JD Robb produces two In Death books per year, with the occasional stand-alone original In Death story featured in an anthology. Delusion in Death is her latest novel.
The book begins in a bar after office hours. Everyone is relaxing after a long week until some of the patrons start suffering from bad headaches. Suddenly a woman on a date with her boyfriend starts screaming at him, stabbing a fork into his eye, and the bloodbath begins.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas arrives on the scene after the chaos has ended to a sea of dead bodies floating in blood, booze and vomit. She is greeted by the sight of gouged eyes, torn faces, slit throats, and heads bashed in so violently she can see pieces of skull and gray matter. After assessing the scene it is clear that the victims turned on each other in a desperate, blind rage. The question is why?
As she investigates it becomes clear that it was a chemical that set off the carnage. Once in people’s bloodstreams it caused them to hallucinate and turn violent. After a second attack occurs during the lunch rush at Café West, Dallas uncovers links to the attacks dating back to the Urban Wars and the chemical warfare used all those years ago (in prior novels). Can Dallas find the murderer before more carnage ensues?
Delusion in Death is an entertaining and enjoyable read, with a very original storyline. Whereas most crime fiction books focus on a murder investigation involving a murderer and their victim(s), with Delusion In Death the murder victims are also the murderers.
As original and interesting as it is, I do feel there are too many references to Eve Dallas being raped and beaten by her father as a child and her ongoing turmoil over killing him. Although this does help the reader understand more about the character, the frequent references become irrelevant to the main storyline. I’ve never read any other In Death novels and found a lot of unanswered questions throughout the book. It is not really clear why Dallas’ husband Roarke has such a huge involvement in the case. He is allowed into briefing rooms and onto murder scenes. I can only assume the explanation can be found in previous books but a mention of why he has access here would have helped.
CFL Rating: 3 Stars