New York, 2061: The place called the Pleasure Academy is a living nightmare where abducted girls are trapped, and trained for a life of abject service while their souls are slowly but surely destroyed. Dorian, a thirteen-year-old runaway who’d been imprisoned there, might never have made it out if not for her fellow inmate Mina, who’d hatched the escape plan. Mina was the more daring of the two—but they’d been equally desperate.
Unfortunately, they didn’t get away fast enough. Now Dorian is injured, terrified, and wandering the streets of New York, and Mina lies dead near the waterfront while Lt. Eve Dallas looks over the scene.
Mina’s expensive, elegant clothes and beauty products convince Dallas that she was being groomed, literally and figuratively, for sex trafficking—and that whoever is investing in this high-overhead operation expects windfall profits. Her billionaire husband, Roarke, may be able to help, considering his ties to the city’s ultra-rich.
But Roarke is also worried about the effect this case is having on Dallas, as it brings a rage to the surface that she can barely control. No matter what, she must keep her head clear–because above all, she is desperate for justice and to take down those who prey on and torment the innocent.
Desperation in Death is the 55th title in the “in Death” series. A complete list of all the titles in this futuristic police procedural mystery series can be found on our J. D. Robb page.
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: Desperation in Death
Series: __ in Death #55
Author: J. D. Robb
Genre: Futuristic Police Procedural, Crime, Suspense
Published: September 6, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
My Rating: 5 stars
There is a tone of desperation in the opening chapters of Desperation in Death. You can feel it flowing off of the pages, from the emotions of the young girls to the snipping at each other that Eve and Roarke are engaging in. That was my first impression of this newest in Death story. Eve, Peabody, Roarke, and crew have just come off of the conclusion of another case that was mentally, and emotionally harrowing, and before that can be processed another case of an innocent young girl’s dead body being found is laid at Eve’s feet. Only this time there is even more that’s obvious immediately as the apparent grooming for the sex trade is quickly discovered. It hits close to home for Eve, and for her husband.
If you’ve followed this series then you’ll be aware that both Eve and Roarke see each other as their rock, their touch point, and their love for each other is never in question in spite of Eve’s often snarky comments. Yet this time they are frayed at the edges, argumentative in ways that are not usual for this couple and it will take just a bit for them to face their reactions to this new case and settle into solving it. In my opinion, it was pure genius on the author’s part to let us feel so strongly as well as see what is happening to a couple who have stood up to so much together as a united front. If Eve and Roarke are acting this way because of this case… then it’s going to get really, really bad before we find all the villains involved.
Desperation in Death kept my attention on the pages, on the details as we are carried along to find those behind such a vile crime. We’ll meet up with familiar faces, and a few newer ones as well but the emotional impact of this case is shown clearly in each and every character’s reaction to it and their part in solving it. It’s fast-paced, emotionally involving, and mentally challenging as clues and deadends come at us with equal force. And also proof that even in fiction it takes good teamwork to solve a crime… and time, something that not every person in this story has a lot to spare. While I’ll not be giving you details for you should discover those for yourself firsthand – I will say that the ending was extremely satisfying, and I think even Eve would agree with that.
I’ve read every single book or novella in the in Death world and Desperation in Death is in my top 5 favorites from this series. It is an amazing story, well told with emotions fully engaged. If you haven’t yet discovered this world then now would be a good time. Don’t let a large number of books in the series hold you back – you could read this as an excellent standalone, sure you wouldn’t know the background or how some characters fit together but you will be able to read a very good crime novel, one that will capture your attention and hold it until the very end.
I own a Kindle edition of this title.
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