Brief Book Review: ‘Ceremony in Death’ (In Death #5) by J. D. Robb ~ 5 stars!
Having devoured the first four books in the ‘…In Death’ series and easily rated them each at five stars, I feel almost sad that I cannot give ‘Ceremony in Death’ a much higher rating than five stars!
The intrigue that J.D. Robb injects into every one of her ‘In Death’ novels has always thrilled me, keeping me reading far into the night to work alongside Eve Dallas in her investigations. Whilst the first four books did this perfectly, for me ‘Ceremony in Death’ takes this a step further, and I instantly connected deeply with the storyline of the ‘unknown.’
Eve’s case in this ‘In Death’ novel is new territory for her. Having always been a character who views things as either black and white, seeing Eve being thown into the unknown world of the supernatural was fascinating. I loved watching Eve’s character develop as she was forced to see things from the perspective of people very different to her. Having seen Eve go from having faith in very few people to her having to understand the mind of somebody who relies on faith as part of their everyday functioning was brilliantly written.
The story of Wiccan’s versus Sadists was also very respectfully portrayed. Being Wiccan myself I felt incredibly happy with Robb’s strong underlying message that Wicca is a peaceful, loving religion. Although I can see the appeal in giving Witches frightfully impressive powers in fiction, I am thrilled that Robb expresses clearly through many different characters, that Wicca is a way of life and a religion, not a power-hungry cult. This distinction was clearly made by showing contrasts with the worshippers of Satan, a being that Wiccan’s do not actually believe in.
Another plotline of this novel which I really enjoyed was the extra time that Eve spent with Roarke. It was wonderful to see Eve beginning to accept Roarke’s protectiveness, and I can’t wait to see how their relationship progresses further in the rest of the series.
Where in Robb’s previous ‘In Death’ novels, I always had to second guess my first instinct at who the killer was, I liked that Robb gave glaringly obvious hints that Selena was the one in charge of the murders. It gave the reader a reason to justify disagreeing with Eve’s judgement in the case, where in the earlier novels we would normally take Eve’s word as law until proven otherwise.
However, there is one criticism I would make, which I feel was a problem with all of the books in the series so far, which is that the ending is too abrupt. The final confrontation between the ‘goody’ and ‘baddy’ tends to happen in less than five pages, and we don’t see the outcome of Eve’s relationships with the suspects she felt obliged to question, especially in this book where emotional connections were formed. Nevertheless, this did not in any way ruin the book for me, and if I could give it a higher rating than five I definitely would!
5 stars and a definite recommended read!