Thursday, April 30, 2015

Taken in Death

I'm not done with J. D. Robb. Not just yet. With two novellas (or is it novelettes?) to find and complete, only then I will be officially caught up. Luckily, my local library had a copy of the novella anthology, Mirror, Mirror (2013), featuring an In Death short called Taken in Death.

Taken in Death features a story about fraternal twins, Gala and Henry’s, kidnapping from their New York East Side home. Unfortunate for the twins–and their nanny–the parents are out of town when this incident happens. This leaves the twins’ nanny to fight with their abductor, leading to her murder and the call for New York City homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas. Upon reviewing the home’s security footage, it seems as if the children’s mother committed the murder/kidnap. However, when the twins’ parents arrive upon the scene, it appears that it was, in fact, the crazed and highly deranged twin of their mother found entering the home.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, it really was. Crazy and warped. I've long recognized that it’s these In Death shorts that allow Robb to really go to town with twisted villains. And I mean this one was twisted. We're talking cannibalistic, blood-licking twisted. Nevertheless, there’s a theme here. The theme is fairytale villains, spirited-away children, heroes, breadcrumb trails, and the consumption of tampered sweets. And that’s exactly how Taken in Death operates, with its In Death characters and police procedural bend.

This was easily one of the better In Death novellas. A few were boring and forgettable, but Taken was a thrill that I had no choice but to swallow in one sitting.  Now I need to find a copy of The Unquieted anthology, which features the novella Chaos in Death.  Then, I'll be good until September.

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