I think I let my expectations run a little too wild in regards to this book. Because it’s book 50 (which is crazy, right?!) in a series, I was anticipating something mind-blowing for this installment; instead, I got fairly run-of-the-mill. And I’m so disappointed about it. In case you didn’t know, I absolutely adore Nora Roberts. She’s my ultimate comfort read. I’ve read literally everything she’s written, and I can’t think of another author so prolific (she’s written well over 200 books) that I can say that about. There’s something about her books that feels like coming home from the very first page. This is doubly true for the In Death series. Following the same characters through FIFTY books is a wild experience. Eve and Roarke and Peabody and so many others feel like members of my family that I get to catch up with a couple of times a year. If I’m being honest, these characters often feel more real to me than real people in my life. Or at least, they usually do.
“Do you know what I mean when a situation or a time can feel like the end of your world, the somehow becomes the making of it, and you?”
Golden in Death could have been (and should have been) something really special for readers who have followed the series from its inception. Instead, it felt like an afterthought, a halfhearted offering that cheapened characters I’ve come to love so much. While the sass and camaraderie were still present, they felt stilted and even a bit forced. Eve lacked the dimension she usually brings to this series. Nora simply wasn’t on her A-game here. There was absolutely nothing special about this particular story and it makes me incredibly sad.
“Death—but most especially murder—ripped so many lives to shreds. And no matter how they were put back together, they were never, ever the same.”
All of that being said, it wasn’t a bad book. It still showcased Nora’s wonderful writing and storytelling style. Even if the characters weren’t as tangibly real and captivating as they usually are, it was still nice to catch up with them. And there were a few heartfelt moments that resonated. But everything about this book, from the plot to the characters to even the romance (which is among my favorite love stories of all time) just felt…tired. The main baddie felt like such a cliché by the time they were caught and arrested. I was literally rolling my eyes throughout the interrogation. And every remotely ethnic character sounded weirdly robotic and stiff during their lines of dialogue. Also, the chapter divides seemed incredibly arbitrary and made no actual sense with the flow of the story. It really threw me.
“I can’t change what I did, only what I do.”
Will I continue reading literally everything Nora ever publishes? Absolutely. I don’t care what it is, if she writes it, I will be reading it as soon as I can lay my hands on it. But will I be rereading this particular book? Highly unlikely. Here’s to hoping Eve Dallas gets her groove back and packs more of a punch in the next In Death installment.