Title: Divided in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Publication Date: January 2004
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Found alone on the streets as a child, Eve Dallas has built a new identity and a new future as a cop. Now the hard-edged and coolheaded detective fights for truth and justice, but she still has one very human weakness-enigmatic Irish billionaire, Roarke. And when a trusted employee of Roarke Enterprises is a suspect in a double-homicide, Roarke comes to Eve for help.
Reva Ewing was a former member of the Secret Service, and now a security specialist for Roarke Enterprises-until she was found standing over the dead bodies of her husband, renowned artist Blair Bissel, and her best friend. But Lieutenant Eve Dallas believes there was more to the killing than jealous rage-all of Bissel’s computer files were deliberately corrupted. To Roarke, it’s the computer attack that poses the real threat. He and Reva have been under a code-red government contract to develop a program that would shield against techno-terrorists. But this deadly new breed of hackers isn’t afraid to kill to protect their secret-and it’s up to Lieutenant Eve Dallas to shut them down before the nightmare can spread to the whole country.
I felt very tense while reading Divided in Death, but in the best way possible. The tension emulating from the pages of this novel is extraordinary and wonderful to read because it focused in on how the characters reacted to each other and the situations they were in. Although Eve, Roarke, and their fellow cast of returning characters are the focus of the story, I feel that Reva, Caro’s daughter, stole the show. In her past, she was a Secret Service agent who protected the President at all costs, even at the risk of her own life. In her present life, retired from government security, Reva works for Roarke as a security expert. Just from her career history, we feel that Reva is a woman to be reckoned with – clever, smart, and detailed. When we discover that her husband has been flagrantly cheating on her with her “best friend” and his gallery employee, it is a little shock to the system and immediately the tension is ratcheted up.
The opening scenes of Divided in Death are among Robb’s best. As Reva’s situation becomes clearer and clearer, I almost began to will her to not enter Felicity’s home, to not discover her husband in bed with her best friend. I immediately identified with Reva, a heartbroken woman who acted on impulse and right into the hands of the killer.
There was only one aspect of this novel that I didn’t really care for. Because Reva (and her mother, the ever-dependable Caro) work for Roarke, he immediately goes on the defensive for them, becoming angry with Eve as she does her job. On one side, this is sweet and a fairly accurate picture of his personality. On the other, it was annoying. He knew Eve was on their side after she took a good, deep look at the scene, but he still acts so aggressively. There’s another issue riding on their personal rift, but the entire thing felt too forced. It was an unnecessary side plot that only irritated me instead of heightening the tension, which I think was its intended job.
Final Thoughts: The plot twists in this novel constantly kept coming, which I enjoyed. They took the plot to entirely new dimensions for the In Death series, especially when it’s revealed that Reva’s husband, Blair, is in a lot deeper than anyone originally realized. Divided in Death is some of Robb’s best work.
First Lines: “Killing was too good for him.”
Last Lines: “And when she was alone, riding down alone, she tapped her finger – the one that wore her wedding ring – against the image of a badge on her heart.”