Sep 1 2016 8:30am

First Look: J.D. Robb’s Apprentice in Death (September 6, 2016)

Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb

J.D. Robb
Apprentice in Death (In Death #43)
Berkley / September 6, 2016 / $28.00 print, $14.99 digital

The most important aspect of J.D. Robb’s In Death series is the relations and how they affect each person.  The relationship between husband and wife is the bedrock of the series, and in Apprentice in Death, the changes in this relationship is mirrored in the redesigning of Eve’s home office and the master bedroom.  The changing of each room which once reflected the individual to something that now blends everything they are as a couple, mirrors the changes in their ever growing connection.

But just as important as the marriage bond is the relationship created by the team. The team made up of mentor and student, trainer and trainee, or master and apprentice. 

“You take on the trainee because you want him to share what you do, you want to give him something maybe.  You want to see something of you in him.”

A large part of the In Death universe centers around the need for a mentor.  Every trainee police officer has the potential to become a great cop, but we have seen time and again in this series that those in the upper ranks and those who train have a great deal of influence over the newer officers.  Rookies can go crooked or be diverted from their original desire to protect and serve when their superiors go bad.  But those rookies who are lucky enough to have the right mentor, can shine bright and be an asset to the Department and the City.    Eve Dallas might not be the kick-ass cop she is without Ryan Feeney.  Delia Peabody would not be so successful without the guidance of Eve.  And the young Troy Trueheart would not be carrying a shiny new detective badge without the tutelage of one David Baxter. 

“So I ask myself:  Why this kid?  You took me.”

Sipping coffee, Feeney nodded.  “You had juice.”

“I was green.”

“You never had much green on you.  I saw potential, guts, a working brain—cop’s brain.  Maybe a little bit of me there, back in the day. And you wanted Homicide.  You took Peabody,” he reminded her.

“Yeah, and thinking on that.  I can’t say I saw any me in her, but I saw potential, and that working cop brain.  I figured, give her a shot at Homicide—because she wanted it—and try her out as my aide.  Then it fit, that’s all.  We fit.”

“She’s got you in her.  A sunnier outlook, and that Free-Ager base, but she doesn’t quit.  And it’s not just the job matters. It’s the victim. You saw some of that, or you might’ve put her into a cube in Homicide. You wouldn’t have set yourself up to train her.”

“Yeah.  I guess.  Yeah.  So there’s maybe some of the adult in the kid.  The potential to kill.  You took me, I took Peabody—and I gave Baxter Trueheart—but there’s more than the potential, all three trainees were already cops.”

With a nod, Feeney gulped more coffee.  “You’re wondering if the kid’s already a killer.”

A sniper is setting up nests throughout the City and taking shots at the citizens of New York and Eve Dallas needs to figure out if there is a specific target to this killing spree or is it simply a game to this killer. While each time the killer takes aim, the number of dead increases at each venue, but with the skill level being shown by this killer, why aren’t their more victims?

Just when Eve thinks there can’t be anything more horrific to these attacks, she realizes that there isn’t just one sniper, but a team; a mentor and an apprentice. And just like with the police, a killer has taken an apprentice under their wing to train them to kill very efficiently from a distance, and to treat human beings as nothing more than target practice.    

“So why have the young one along?  It’s not for the fucking company.  There’s a purpose.  Here’s how it’s done, kid, and next time it’s yours to do.  Or it’s your time.  Take your shot.”

Hadn’t that been the way between her and Feeney?  Here’s how it’s done, kid.  Now do it.

Cops aren’t the only ones who need a mentor to reach greatness.  In Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb delves into a killer’s desire to find his own apprentice and pass on his great skill at death. 


Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb, available September 6, 2016:

Buy at Amazon

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H&H Editor Picks:

Book Boyfriends: We Need Him, We Love Him, May We Keep Him?

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September 2016 Romance New Releases


Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.


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Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
I took a break from the ... in Death series about six or so books ago; this post is tempting me to restart!
2. Lesley54
A large part of me would really love to read this series.It gets such good reviews and the characters sound really interesting BUT I'm afraid that I'm a stickler for reading a series in order . This creates a problem,as there appear to be about a million books in this series already. I find it too overwheming to think of trying to read this series from the beginning, due to the number of books and time I'd have to set aside to catch up! Has anyone else had this problem of coming to a very long series late that they really want to read? Do you just pick out certain key books, start with the latest or just don't bother? Anywhere where you can get a synopsis of the books so you don't have to read them all and can quickly be brought up to date?
3. SherylNantus
Had this on pre-order for months - can't wait for it to show up on my Nook!!!

Lesley54 - I think you'd be well off starting at the beginning of the series - they're very good reads and while there's a lot in the series you'll find yourself chugging through them!

I believe there's an In Death wiki with synopsises (synopsisi?) for every book that'll let you catch up - but I do suggest reading the books in order.

Can't wait for more Eve and Roarke!!!
4. Reader Deb
Lesley54, I came into this series about 18 months ago and like you, want to read a series like this in order. once I read the first one I was hooked and went through them all pretty quickly, so don't be discouraged. This series is definitely worth the effort and reading the in order does make a difference since each one builds on the last one.
5. pebbleloft
Lesley54, I come across this series 3 years ago. Like you I was really doubtful as it was close to 30+ books at that point. I honestly don't read any of Nora Roberts books and was extremely doubtful when I first pick it up. Once I started reading, I devoured it. I agree with Reader Deb to it being an amazing series! Once you get hooked, I'm sure you will go through it pretty quickly. This series is definitely worth reading in order as you can see the characters growing in the series! Definitely worth the read!
6. Raine
I started reading this series a long time ago.....once you start, you are hooked.....after I caught up, I checked my library and they had them on I started all over and listened to them. Wow! The best series and the best narrator....ever! Now I pre order audio because, well, the characters with their uniqueness and their accents bring the books to life and I spend much time, laughing and sometimes crying....I hope the series never ends!
7. Lucy D
I would highly recommend doing your catch up by audiobooks. Susan Ericksen is fabulous and I still hear her narration whenever I read or re-read a book from this series.
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