Death Series, No 38 Lt.
J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts)
2010 / ISBN 9780399156878
Lt. Eve Dallas / Police Procedural--Ireland/NYC-Future-2060
by L J Roberts
First Sentence: The road was a killer, hardly wider than a
decent stream of spit and snaking like a cobra between giant bushes
loaded with strange flowers that resembled drops of blood.
Even on her vacation in Ireland with husband Roarke, Lt. Eve Dallas
of the New York Police and Security Department, which came into
being after the urban wars, becomes involved in a murder case, but
only as an adviser. The vacation is definitely over when she returns
to the murder by crossbow of a driver for an elite limousine service.
The next day is a top paid escort is murdered by bayonet. The murders
keep coming, the weapons always unusual and the link…
Sometimes you need a palete cleanser; a guilty pleasure read on
which you can rely. J.D. Robb and her “…In Death”
books is that for me.
A good, evocative analogy is something I always appreciate, while
snappy dialogue and wry humor which surprises me into laughing aloud
is something at which Robb excels. However, she can also touch the
emotions and bring tears to my eyes. But don’t ever mistake
her books for being pure light fluff. The murders are brutal, the
language course, and the sex graphic. It is the combination of these
elements that brings keeps Robb at the top of the best-seller list
and me back to reading the series.
Eve, who grew up with violence and brutality, chose to work for
the law and has a dedication to representing and finding justice
to the dead. Her husband, Roark, had the same type of childhood,
and broke many a law on his way to extreme wealth and meeting Eve.
There are certainly fantasy aspects of the relationship, but the
balance of her lack of facade and his access to contacts and technology
works. It’s Eve’s partner, Det. Delia Peabody, who exemplifies
all the traditionally feminine traits for which Eve has no skill,
patience or interest; and so that relationship works as well.
One thing on which you can always count is good action. But I also
like that just when I figured out the killer, so did Eve. Disappointment
averted—well done! Even though I knew Dallas would get the
villain at the end, there was tremendous satisfaction when she did.
However, my praise isn’t unstinting; I did have a problem
with the plot in that was very similar to a couple previous books.
Even with 38 books in the series, those of us who’ve read
them do remember and can’t avoid noticing recycling a premise
even if there could be a similarity in crimes over time. Had Dallas
made a reference to the previous cases, the similarity would have
been noted as intentional rather than a possible rehash of old plots.
You can certainly say that these books are formulaic, but it is
a formula that works and is very enjoyable. It is not great literature.
Even with its flaws, and they are there, it is a darn good read
that made me happy I’d read it and smile when I’d finished