Written by: JD Robb
Hardcover: 347 pages
January 2006, $24.99
Genre: Crime/Thriller/In Death series (#21)
"New York Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her partner Peabody enter the hallowed halls of the Wilfred B. Icove Center for Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery on a case. A hugely popular vid star has been beaten to a bloody pulp – and has killed her attacker in the process. After a post-op interview, Dallas and Peabody confirm for themselves that it’s a clear cut case of self-defense, but before they can leave the building, another case falls into their hands. Dr. Wilfred B Icove himself has been found dead in his office – murdered in a chillingly efficient manner: one swift stab to the heart. Struck by the immaculate condition of the crime scene, Dallas suspects a professional killing. Security discs show a stunningly beautiful woman calmly entering and leaving the building: the good doctors final appointment. Known as “Dr Perfect” the saintly Icove devoted his life to his family and his work. His record is clean. Too clean for Dallas. She knows he was hiding something, and suspects that his son, his successor, knows what it is. Then – like father, like son – the young Dr. Icove is killed…with the same deadly precision. But who is the mystery woman, and what was her relationship with the good doctor? With her husband, Roarke, working behind the scenes, Dallas follows her darkest instincts into the Icoves’ pasts. And what she discovers are men driven to create perfection – playing fast and loose with the laws of nature, the limits of science, and the morals of humanity.
I have been reading the “In Death” series by JD Robb for about a decade now after picking up a couple of paperbacks at a garage sale. It was a while before I learned that my favorite thriller novelist was none other than Nora Roberts (I felt the same way when I discovered Elizabeth Peters was Barbara Michaels), but I couldn't begrudge her for being a best selling romance novelist. The thriller/mystery genre is not my favorite though what I have read has made me quite happy.
Its 2059 and Thanksgiving in New York City for Lt Eve Dallas. Even as her husband plans a Thanksgiving feast that neither of them will soon forget, Eve finds herself at the Wilfred B Icove Center for Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery on a case. What Eve and her partner Peabody do not expect to find is the good doctor dead in his own plush office, a scalpel plunged into his heart. When a mysterious and beautiful woman shows up on the security disks leaving the scene of the crime Eve and Peabody find themselves following a trail that leads to genetic manipulation and how people strive for absolute perfection.
Things I loved: One reason I love the In Death series is largely due to the setting. Set in the near future (near being 50 years from now) each book is like a futuristic CSI with a great leading lady and one hell of a dashing billionaire and former thief husband. I get the best of both worlds: a little romance and a lot of mystery and thrills. What is not to like? Plus having the series set in the future works like the hour long crime drama. Instead of waiting days, weeks, or months for the story to forensically progress, the future’s technology helps solve the crimes and bring out the suspects which moves the pacing along nicely. HOwever, the great thing about Dallas is that she usually knows who did it and the story then becomes a matter of proving it.
Even after 25 books I don’t know how Robb/Roberts does it. I’m still not bored with the series. In this outing I like the questions posed. Its not hard to believe that the perfect being is being bred and created out there for both the rich and as a weapon. It may be a little sci-fi, but hardly implausible when you really think about it.
I love Roarke of course, who wouldn’t? But my favorite characters are Peabody and McNab, Mira and Mavis. I also love the world that has been created. Its a world of hoverlifts, holorooms, Autochefs and licensed companions. The technology is tops and yet people still murder each other. though seriously Eve has the best solved case rate ever.
Things I didn't love so much: I wanted to see the aftermath of this story and the local and national fallout of it all. The implications are huge and I cannot imagine that Eve wont receive a lot of attention for it. I also wanted to see Thanksgiving dinner because lets face it a meal with Roarke’s newly discovered family along with Mavis and everyone else we have grown to love would have been priceless.
I will say that while I have loved to see Roarke and Eve grow as a couple to that of a married one or even watch Peabody earn her stripes and go from assistant to Detective, I want the progression to speed up. This doesn't mean I want to see Eve barefoot and pregnant as Robb/Roberts has famously said that though it is eventual, Eve’s pregnancy would end the series as a whole. I do want o see Eve begin to deal with her past more and I want Roarke and Eve to get out of the dear god I cant get enough of you, you complete me phase of their relationship to something more playful or perhaps something a bit more realistic. Or hell I want them to fight for more than five minutes or show that every relationship takes time and effort and sometimes it isn't easy, especially when you have two damaged souls. I love that they found one another and balance each other out, but I want more. I feel like in this respect the series is getting a little repetitive when it comes to the romance/sex bits even in the scenes and language that is used. It always just so dramatic and serious.
Buy or Borrow: Buy. I have the rest of them, but I also think that this is a great place for someone new to the series to start as well.
Part of: A series. “In Death”
Naked in Death
Glory in Death
Immortal in Death
Rapture in Death
Ceremony in Death
Vengeance in Death
Holiday in Death
Midnight in Death, Silent Night Anthology
Conspiracy in Death
Loyalty in Death
Witness in Death
Judgment in Death
Betrayal in Death
Interlude in Death, Out of this World Anthology
Seduction in Death
Reunion in Death
Purity in Death
Portrait in Death
Imitation in Death
Remember When with Nora Roberts
Two-part book: the first part is a present-day Nora Roberts story which sets up the back story for the second part, which features Eve Dallas and has been republished as Big Jack
Divided in Death
Visions in Death
Survivor in Death
Origin in Death
Memory in Death
Haunted in Death, Bump in the Night Anthology
Born in Death
Innocent in Death
Eternity in Death, Dead of Night Anthology
Creation in Death
Strangers in Death
Ritual in Death, Suite 606 Anthology
Salvation in Death
Promises in Death
Kindred in Death
Missing in Death, The Lost Anthology
Fantasy in Death
Indulgence in Death
Possession in Death, The Other Side Anthology
Treachery in Death
New York to Dallas
Chaos in Death, The Unquiet Anthology
Celebrity in Death (Feb. 21, 2012)
Also Recommended: Of course I would recommend the rest of the series as it is quite good. For romance/thriller authors Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels does a great Amelia Peabody series which is set in Egypt for the most part.
3.25 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks
The Soundtrack for this Post: Extraordinary Way by Conjure One, The Golden Path by Brian Tyler (From Children of Dune), Dr Evil by They Might Be Giants and Code Red by Tori Amos.