It’s 2060 in New York City. Much has changed in police
work, but little has changed in crime. People still kill people.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas has another big case --- and another girly
thing to do. She relishes the first and dreads the latter.
Fortunately, she has the support of a good man to help her and/or
torment her over her lack of feminine interests.
Insinuating himself into her professional life more every day,
Eve’s hunky husband Roarke is a huge help --- and a very sexy
one. He lends a hand with her cases, but always with an underlying
motive for being around her. And he grabs any chance he has to
engage her in a little non-police work. She doesn’t often
mind. Roarke has good looks, Irish charm, big bucks, playful
impishness on his side and an overactive romantic bone:
“Every minute with you, I’m alive. I never knew before
there were pieces of me unborn, just waiting for you. I’m
alive with you, Eve.” She sighed, touched his cheek.
“We’d better get out of here. We’re getting mush
all over the pool.” Was that before or after they made love
This case gets to Eve in a way that many others before it have not,
including the one that featured her as a prime target. She could
deal with that, but this victim shouldn’t have died the way
he did. “It hits me. Some of them do, and it hits me because
he was a nice man who loved his wife and used his money and
position to do good things.”
Thomas A. Anders --- philanthropist, loving husband and extremely
rich man --- is discovered dead in his bedroom, in a highly
compromising position. The scene does not suggest accident but
screams “Murder.” With so much planning required to set
this stage, it seems as though someone hated him a great deal. But
subsequent interviews fail to turn up anyone with a bad word to say
for dear old Tommy.
Cops always take a close look at the spouse, especially when vast
sums of money stand to be inherited. Mrs. Anders --- Ava --- was
out of town at the time of her husband’s death, and her alibi
is unshakable. Besides, her reaction to the news of his murder is
an appropriate amount of upset mixed with the right touch of
sadness and horror. Why, then, does Eve put Ava at the top of the
list of suspects? It’s just a feeling she has, and the
lieutenant’s instincts are usually spot on.
Maybe spurred on by the victim’s example or perhaps just
following her heart, Eve does her own philanthropic thing. She
indulges her soft spot for the underdog and rewards those
desperately trying to be good citizens. She allows her tough veneer
to crack around deserving downtrodden types. But people who allow
themselves to be constant victims and don’t attempt to fight
back draw her disgust and make her very unhappy. Keeping Eve happy
is a wise thing to do, for she can be one rough lady,
unsympathetic, even downright cold.
J.D. Robb has another blockbuster with STRANGERS IN DEATH. Her
handling of Eve dealing with a case that grows very personal is
flawless; the writing is tight, the dialogue snappy and the plot
intriguing. The books in the In Death series are always
romances wrapped around a mystery, set in the future with some
old-fashioned wooing. Her latest is no exception. In fact, it may
be the best of the lot --- at least, so far. I’m betting that
Robb isn’t finished with Eve and Roarke yet. Now
that would be criminal!
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 23, 2011