CELEBRITY IN DEATH, the latest novel starring Lieutenant Eve Dallas, begins on a note that’s a bit different from the opening paragraphs of most of the books in this series. From the start, prolific author J. D. Robb has struck a balance between the familiar and the unique in these futuristic police procedurals, set in the New York City of 2060. So what is the different note? Dallas, always so self-assured and confident, is a bit unsettled.
The cause of this paradigm shift is being on the set of a movie. It turns out the film is about Dallas herself, and the actress portraying her is so good that she seems to be Dallas’s long-lost twin. Dallas is somewhat less than comfortable with all of the glitz, glamour and attention, and as such is the polar opposite of Peabody, her police partner, who soaks up the lights like a sponge. This is somewhat ironic; K.T. Harris, the actress who plays Peabody, is equally adept at doing so, but is cold, abrasive and universally disliked.
"While the hook of the series is its futuristic setting, the meat of each and every story is the step-by-step procedure utilized by Dallas and her team in finding and bringing the murderer to justice."
Does anyone spot the murder victim yet? Yes, you’re right. Harris is found dead at the close of a cast and crew dinner. It is not immediately clear whether she has passed as the result of foul play or drunken misadventure, but Dallas swings into action almost immediately, operating from a worst-case scenario perspective. There are any number of likely candidates on the list of who might have done it, on the basis of both motive and opportunity. It is at this point that the narrative really shines, demonstrating the main strength of CELEBRITY IN DEATH and its predecessors. While the hook of the series is its futuristic setting, the meat of each and every story is the step-by-step procedure utilized by Dallas and her team in finding and bringin