STRANGERS IN DEATH - J.D. Robb
STRANGERS IN DEATH is the 26th book in the hugely successful "in Death" series. You have to be impressed by that. They are all the things still that they were in the first few books of the series - smart, funny, absorbing and simply delightful offerings of escapism. Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb, has no peer in her ability to regularly churn out the best sellers across her chosen genres of women's fiction, drama, the supernatural and with this series, the future police procedural. So effortlessly is the future world of Eve and her man Roarke detailed from book to book that it is easily imagined to be one day truth, albeit not perhaps as soon as only 50 or so projected years in the future. As it was with "Hal", readers of the Eve Dallas books will be one day frowning that the Auto chef has not yet been invented, or that their food street vendors have not evolved into highly mobile "air carts".
Roberts keeps her stories domestic and true to the city of New York and despite the possible scope allowable in doing so, keeps her the crimes ageless in motive and opportunity. They remain urban dilemmas, with the added spin of advanced technology being both a hindrance and a help with the police investigation. STRANGERS IN DEATH take a new look at an old theme, the discussion of which would be here a major plot spoiler - but it's good to know that new light can still be shone through old windows.
Isn't the killer almost always someone the deceased trusted, someone that they knew? Thomas Anders, a philanthropic and kind businessman seemed to have done a whole lot of good in life and probably, by way of his massive fortune left behind, would continue to do so in death. Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the NYPSD, 2060, is suspicious by nature and by occupation; a very extravagant and lurid murder scene has been presented to her, and when she sees a widow trying very hard not to appear all too merry after the death of her supposedly beloved spouse – the doubts and disbeliefs pile up. What is staged, the reactions of those who remain or is it more that there was really very little to be said? What is missing?
With all possible suspects alibi’d up to the gills, Eve needs to pool all her resources to dig down deep into what she's soon convinced is a carefully constructed parcel of lies. With her bewitching (and annoyingly efficient) billionaire husband Roarke riding shotgun once again, the smart and snarly Eve Dallas rides full-pelt through the social niceties of the rich and famous to bag herself a ruthless killer.