Purity in Death, by JD Robb (In Death #15)

>> Friday, September 13, 2002

I've started Purity in Death, by Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb. I'm very anxious to read this: I preordered it from Barnes & Noble about 2 weeks ago, but it got here only yesterday. Normally, I would wait until the weekend to read it, but I just couldn't wait. Plus, they've already started discussing it in the JD Robb fans group I belong to, and I can't wait to join the conversation.


Louie Cogburn had spent three days holed up in his apartment, staring at his computer screen. His pounding headache was unbearable-like spikes drilling into his brain. And it was getting worse. Finally, when someone knocked at his door, Louie picked up a baseball bat, opened the door, and started swinging...

The first cop on the scene fired his stunner twice and Louie died instantly. Detective Eve Dallas has taken over the investigation, but there's nothing to explain the man's sudden rage or death. The only clue is a bizarre message left on his computer screen: Absolute Purity Achieved.

And when a second man dies under nearly identical circumstances, Dallas starts racking her brain for answers and for courage to face the impossible...that this might be a computer virus able to spread from machine to man...
Posted later...

I just found something funny.

Opening line of Purity in Death:

"The heat was murder. July flexed her sweaty muscles, eyed the goal, and drop-kicked New York into the sweltering steambath of summer."
So far so good. But last week there was a contest in All About Romance where you had to identify the book some opening lines came from. One of them was:

"Summer, that vicious green bitch, flexed her sweaty muscles and flattened Innocence, Mississippi"
Now, where does this line come from? The answer is Carnal Innocence, by none other than Nora Roberts, aka J.D. Robb! Is she starting to repeat herself or what? I still love her, though ;-)

And posted later still...

One of the best of the In Death series in a long time. Definitely a keeper for me, and an A+.

I know the best part of these books (and what most people keep reading them for) is always the interaction between the characters, but I really enjoyed the suspense sub-plot this time, and felt it added a lot to our knowledge of the characters. It was interesting to see how Eve and Roarke had such different reactions to what the Purity Seekers were doing, and these reactions were very true to the characters. However... maybe having innocent people killed as bystanders by the actions of this group was a little cop-out on Nora's part. As it was, of course we'd condemn Purity. But what if their plan had worked correctly? Would she have been able to write as effectively a story where all the victims really deserved to be dead? Where the problem with Purity was only that they were vigilantes and operating outside the law, not that they were also endangering innocent bystanders? Mind you, I still enjoyed the way it was written, but sometimes it's fun to play "what if"s.

I always say you can usually more or less infer quite a few things about the author based on their books. This one really made clear the fact that Nora is probably quite liberal. Many of the Purity Seekers were "staunch conservatives" (especially Dukes, a really loathsome character), and at the end, she has Mayor Peachtree stay in his post (at least that's what I interpreted) even though he's a transvestite. I quite like this, but I know I would hate it if her ideology were different to mine.

Other miscellaneous stuff: I liked the pregnant Mavis part, a good way of giving something to the fans who keep screaming for Eve and Roarke to have a kid, without giving said fans exactly what they want, which would be a disaster for the series. I was surprised (happily) to see the final round-up of the suspects go exactly as planned, with no snafus, and the way Eve screwed the villain in the end was priceless.

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