Indulgence in Death, by JD Robb

>> Wednesday, December 08, 2010

TITLE: Indulgence in Death

PAGES: 384

SETTING: 2060 New York
TYPE: Romantic suspense / Police procedural
SERIES: 32nd full-length novel in the series, if I'm counting correctly

REASON FOR READING: Autoread series

First it was a limo driver shot through the neck with a crossbow. Then it was a high-priced escort found stabbed through the heart with a bayonet.

Random hits, thrill kills, murderers with a taste for the finer things in life-and death-are making NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas angry. And an angry Eve can be just as an efficient and dangerous predator as the killer.

As time runs out on another innocent victim's life, Eve's investigation will take her into the rarefied circle that her husband, Roarke, travels in-and into the perverted heart of madness...
After a particularly successful visit with Roarke's family in Ireland (not only nice time spent with aunties and cousins, but even a murder solved!), Eve arrives back to a very strange case. First it's a limo driver killed with a crossbow in a car park. A few days later, it's an exclusive call girl stabbed with a bayonet in the house of horrors at Coney Island. The early evidence points to someone killing purely for the thrill of it, someone with the money to indulge their vile fantasies. And they're clearly not finished.

After so many books in this series, I kind of group them according to whether they concentrate on the personal stuff, the case, or balance both. This one is very much mostly about the case. There's always some relationship stuff, of course, and what was there was very good (I especially liked seeing Morris again and seeing how Eve is getting more comfortable in her role as supportive friend with him), but the case was the big thing here.

Fortunately, I found it interesting and liked what Robb did with it. It's not really a whodunnit, as before long, Eve knows exactly who did it. It's not even a howdunnit, as she also knows perfectly well how it's all being done. It's proving it that's the problem, getting enough evidence to convince the prosecutors to issue warrants and to ensure that justice is done in Court (obviously, a rich defendant means a good lawyer who will destroy a less-than-solid case).

So what we get is Eve and her team painstakingly gathering that evidence, looking at past cases, looking at connections and building a very complete picture of who they're after. And as always, Robb's police procedural elements are entertaining and satisfying to read. The one exception here was that I couldn't figure out why, if Eve knew who did it and she knew there would be another murder shortly, she didn't have surveillance in place to follow the suspect(s) around. Am I missing something?

Also, I was a bit disappointed that this ended up feeling like a novel with a short story stuck in front. I was expecting the first bit in Ireland, enjoyable as it was on its own, to also have some relevance to the rest of the story. It didn't really have to be a huge coincidence, necessarily, but maybe something about the visit sparking an a-ha! moment in Eve. This didn't happen. Not a huge problem, but it did feel a bit weird.

On the whole, though, even though this isn't amongst the very best of the In Death series, I had a very good time reading it. I always just sink into these books and the pages keep turning and turning easily.



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