Friday, April 1, 2011

Treachery in Death

Treachery in Death is the 34th book in J.D. Robb's In Death series (6 short stories featuring Eve Dallas and the gang have appeared in anthologies). This time around Peabody overhears a conversation between two cops that leads to a dead junkie. The death was posed to look like an accidental overdose but Eve isn't buying it. It doesn't take long to figure out that there are “wrong” cops involved in illegal drug activity. The ringleader is the daughter of the retired police commissioner who is a NYPSD legend.

The book follows Eve and her usual crew (Peabody, McNabb, Feeney, Dr. Mira, Roarke, Webster and a cameo by Mavis & Belle) as they gather evidence to prove that a group of cops have gone to the dark side. Along the way Dallas discovers that at least two cops have been murdered because they caught on to the illegal activity.

I'm not really fond of books where you learn whodunit right at the beginning. I think it would have been more interesting if while they were working the junkie's case the “wrong” cops were revealed. But that's just me. As I was writing that last sentence I remembered that there was a book in the series where something similar happened. I can't remember the name of that book. Something with “in Death” in the title. If I had liked it I'd probably remember the title.

Let's face it, these books are not great literature. Hell they're not even great mysteries. What is interesting is the cast of quirky characters who gather around Eve. She seems to pick up at least one person in every book. In the first book she was a loner. Now the list of people she is friends with has gotten so long you need a score card. I'm betting at least one new character in this book shows up in others.

I have two little gripes. The first one I've mentioned before. We're 34 books into the series and Roarke has no first name. His birth certificate is mentioned a couple of times. It has full names for both parents. He must have a first name. I find it strange that he kept the last name of his father when he hated him so much. When he finds long lost relative they call him Roarke even though his mother had told them about him. She must have mentioned his given name. This is especially important because the family are Catholic and his mother would have wanted her child baptized. You can't do that without a name.

The second gripe is with this particular book. I'm going to admit that one reason I read these books is because they have awesome sex scenes. At least they usually do. The small amount of sex in Treachery was a bit lack luster.

Those gripes aside, Treachery in Death was a nice, easy read. The characters are still interesting and they continue to grow. I'd say this book was perfect for a rainy weekend.