Monday, 26 March 2012

27. "Origin in Death" by J.D. Robb

Page count: 352 pages
Date begun: March 12th, 2012
Date finished: March 15th, 2012

Book 21 in the In Death series. Works as a stand alone, but I suspect you'd get more enjoyment out of it if you started with one of the earlier ones.

Doctor Wilfred Icove Sr. is murdered while sitting at the desk in his office. He's been stabbed through the heart with a scalpel, and the last woman to see him alive is seen on security tapes strolling calmly out of there, cool as a cucumber. Eve Dallas and her partner Delia Peabody were in the building investigating a different homicide, so are among the first on the scene. Everyone is shocked by the doctor's murder, and as Dallas investigates possible motives, she discovers that not only was Icove a pioneer in reconstructive surgery, a humanitarian and even a Nobel Prize winner, but everything about his entire life is so squeaky clean that Dallas has no doubt he must have been hiding something.

When his son and heir, Wilfred Icove Jr. is found dead in his home, again stabbed through the heart with a scalpel, it becomes obvious that Eve's suspicions about the Icoves aren't unfounded, unpopular as that may turn out with the general public. With the assistance of her multi-billionaire husband, her trusty partner Peabody and their usual support team, she delves deep into the history of Icove Sr. and his medical work, and discovers that in their quest for perfection, the Icoves were not averse to breaking several ethical and international laws, and that they may have had a hand in creating their own killer.

While a lot of the In Death books are fairly straight forward murder mysteries with a subplot or two to further develop the lives and characters of Eve, Roarke and the other supporting characters (in this book, Roarke's decision to invite a whole bunch of their friends and his recently discovered Irish relatives to New York for Thanksgiving), where despite mentions of some futuristic gadgets, it's quite easy to forget that they are also science fiction stories set in the future, Origin in Death explores a lot more of the futuristic aspects of the world these characters live in, and it's probably the most sci-fi novel in the series to date. There are serious ethical and moral ramifications to the discoveries that Eve and her team make during their investigation, and the details surrounding the murders and the denouement could only have played out in a story filled with science fiction technology. For once, a book that's less dark because of the discoveries either Eve and/or Roarke make about their pasts, and all because of the discoveries made in the murder case. If you're a fan, this is definitely a highlight in the series so far.

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