Sunday, 3 May 2015

#CBR7 Book 55: "Strangers in Death" by J.D. Robb

Page count: 384 pages
Rating: 3 stars

 As this is book 26 in the In Death series (and probably somewhere in the mid-thirties in terms of Eve and Roarke stories if you count novellas as well), I shouldn't have to tell you that it might be best if you start at the beginning, with Naked in Death. Although since these books play pretty much like a any murder of the week procedural on telly, and none of them tend to require you to jump in a the beginning, you'll be able to pick up what you need if you decided to start here too.

Successful and well-liked sporting goods mogul Thomas A. Anders is found in his bedroom, tied to the bed and strangled with velvet cords in what appears at first to have been an adventurous sex game gone wrong. Even at first glance, some of the details don't add up, and Lt. Eve Dallas is suspicious.Closer investigation proves that the victim was heavily sedated when the rope went around his neck and he strangled slowly. There are absolutely no signs of another person in the room, which seems strange if the victim was involved in extra-marital sex play while his wife was away on a weekend trip with friends. There are no signs of a break-in. The security codes of the house were known to only three people, one of whom was the victim. The other two, one of whom was the widow, are solidly alibied.

Lt. Dallas and her partner, Peabody, hone in on a suspect fairly early on, but since everyone connected with the victim have iron-clad alibis, it becomes a game of cat and mouse for the dedicated investigators to prove how a murder could have been committed when all the suspects are accounted for.

Just like the mystery procedurals I mentioned earlier, the In Death books vary in quality somewhat. Not every "episode" is as thrilling and engrossing, but I always enjoy spending time with the characters and seeing how their lives are progressing. In this mystery, the guilty party is identified fairly early on and most of the book becomes about Dallas and her co-workers, frequently aided by "Expert Consultant, Civilian" Roarke, proving the how and the why. If you like this series, this is a perfectly solid if not remarkable instalment. If you've not yet read the books, this is not the one I'd recommend as an introduction to the world of Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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