Innocent in Death – J.D. Robb



Pros: Very intriguing murder mystery

Cons: A subplot that went too far

I enjoy the In Death series by J.D. Robb.  Following the life and career of NY Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas, 50 years or so in the future, the books usually have an interesting murder or two to solve.  And we get a lot of character development, feeling like we “know” Eve, her co-workers, and her friends.

Innocent In Death takes a look at a murder that, on the surface, makes no sense at all.  Nice school teacher Craig Foster is found dead in his classroom, from an apparent poisoning.  Eve and her partner Peabody are on the case.  The problem is that absolutely no one seems to have a motive for killing this man.  Sure, one or two people had minor skirmishes with him over the years.  But nothing that points to a reason to eliminate him from the human race.

Eve is really in a bind, not used to murders that, for all intents and purposes, simply make no sense.  It’s only when a second victim is found, that pieces start to fall into place.

As usual, there are subplots in this book.  Most involve quirks in Eve’s personality.  And how different she is from Peabody.  Peabody is a really girl’s girl.  And Eve is – well – whatever the opposite of a girl’s girl is.  There are always humorous disagreements between the two ladies, times where neither can understand the other.  These usually involve one or the other’s choice of wardrobe, make-up, hair, or any number of other “girl” things.  I enjoy the banter between these two, always providing a few chuckles along the way.

In Innocent In Death we also get a subplot that’s quite different from other novels in the series.  A marital problem arises between Eve and her husband Roarke.  Throughout the series, Eve and Roarke are presented as very loving, very passionate, very in-tune with each other.  Sure, they argue, even fight occasionally, but not usually over matters as deep and personal as what’s discussed in this book.  And while I started out liking the subplot, its conclusion, I felt, was over-the-top.  It stopped feeling realistic and felt more like a cartoon – something that would never happen in a real marriage.

As for the real story – the poor, murdered school teacher – that story zigged where I was expecting a zag.  To say it turns out “different” is an understatement.  I give Robb credit for taking a story in a direction that others seem to shy away from.  I wouldn’t say I loved the outcome of the story, but I was certainly intrigued.

Overall, Innocent In Death is an enjoyable installment in the In Death series.

Other books in the In Death series

Betrayal In Death
Born In Death
Celebrity In Death
Ceremony In Death
Concealed In Death
Devoted In Death
Divided In Death  
Festive In Death
Glory In Death
Haunted In Death
Immortal In Death
Indulgence In Death
Interlude In Death
Judgment In Death
Midnight In Death
Missing In Death
Naked In Death
Obsession In Death
Origin In Death
Rapture In Death
Reunion In Death
Salvation In Death
Strangers In Death
Survivor In Death
Treachery In Death
Vengeance In Death
Visions In Death

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