Interlude in Death – J.D. Robb



Pros: Reasonably interesting story

Cons: Would have liked to learn more about off-planet existence.
I really enjoy J.D. Robb’s In Death series.  The investigations are usually pretty interesting, and the recurring characters start to feel as familiar as best-friends after a while.  After having read several of the full-length novels, I decided to give some of the short stories a try.

These stories really are short!  You get a very quick set up, a ridiculously quick investigation, and we’re done.  Very little is gained, in terms of character development, or the few story arcs that carry through the series.  Therefore, these stories are fine, for those of us who are already familiar with the series, and the characters. But as stand-alone books, they’re a bit shallow.

This review is for Interlude In Death.  Like the rest of the series, it takes place in the year 2059, and features New York Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas.  In this case, she’s being urged by her boss into a situation she hates – public speaking.  Further adding to her stress is that the seminar she’s being asked to lead is taking place off-planet, in a luxury resort owned by her husband, Roarke.  The combination of having to speak in public, plus travel is causing her stress and grief, all of which leave her very cranky.

But she barely has time to worry about her speech before she’s dragged right into a murder investigation.  The off-planet Commissioner warns Eve that he has a personal grudge against Roarke, and that he intends to bring him down.  Next thing we know, The Commissioner’s assistant is found dead, with evidence pointing straight to Roarke.  Of course Eve knows Roarke is innocent, but proving it is another matter.  Especially as another body turns up, and again, Roarke looks guilty.

That’s the story in a nutshell.  The investigation proceeds smoothly, especially as Roarke has quite a few quasi-illegal tricks up his sleeve.  Whereas Eve is normally “by-the-book”, she’s pretty willing to look the other way this time, as she feels the ends justify the means.  After all, Roarke is being unfairly framed for crimes he didn’t commit.

Thus it’s not long at all before Eve uncovers the true murderer, and the bizarre motives behind the Commissioner’s plan.  Of course, this is a very short story (about 100 pages), so its quick resolution is to be expected.  And, as I stated earlier, there’s very little time for any extraneous material.  Thus there’s very little in terms of character development.  We do learn a few details regarding Eve’s and Roarke’s fathers, but that history is explored in much more detail, in other books.

I was disappointed that very few details are given about off-planet life.  Other than briefly describing the travel process required to arrive there, we’re not privy to any of the details regarding basic issues, such as oxygen-generation.  I don’t know whether these details are given in some of the full-length books, but as this is the first story I’ve read that takes place off-planet, I was hoping for some more technical information.

That said, this is a fairly interesting story, so go ahead and enjoy it, if you happen to come across it.  However, you won’t be missing anything important in terms of the series, if you skip it.

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
Innocent 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

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