Judgment in Death – J.D. Robb


Pros: Interesting story that held my interest

Cons: Roarke’s a bully.

The 11th book in the “In Death” series by J. D. Robb starts out with a bang, that’s for sure. Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called to a particularly nasty crime scene. A man has been brutally slain in an upscale club. It turns out the victim is more than just the club’s bartender, he’s actually a cop doing some moonlighting. Eve’s digging reveals the cop to be “on the take”, perhaps that’s a motive for the murder. As more dead cops are discovered, each of them “dirty”, Eve realizes the perpetrator is most likely one of her own: A cop who takes his own way to “clean” the force.

As it progresses, the case gets more and more complicated. First Eve discovers that the club is owned by none other than her own husband, Roarke. Why Eve didn’t know about this before is a mystery. I found that a bit bizarre. Roarke has a not-so-squeaky-clean past, including an association with a really bad guy named Ricker. As Eve’s investigation takes her closer to Ricker, tensions mount between her and Roarke. There are also pressures from inside. Warnings from Internal Affairs to treat the case “gently”. Other cops who don’t like her going after “one of their own”. In short, Eve has her work cut out for her in solving this one.

Many of the characters in this book are featured in the prior books. Eve’s assistant Peabody provides some light-heartedness, especially since she’s enjoying some secret one-on-one time with McNab. Webster, an old lover of Eve’s figures prominently in this one. Readers who have read the prior books will enjoy watching these stories continue here. But if you haven’t read the other books, it’s OK. These stories stand up on their own.

Interestingly, this book takes place in 2059 which gives the author a lot of leeway when it comes to reliance on futuristic technology. There are flying cars (but not everyone seems to have them or use them??), guns with adjustable levels of power, so you can decide just how badly you want to hurt someone before you shoot them, and robotic droids that act as maids and butlers. They even mention a “drying tube” that you step into when you come out of your shower, instead of drying off the old-fashioned way with a towel. It didn’t mention how long it takes to dry in the tube, but I assume it’s really quick. I really like that idea! There are also subtle things mentioned but not described in great detail, like the “Urban Wars” that took place sometime in the past. Sometimes we get to just use our imagination.

Sadly, apparently in 2059, there is no such thing as a beef hot dog or real coffee – both are made from soy. Yuck!

While the case, itself, was interesting, and held my interest, there was one thing I did not enjoy in this book. And that was the relationship between Roarke and Eve. I found it bordering on abusive. Roarke has a “you are MINE” mentality when it comes to Eve, and he doesn’t hide it at all. As a result, he can be controlling, demanding, and at times physically intimidating to her. She doesn’t seem to notice this, or consider it abusive, but there were times when he really came close to crossing a line with her. He also has no respect for her authority, interfering in her job if he feels he should. I realize he does these things because he loves her, but I would have preferred a story spotlighting a couple where I can like and respect both partners. Definitely not the case here.

Still, this is an enjoyable mystery and a quick, fun read.

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
Interlude 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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