Treachery in Death – J.D. Robb


Pros: Nice to see the usual characters show up

Cons: The story was dull.

For the most part, I enjoy J.D. Robb’s In Death series.  The books revolve around Lieutenant Eve Dallas, a homicide cop in New York, in the future.  This particular book takes place in 2060.  I enjoy the futuristic aspects of the books – it’s always fun to read about the new gadgets, laws, and social conventions.

That said, the books are supposed to provide interesting mysteries for us to solve along with Eve and her co-workers.  But in this case – Treachery In Death – the story wasn’t nearly as interesting as some of the others.  That’s because the main focus isn’t a single murder, a spree of robberies, or a serial killer, like in most of the other books.  This book takes a look at police corruption.  No, not in Eve’s Department – her house is clean.  But in another precinct, there’s a corrupt Lieutenant, running an illegal scam with the help of several members on her force.  They’re all getting rich, while innocents who don’t play along, or who are simply in the way, are ‘eliminated’.

Eve learns about the situation purely through a chance encounter that her partner Peabody had.  While Peabody was hidden in a locker room shower, she overheard a conversation, one that spelled out what was going on, without being too specific.  But Peabody heard enough – enough to enable Eve to start investigating.  And what turns up is truly frightening.

The rest of the book focuses on Eve’s investigation, but there really is no mystery about it.  Eve fairly quickly figures out who is bad and who is innocent in the other precinct.  It’s just a matter of proving it.  Naturally, she has help – as always, her husband Roarke lends his expertise, as do the electronics wizards who can devise various ways of tracking people without their knowledge, and Dr. Mira, the psychiatrist who helps Eve by profiling criminal personality types.

So, without any real mystery to solve, the reader is really in a “sit back and watch Eve work” mode.  We don’t get to enjoy solving any clues, or watching anything particularly clever happen.  In fact, mostly what happens is that conversations are intercepted, and Eve acts upon what she hears.  From my perspective, the whole thing was quite dull.

Worse, there are several times where grand speeches are made.  Various characters seem to feel the need to get on their soapboxes in this book.  At one point, Peabody takes several paragraphs to talk about how much it meant to her, in the early days of her career, to watch Eve “in action”.   Several times Eve lectures whoever will listen about how much being a cop – a good cop – means to her, and how much it offends her, personally, when cops go bad.  All of this sentiment is nice, but I didn’t have to hear it over and over again.  I got it the first time!

And, finally, there’s a fight – and I mean literally a fistfight – between the two Lieutenants that was so ridiculous and unprofessional, I felt embarrassed reading it.  I don’t know how Ms. Robb could write such dribble except if she thought her male readers would enjoy envisioning the two women punching, kicking, and, yes, pulling hair.  All of this taking place after each of them puts their weapons down, and removes their jackets, of course.  I’m surprised Ms. Robb didn’t have them take off their earrings, first, so as not to lose them.

With very little, in terms of subplots, and absolutely no character development, Treachery In Death just drags.  If you are insistent upon reading the entire series, then I guess you’ll have to read it.  But if not, do yourself a favor, and skip this book.

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
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
Vengeance In Death
Visions In Death

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