Desert Isle Keeper
Treachery in Death
In some ways, this review is superfluous. I’m not denigrating the importance of a reviewer, but, well, things are different with J. D. Robb. If you read her, you’ll probably read this one. And if you don’t, you sure as heck ain’t gonna start with the 32nd hardcover episode of the adventures of Eve Dallas and her crew. The In Death books are usually not about the plot. However, this time the plot takes center stage. And it is riveting.
Part of the suspense was self-imposed: I deliberately avoided all synopses and dove in knowing absolutely nothing of the plot. I highly recommend you do the same for it allows the story to unfold without the ham-fisted efforts of the dust jacket hanging over your head. So if you’re happy reading the book on my recommendation that it is gripping, memorable, and one of the best in the series, then sally forth and read.
Still with me? Fair enough. Treachery in Death continues what seems to be a growing pattern, in the style of James Bond: The book opens with a murder that has nothing to do with following events, but that causes Peabody to seriously re-examine the size of her ass. Determined to whip it into shape, but totally unwilling to do it in front of shapelier, fitter, more ripped fellow cops, she dives into the bowels of Central to the older, unused gym. And there she overhears a conversation that describes a horrifying degree of corruption and murder within the NYPSD.
What follows is a somewhat atypical Eve Dallas tale, but one all the more satisfying for its unusual qualities. We see Eve and her group set up an internal sting, plotting to uncover a group of bad cops with deadly precision and intricacy. There are no startling leaps of logic, no clues hand-fed by a serial killer obsessed with Lieutenant Dallas – just a group of good cops (and Roarke), their wits, and the burning desire to beat the bad guys to a pulp. By the book, of course.
The events unveil more characters in Central, from Chief Tibble down to the juggling Detective Jacobson, and force many to re-examine themselves. What’s particularly nice is the emphasis on Eve’s professional relationships. There are inevitable and obvious parallels between Eve and the crooked lieutenant, and Eve comes to the realization that she is, herself, a damn good leader. She knew it before. But now she knows it. And that’s lovely to see.
When one creates a television show, or writes a long-standing series of best-selling books, the good comes inevitably with the bad. That Ms. Robb has managed to sustain the high quality established in the first book is already an achievement. But that she can still produce a witty, heartfelt, striking, and ripping good story after sixteen years – well, that is nothing short of masterly.