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by J.D. Robb, read by Susan Ericksen
Brilliance Audio, November 2010
Unabridged pages
ISBN: 1441836152

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

After a vacation in Ireland (among other places) where Lt Eve Dallas helps an Irish policeman solve the murder of a young woman, Dallas and Roarke return to New York and Dallas must go back to work for the NYSPD. The first case that comes up is the murder of a driver for a top-of-the-line limousine service. The murderer had booked the limousine but the name given belonged to someone who could not have been the murderer. When a well-known escort is found murdered as well, Dallas begins to see a pattern. And it becomes to appear that Dallas herself may be a target.

This is another in the excellent series of futuristic police procedurals written by J.D. Robb. Those who have kept up with the series will find familiar elements and characters here. The stories are written to a formula, but one that works quite well. Dallas is an excellent detective who has a full complement of subordinates to help her put clues together. Roarke, one of the wealthiest men in the world, came from a very poor background and enjoys helping his wife out as well as spending his money on her..

The world pictured is fifty or so years in the future. Some of the changes imagined seem very far-fetched from what exists today, but then think of the world of fifty years ago and what things, including this medium, could not have been imagined. So the flying cars and personal communicators and all the rest are certainly plausible.

Reading one of these (and this is the thirty-first in the series) is like meeting old friends for dinner. You are comfortable with the characters and look forward to the solution. The backgrounds of Dallas and Roarke are gradually explored in earlier books. Both come from poverty and privation, both experienced abuse, and both have tremendous sympathy for the underdog, the victim. The police who work with Dallas have also been introduced and gradually we meet wives, children, and significant others. It is just a very satisfying experience to return to this world.

Robb is a romance writer and there are, in every book, several explicit sex scenes. The reader cannot skip over them in the audiobook. If unabashed sex bothers you, perhaps you would prefer to read something else. But the descriptions fit and add to the stories.

The reader, Susan Ericksen, is excellent. She moves the narrative along while distinguishing among the various characters. She does a very slight brogue for Roarke, who was born in Ireland. Peabody, Dallas's partner, is portrayed as solid and genuine. The reader makes the story enjoyable and intriguing.

This is a notable addition to a very solidly done series. I would strongly recommend, however, if you have never read any of these books, that you start at the beginning and read or listen to them in order. You have a very fine experience waiting for you.

Sally Fellows is a retired history teacher with a MA in history and an avid reader of mysteries.

Reviewed by Sally A. Fellows, December 2010

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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