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CALCULATED IN DEATH
by J.D. Robb
Piatkus, February 2013
400 pages
17.99 GBP
ISBN: 0749959347


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

On a cold November night in New York, the body of Marta Dickenson is discovered in the stairwell outside a newly-renovated building. On the surface it looks like a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the NYPSD thinks otherwise and finds proof that the victim was murdered inside the building. Marta is an auditor and suspicion turns to the companies she has under investigation. Was one of them prepared to murder to hide financial irregularities?

With the help of her billionaire businessman husband, Roarke, Eve uncovers a global web of scams, frauds and deceit. As the bodies begin to pile up, Eve herself becomes a target and what started as just a job for the killer becomes a mission to prove himself; he has to kill Eve to complete his task. Eve, Roarke and most of the rest of the characters are due to attend a film premiere, the ideal opportunity for the killer to make a public strike.

Although set in 2060, this is a good old-fashioned whodunit. The futuristic elements creep in occasionally; the cars can be set to drive themselves and can fly, and absolutely everything is computerised. Real fresh food is a luxury and the rich have household robotics to make their lives easier. The police carry stunners instead of guns and everyone communicates by 'link.' These touches, however, are peripheral to the story, which cracks along at a good pace.

Not having read the previous books in the series meant that occasionally I lacked the explanations of characters' roles (it took a while to work out who Dr Mira was). Similarly, there were several acronyms that were probably explained in previous books but took a little effort to work out. It was also sometimes difficult to keep straight who belonged to the various companies investigated. On the whole, though, these were minor irritations in an enjoyable, readable novel. I am sure I will read more of this author's work.

Sylvia Wilson is a professional veterinary surgeon and amateur singer and actor who lives in Gloucestershire, England with her husband, dog, and horses.

Reviewed by Sylvia Wilson, March 2013

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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