Monday, May 21, 2012

Celebrity in Death

Author: J.D. Robb
Publisher: Putnam
Released: February 21, 2012
Genre: Futuristic Police Procedural/Romantic Suspense/Mystery
Series: In Death
Source: Library
Challenge: Mystery and Suspense
After Nadine Furst, top journalist, wrote a book about Lieutenant Eve Dallas's uncovering of the Icove's cloning ring, it - naturally - got picked up to be made into a vid. Now Eve has the eerie experience of walking onto a set spookily identical to her own office and the offices of the Icoves, with actors made up to look exactly like their real-life counterparts. She even goes to a dinner party with these look-alikes - and where Eve goes, murder follows. One of the actresses - a bitchy, selfish, and nasty actress - is found floating in the rooftop pool. No one liked her, but Eve has to go deeper than that and figure out who disliked her enough to kill her.

Throughout the entire opening of the book, for the first few chapters, I got the feeling that this book would be slightly different than the rest of the series. In Chapter 1, Eve catches a murder which is easily solved, totally unconnected to the vid production, one that doesn't even allow her to miss the dinner party because it closes so quickly. I had the feeling that murder was put there to get at least some murder early on in the book. Because as much as Eve hates dinner parties, she seems remarkably comfortable at this one. Which adds an interesting layer to the case, since she enjoyed the time spent with these people and then has to go digging for dirt on them all.

But the relaxed style of the opening lasts throughout the book. With the case, there's hardly any danger - though there is danger, it's a clean, "civilized" danger, no fist fights, no laser blasting - a weapon is never pulled. Eve herself comments, on the last pages, that "We closed two murders, one attempted...and nobody tried to punch me in the face, stab me, stun me, or blow me up. I think it's a record." Every In Death book is a mind game, while I read I'm desperately trying to figure out who it is (I never get it, by the way). But this one was more about social connections, requiring a different kind of mind-attention.

And in Eve's private life, there is also a more muted tone throughout the book. This is acknowledged early on, as Eve and Roarke admit that after New York to Dallas, in which Eve went to Dallas and met her mother, the two of them are circling and "being careful" with each other. Eve suggests a fight to clear the air - I'm looking forward to it in the next book! But it was nice to have a book almost entirely free of Eve's nightmares, especially since the case doesn't have any echoes of her childhood. It almost feels like Eve might be getting closure on that part of her life. I wonder, but I don't think so. I think it will come back to her, she's just a bit numb after what she had to deal with, but it will come back.

If anything, the quiet calmness of the book points to a more chilling, more terrifying killer - I won't give it away, but it takes a scary kind of warped mind to do what the killer in this book does.

No comments:

Post a Comment