Monday, July 4, 2016

Witness in Death - J. D. Robb

Witness in Death (In Death, #10)Witness in Death by J.D. Robb

July 2004
My rating: 4 of 5 stars (8/10)

It's not just this book that is the fault of my dealer, it is the whole series. She conned me into reading Naked in Death last year and here I am devouring book #11. I heard that Nora Roberts (who writes this futuristic detective series under the pseudonym J. D. Robb) was once asked why she is still writing this long series when usually she doesn't like long series. Her reply was that she simply liked visiting with Eve and Roarke. I couldn't agree more; I too love checking in to see what they are up to.

In this book Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke are at the opening night of the 2056 production of Agatha Christie's 1952 play, "Witness for the Prosecution". In the last act, disagreeable character Leonard Vole, played by disagreeable actor Richard Drake, is stabbed, not with the intended prop knife, but the real thing that someone has substituted between scenes. Eve soon discovers that pretty much everyone had a reason to kill Drake and it is her job to find out who actually did it.

The case grows more complicated as Eve delves deeper and finds connections between the various cast members and Drake, as well as discovering just what a nasty character the dead actor was. Eve's memories of her own abusive childhood are stirred by the case and she struggles to stay objective.

As always, Roarke helps her out whether she likes it or not and in a beautiful scene, practical Eve struggles to create a romantic evening for her husband. For readers of the series, various relationships develop (particularly Peabody and Charles Monroe and Peabody and McNab). Regulars such as Mavis and Nadine Furst make brief appearances.

I particularly liked the solution to this mystery. Robb introduced a very neat twist at the end and laid some successful red herrings along the way. If you've never read a J. D. Robb book before, I recommend the first in the series - Naked in Death - simply because the character develop steadily through the series and the beginning is always a good place to start. However, Robb keeps the individual books accessible to the causal reader and if you like the sound of this one, go for it.

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