I’ve been reading Nora Roberts for years and have always loved her work, but had never tried one of her books written under the name J. D. Robb. The only reason for that is because I don’t make a habit of buying books published by major publishers, preferring to purchase my reading material from the pool of newbies out there and getting the others from my local library. But I was reading Ms. Roberts and a few other favorites since before they were famous and continue to buy their books on occasion. I did not, however, buy INNOCENT IN DEATH. It was a birthday gift from my son.
As soon as I read the cover blurb, I knew it was right up my alley, so took a day off my own work to indulge myself with a day of reading. I wasn’t disappointed. I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished the last page. Set in future day New York, it’s a crime drama, murder mystery, romantic suspense, all rolled into one, so loving all those genres, I was pretty sure I’d enjoy it. With a strong, intelligent, kick ass heroine and equally interesting and likable hero, it kept me glued to the page.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas is on the hunt for the killer of a school teacher, by all accounts a respectable and well liked young man with no enemies and a devoted wife. There are a more than a few suspects for her to sort through, all more than capable of doing the deed and with opportunity galore. While trying to solve the crime, Eve has to deal with her emotional turmoil at the reappearance of one of husband’s old girlfriends, a woman who seems determined to continue where they left off.
There were a number of secondary characters that I’m sure had appeared earlier in the series, but I wasn’t confused by their reappearance. Ms. Roberts does a bang up job of giving enough information to make them interesting without slowing the pace of the story. I wasn’t sure how I’d like the futuristic aspect of the setting, but it was subtle and I actually enjoyed some of the different lingo. I loved the story, even though I guessed who the killer was way too soon. Making that guess only made me more excited to finish and see if I was right. Having said that, there was one scene in the story that totally turned me off.
When Eve walks in on an intimate moment with her husband and his ex girlfriend, she punches him in the face hard enough to do damage and draw blood, even though she knows the truth about what’s happening. This is followed by rather violent and steamy sex. The steamy sex was okay and at any other time would have had me panting for my hubby to come home, but having followed the punch in the face, it turned me off. I mean come on–if a hero punched the heroine in the face that way, we’d all be up in arms and trying to get a boycott going on the book. As far as I’m concerned, the heroine doing the punching is no different and should not be allowed just because it’s maybe in character. I’m sorry Ms. Roberts, but any punching done by the hero or heroine of a story in the genre of romantic suspense should not be on each other. The scene could have played just as well without that punch.
Elizabeth Melton Parsons