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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

***** Judgment in Death by J. D. Robb. Futuristic romantic suspense. Re-read.


Yeah, I'm getting a little concerned about having three 5-star books in a row, too. I thought a long while about it for this one, but I think it deserves 5 stars.

First of all, it's one of the more intense stories in the series. It's also one of the best ones, in that the... (trying out the vocabulary I've been learning from the Cherries)... external plot echoes the internal one. Or vice versa. About loyalty to the badge and what someone will do to protect it, and about Eve & Roarke's loyalty to each other and what they'll do to protect each other & their marriage. Too bad the title Loyalty in Death had already been used, but it's also about making judgments based on that loyalty.

Someone is killing cops. Specifically, cops who are (or appear to be) on the take. The first victim is brutally murdered in one of Roarke's clubs, making Roarke involved from the beginning. Some of the threads lead to criminal kingpin Max Ricker, a very dangerous man with old ties to Roarke. Which leads to the first blow to Eve and Roarke.

Then Webster from Internal Affairs shows up to warn Eve away from her investigation... and makes a move on her, which Roarke objects to, violently. The second blow.

The mystery is intensely emotional, as are the developments in the ongoing series story. There are some wonderful scenes, the establishment of a nemesis in Ricker, and a villain painted in shades of gray.

My only complaints are that Ricker himself is a bit two-dimensional, and general complaints about the futuristic details (frex: I can't believe that in just over 50 years, there'll be holo-rooms that allow people to swim in a non-existent ocean without using any special gear). But the rest of the story so far overshadows those things that I can't bring myself to care too much about them.

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