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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Strangers in Death


***** Strangers in Death by J. D. Robb. Mystery.









This is the... oh, heck. I don't know. 30-somethingth book in the In Death series about New York homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas in the year 2060.

This case is about Thomas Anders, dead in what looks like kinky sex games gone awry, but it doesn't quite add up for Eve, and the evidence shows he was indeed murdered. Tradition, and Eve's gut, say to look to his wife, but she has an unshakable alibi.

The trouble is, suspects are hard to find: Thomas Anders was well-liked, and he doesn't seem to have any skeletons in his closet. All the media attention is increasing the pressure on Eve to solve the case quickly, as is the fact that the widow is friends with the police chief's wife.

As in Witness in Death, Nora pays homage to an old movie--I won't say which one because it'll give away whodunit. Far from spoiling the story, however, it adds to it, seeing a new take on an old plot.

The mystery case is never the only part of an In Death story, and this one is no exception. There's a lovely plot thread about further developments in Eve and Roarke's relationship that rang very true--and familiar!-- to me. This is, for me, where this series really shines: the story doesn't end at the altar, and we see a nice depiction of the development of a relationship within a marriage.

In addition, there's also a sweet thread about a surprising major development in the lives of some of the secondary characters.

I have one quibble with a lot of the reviews I read of this one: many of them say that Eve knows whodunit right away and that the mystery is "howdunit." I disagree. She didn't know; she suspected. And trying to figure out how was merely applying Sherlock Holmes's maxim: "When you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

All in all, an excellent entry in a favorite series.


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Comments:
I haven't read this book, but based on your review, I'm adding it to my To-Read pile. Thanks.
 
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