Wednesday, March 20

Review: Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb

Calculated in Death is the 36th full length novel or the 45th story in the In Death series by J.D. Robb, depending on how you are counting them.  Personally, for my records its number 45.  Needless to say, that this far into a series, there is a LOT of back story that just can't be condensed for someone new picking up this book as a starting point.  That said, most of the novels are self-contained stories and there are no major cliffhangers, so you could try this book and jump right into the action.  J.D. Robb is a pseudonym for the internationally acclaimed Nora Roberts, but only for this particular series.

The series chronicles the life and cases of NYPSD (New York Police and Security Department) Lieutenant Eve Dallas, Homicide Division in the not so distant future. A future where Urban Riots gripped and changed the world just some 20 years before, where automobiles can and do fly, guns are banned and stunners are the norm. But a future where people are still people, so hatred and greed are still very popular murder motives.  We met Eve Dallas for the first time in book 1 just before she met her husband, Roarke in 2058.  Roarke is a self made multi-billionaire who grew up dirt poor on the streets of Dublin and used his brains and a  live of crime to get started.  Eve was an orphan who found in an alley in Dallas, Texas and has made the NYPSD and New York her home.  Basically, if you like a good solid mystery, wrapped in a little science fiction and topped with a little romantic bow, you would really enjoy this series.  The characters are all very vivid and unique. With a long running series such as this, you can easily follow along with the lives of your favorite characters, and there are a lot of reoccurring characters.

I will admit that I was a late comer to the In Death party.  I knew that Nora Roberts had a long running series called In Death, but I just putting off reading it.  Then finally one day, while looking for some new audiobooks to listen to on my work commute, I received the In Death series as a recommendation.  I had been listening to Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan, Robert Ludlum's Bourne and Stuart Wood's Stone Barrington series. The In Death books were a natural progress.  I got the first 2 books in the In Death series on Cassette Tape from  Oh boy.  Loved THEM!  It wasn't long before I had to get the actual books to read and reread and read again.

Today, I have all the books in print, e-print & audio versions, and am slowly working on replacing the paperbacks with actual hardbacks for the older books.  I still go back and reread either sections or even whole books.  All I can say is that you really should pick one up.  Trust me on this, you won't be disappointed.  This particular title got 4 stars on Goodreads.  I am sure that I will reread it at minimum of twice before the next book comes out.

On Manhattan's Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better.

A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn't seem the type to be on anyone's hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta's murder was the work of a killer who's trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.

But when someone steals the files out of Marta's office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke's world of big business to figure out who's cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer's violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait. . . .

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