Review: Rapture in Death – JD Robb

  • Title: Rapture in Death
  • Author: J D Robb
  • Genre: Futuristic Murder Mystery Romance
  • Why: I intend to read the whole series.
  • Rating: 3 Stars

Description: They died with smiles on their faces. Three apparent suicides: a brilliant engineer, an infamous lawyer, and a controversial politician. Three strangers with nothing in common–and no obvious reasons for killing themselves. Police lieutenant Eve Dallas found the deaths suspicious. And her instincts paid off when autopsies revealed small burns on the brains of the victims. Was it a genetic abnormality or a high-tech method of murder? Eve’s investigation turned to the provocative world of virtual reality games–where the same techniques used to create joy and desire could also prompt the mind to become the weapon of its own destruction…

Review: In a series this long-going it is inevitable that some instalments won’t be as good as others. This is one of those. It’s not bad, I just would describe it as mediocre. This book has none of the personal turmoil of the previous books, and at first it doesn’t even seem that we have a murder.

The book starts with the tail end of Eve and Roarke’s honeymoon, which takes place off-planet, at a resort Roarke is building but which isn’t finished yet. The only other people there are the building and tech crew, and the last day of their honeymoon is thrown into turmoil when a young member of the tech crew is found in his room, where he has hung himself. He is butt-naked and has an eerie smile on his face, as if he died happy, and as the only law-enforcer on the planet, Eve does the job of recording the scene and logging the death. Since she’s the thorough kind she also begins an investigation to ensure that the kid really did self-terminate, and wasn’t actually murdered. Pretty routine stuff.

But then another person commits suicide, and Eve learns of an earlier one, and the one thing they all have in common is that none of the dead people were predisposed to self-termination. As such she is convinced it has to be murder, and sets about trying to prove this.

The cop side of the book is solid enough, but not as engaging as previously. All we have to go on is Eve’s hunch that the suicides are in fact murders, but even then there is no apparent motive. Previous books held personal problems for her as well: in the first two Roarke was one of the suspects, and in the third book she had to prevent her best friend Mavis from getting locked up. She also had to deal with her increasingly traumatising nightmares, as the memories of her childhood and her abusive father caught up with her, and there is little of that present either.

All in all this book was average. Average plot, average on the character side, average in the final resolution. It’s not bad, but if you follow this series for the people you can safely skip this one, because you won’t miss anything.

Originally published on Silk Screen Views: http://silkscreenviews.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/rapture-in-death-j-d-robb/

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