Witness in Death

J.D. Robb
2000, Futuristic Romantic Suspense
Berkley, $7.99, 338 pages, Amazon ASIN 0425173631
Part of a series

Grade: B+
Sensuality: Hot

I love the J.D. Robb In Death series. I haven't yet read one I didn't like, and Witness in Death is no exception.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is at the theater with her husband, Roarke, watching an Agatha Christie play when the mystery turns very real. A prop knife replaced with a real blade has left an actor dead. Eve quickly moves into cop mode and begins investigating.

Eve and Roarke never let me down. Their scenes inevitably make me smile and think how perfectly suited they are for each other. I love the way Roarke always knows exactly what Eve needs and how to get her to accept it. They have an almost perfect marriage.

While Eve and Roarke's relationship is always exciting, it is also beginning to become a bit predictable. The love scenes are starting to sound the same: they're all quick, sensual and melting with drugging kisses. Roarke always helps Eve with the case on the sly, and she always eventually acccepts it. While long-time readers of this series might think author Robb has gotten a bit complacent, she certainly eased my mind when, roughly midway through Witness, she started to develop something new regarding Eve and her history.

Robb delves more into Eve's psyche this time, while Roarke is mainly along for the ride. Eve's mother, or lack thereof, is explored through fleeting memories. Two suspects in the case are revealed to have a family bond that triggers Eve's thoughts of her mother. It's an interesting area that I can't wait to see Robb explore further. Eve also begins to realize that certain areas of her relationship with Roarke are more one-sided and takes steps to rectify that.

While Eve and Roarke can be predictable, so can Robb's depictions of other things in the series. One example that comes to mind is how she constantly describes the clopping of Peabody's cop shoes whenever she appears. Speaking of Peabody, I'd like to see even more of her relationships with fellow cop McNab and licensed companion Charles. She is one of the best secondary characters in the business and I wanted to see her explored more fully.

All in all, while Witness in Death does take on echoes of familiarity, it does not disappoint. The new areas Robb begins to explore in Eve are tantalizing, and the suspense is good as usual. Fans of this series will be satisfied, and even though it's not my favorite so far, I can't wait for the next one!

-- Andrea Pool

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