09 March 2009

Salvation in Death (JD Robb)

Available at all good bookstores, courtesy of Penguin Books South Africa

JD Robb is one of my favourite, favourite, favourite authors. Despite the fact that she's really Nora Roberts and I don't like Nora Roberts' books at all. That little nom-de-plumary tidbit notwithstanding, JD Robb's futuristic murder books, the ... In Death series, featuring the superb Lieutenant Eve Dallas, are so fabulous that I named my kitten Dallas.

But... For a while now she's been getting tired. JD Robb, I mean, not Eve Dallas or (Oh, I wish!) my kitten. And her novels started to head off in the direction of formulaic and not a little bit trite. So you can imagine my joy when I read her penultimate offering, Salvation in Death, and found it fresh, clever, and fully capable of standing on its own even without the rest of the series behind it.


This, the story of a priest who dies a grisly and public death when he sips from a poisoned chalice, is new in its setting and style. It is fresh in its detail and in the clever way it weaves the whodunnit web around the unsuspecting reader. It's great. But (and this is my only reservation) I'm growing a little tired of Dallas' past finding its way into every book...

Surely she wasn't connected to everyone on earth when she was eight years old and tormented by her drunken father?

If you're new to Robb, this is a great start. If you're a Robb fan, this'll reassure you that she's more or less back on track. But if you staunchly dislike like books set in the 2070s and you can't open up enough to try just one, read Coben or Siegel or Fairstein or Deaver instead.


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