Judgement In Death by JD Robb (2000)
In this earlier instalment of the popular futuristic detective series, Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the New York Police and Security Department has been tasked with finding the murderer of a cop who was moonlighting as a barman in an upscale club owned by Eve’s Irish billionaire husband, Roarke.
The dead cop has been brutalised and thirty pieces of silver coin left at the scene. It’s not long before Eve comes to the conclusion that the killer is a cop, serving or former. She is approached by an old flame who now works in Internal Affairs with a view to getting her to call off her investigation as well as reigniting their previous relationship. Unfortunately for the IAD dick, Eve placed little importance in their one night stand (yes, one night, and he’s smitten even after years) and is not the sort of person to back off a case for any reason. He’s in trouble. He also has to deal with Rourke who’s a jealous lover and mean hure when he wants to be. It makes for a volatile environment and one in which Eve is uncertain.
As Eve digs into both the murder case and the IAD actions, another dead body turns up and it’s yet again another cop. The pressure on Eve to catch the killer is immense. But our heroine is strong and determined and extremely resilient. She also has the help of Roarke who has contacts everywhere and top notch hacking skills. Rebel Voice has expressed concerns before about the dependency for novelists to include super-hackers to make plots work. It can seem a tad lazy and contrived.
Judgement in Death is typical JD Robb fare in that the plot is strong, the characters consistent and believable for the most part, and the action is relentless. There is a nice blend of romance, humour and comradery. JD Robb is amazing in her ability to come up with fresh story-lines each time. That’s not an easy thing to do although this particular story is set in the earlier part of the series so she should have had plenty of ideas at that time. Years later, though, and she’s still turning out classic plots.
Dead cops, internal investigations and some domestic turmoil for both Eve and Roarke, and all set against the backdrop of 2060s New York with its flying cars, high-tech vending machines and flamboyant fashion. It makes for a great read. Roarke is still a soppy wanker though. He calls Eve “Darling”, a practice which would get the shit kicked out of him in Ireland, and that’s only from the women here. JD needs to visit Ireland a bit more and stop getting her imagery from Walt Disney, oh to be sure to be sure, by gorrah and by Jaysus, Shannon you’re a corker and may the road rise to bless you and your donkeys for generations to come, by gorrah and the Virgin Mary and her disciples and their whiskey and leprechauns to be sure to be sure.
Sult scale rating: 6 out of 10. Not the best of the series but still not a bad read. The story should keep you entertained and Rebel Voice wonders if you’ll figure out who the killer is early or later. The Eve Dallas series is reliable in its fairly high standards so even the poorer episodes in the series will be pretty good.