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Ive noticed quite a few books by J D Robb aka Nora Roberts recently and decided to try one out, although I dont really know much about the author. The blurb on the back of the book looked OK, if a little pretentious; but then more often than not whats on the back of the book is nothing to do with the author. What a mistake. What I hadnt realised is that this series, featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas, is crime fiction set at some point in the future. Not being keen on science fiction, I would have steered well clear of this. On top of that, there wasnt much else to recommend it.
The American author Nora Roberts has written over 100 novels, 86 of which have been New York Times bestsellers. When writing her series of futuristic crime fiction novels, she uses the pseudonym of J D Robb.
A cop moonlighting in a bar is found bludgeoned to death. Lieutenant Eve Dallas, Homicide Division, is called in on the case. Shortly afterwards, two other officers are murdered. The one link they seem to have in common is that they have slowly been accumulating funds in their bank accounts and have been investigated by internal affairs.
At least one of the officers was involved with a Mafia-like criminal, Ricker, who was once the business partner of Eves husband, Roarke. Eve begins to conduct an investigation into Ricker, although there is no proof that he murdered the cops. Roarke knows just how dangerous he is and tries to persuade Eve to keep away from him all to no avail. Before they know it, they are both involved in the chase to catch a killer before any more of Eves colleagues.
I dont think I have ever disliked a heroine as much as I disliked Eve Dallas. She is like an automaton everything she does is perfect; despite her maverick actions, even her bosses think she is fantastic. She is a strong woman, who gets what she wants and who can only be controlled by her husband, Roarke, with whom she has a very healthy sex life (and dont I know it). I find it difficult to appreciate a character that railroads everyone out of the way and I thought that she was unrealistically portrayed.
Her husband, Roarke, had some dodgy business associates in the past, but is now clean and very very rich. He is also used to getting his own way with very me Tarzan, you Jane tactics. Like Eve, everything he does is admired together they make the perfect golden couple. Maybe Im bitter and twisted, but Id give anything to see them fall flat on their faces!
I think what I most disliked about this book is the futuristic element. It didnt add anything to the story; with the exception of being able to tell your computer verbally to compute the likelihood of being guilty, it didnt seem to have an impact on the investigation. The characters are unrealistic and the story was just not exciting enough to grip me I found myself struggling to get to the end of the book. I also found the style of writing very pretentious; for example Roarkes Irish accent is described as his voice cruised over Ireland, picked up the music of it. I find that sort of language cringe-making. Give me straightforward and to the point any day.
Im struggling to think of an advantage to this book. I suppose the fact that I did manage to finish it means that it cant be as bad as all that or perhaps it just means that I have a high tolerance for absolute rubbish. Obviously a lot of other people do as well J D Robbs books have sold very well in the US and Ive seen them on sale in WH Smiths in this country..
If I havent completely put you off, the book is available from Amazon for £5.59. It is published by Piatkus Books and has 336 pages. ISBN: 0749934379. If you do want to read it, I highly recommend you borrow it from a library before spending out even a penny.