"Treachery in Death," J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts

Pros: Full-bore dive into the “dirty cop” plot; significant Peabody character development
Cons: Some transparent excuses to let Eve go head-to-head with the bad guys
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
Expected publication date: 2/22/2011

 

Peabody finally has her detective’s shield, and Eve just told her she’s going to be the primary detective on their latest case, a robbery/homicide. As Peabody says, it’s pretty much a slam-dunk. But it also leaves Peabody thinking that if she’s going to go toe-to-toe with perps, she’d better get into shape. Not wanting to put herself next to all the hardbodies in the bright, shiny, new gym, she goes down to the abandoned old one. Unfortunately, she isn’t the only one who finds the lack of people there useful.

Two cops, Garnet and Oberman, are talking in the very same locker room that Peabody’s hiding in. It’s quickly obvious that whatever they’re up to, it’s very, very illegal, and they’ll most likely kill Peabody if they find her…


 

I think every cop show or series eventually covers the dirty cop plot. I’ll give J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts this: when she decides to do it in Treachery in Death, she makes the plot her own by grabbing onto it with both hands and not having any qualms about ratcheting it up to an 11. By the time Eve is done, she’ll uncover a truly expansive conspiracy, several deaths, and one very, very crooked daughter of a retired police legend.

That daughter, Renee Oberman, is another way in which this plot differs from the usual. She isn’t your typical grizzled embittered cop wanting some extra money. She’s a highly organized, vicious woman who sees herself more like a CEO running an efficient side-company. She’s everything Eve isn’t, and the two mesh about as well as you’d expect. Eve truly enjoys turning this to her advantage by winding Oberman up. The only problem is that there are some fairly transparent acrobatics necessary to keep the case in Eve’s pocket and to give Eve an excuse to go personally head-to-head with Renee.

I love seeing the character development throughout this series. It’s great to see Peabody coming into her own, to see Eve taking on more and more responsibility, and (I think) see one or two new characters get introduced. Certainly I had trouble putting the book down, and when it was done I was disappointed that I couldn’t keep reading!

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