Rating: 4 out of 5
Just so you know right off the bat, J.D. Robb’s (Nora Roberts) Faithless in Death (In Death, 52) is not action-packed. These books go back and forth, showcasing different styles of mystery and murder, different levels of darkness, different action quotients, and so on. This particular volume is all about Eve and Peabody’s detailed, nit-picky drive to solve a murder that requires good old detective-work rather than beating people up or shooting them.
It’s the spring of 2061 and homicide Lieutenant Eve Dallas lands another murder case: a sculptor was killed in her home by some nasty blows to the head. Clearly she had entertained a lover shortly before that, and a 911 call came in from an entirely different part of town, an hour after the time of death. The woman who called it in seems anything but forthcoming–she lies, she manipulates, and it seems like she’d step on anyone she had to in order to get where she wants to be. But that doesn’t necessarily make her a murderer. Soon Eve finds herself tracking down a cult called Natural Order, a quasi-religious group known for violence even though they preach peace, with a very high-flying lifestyle for the few at the top. Women are believed to be inherently inferior to men, and while they have no problem having members of other races, they insist that the races must not mix any more than necessary–each group lives and learns separately, and the whites are in charge.
If you enjoy diving into the nit-picky details of police procedure, putting together details, coordinating between agencies, getting psych profiles, researching entire religious sects, diving into financials, and all of that stuff, you’ll enjoy this installment in the series! There’s also plenty of character interaction between all the characters we’ve come to know and love, Jenkinson’s loud ties, Mavis and Leonardo buying a house with Roarke’s help, Roarke as usual finding time to take care of Eve and help with her case as a consultant, and so forth. But it’s mostly police-work in this one.
Personally this wasn’t my favorite of the series–I like more tension–but it’s a solid book. As usual my favorite parts were watching Eve and Peabody manipulate suspects in interview. It’s so much fun watching them work!
Content note for domestic violence, racism, sexism, mild violence and gore, semi-abstracted sex.