RogerBW's Blog

Dark in Death, J. D. Robb 12 April 2018

2018 SF/mystery; fifty-seventh (roughly, or 46th novel) of J. D. Robb's In Death series. A woman is stabbed while watching Psycho in a cinema; there's no obvious motive for killing her. Homicide Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers roughly what's going on, but it'll still be a long twisty road to catching the killer.

The main new element this time is that the killer seems to be copying the murders in a series of police procedural novels, and this allows Robb to vent a bit about the frustrations of her writerly life: the claims that she must have a secret writing partner, the story ideas sent in by fans and followed by accusations of plagiarism, and so on. All of these tie somewhat into the crime plot as well, so it doesn't come over as self-indulgent.

There are continuing characters doing their usual things, and the overall plot arc is familiar, but to me this book felt surprisingly fresh; I tend to like the series entries that try something a little different, and while I can see a devoted fan of the series regarding this one as a bit of a downer I thought the meta-story about writing worked rather well.

To be followed by Leverage in Death.

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