RogerBW's Blog

Faithless in Death, J. D. Robb 22 March 2021

2021 SF/mystery; sixty-third story or 52nd novel of J. D. Robb's In Death series (SF police procedurals). A sculptor is killed in her studio; it looks as though her lover did it. But there's more to be found behind the obvious case.

Indeed, just as I was feeling encouraged by the way that (as in previous books in the series) nobody raises an eyebrow that the lover was also female, it turned out that this one was going to be about a cult that cares deeply about such things. Which of course is a tricky path for Robb to take: some significant fraction of the romance readers in America (even of the naughty romances that have sex scenes rather than the hero finding God) would be entirely happy in a mindset that says only heterosexuality is allowed, white is best, no hankypanky outside marriage, and women are there to serve men rather than have lives of their own.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, this particular cult turns out to be a Church of No Redeeming Virtues, of the rapey subtype: vg'f orra xvqanccvat naq qehttvat jbzra (bs gur evtug rguavpvgl, bs pbhefr) gb or "oevqrf" sbe vgf znyr zrzoref, vg'f unccl gb pbire hc n zheqre ol qbzrfgvp ivbyrapr, and so on. It all comes over as a bit heavy-handed and evil-for-the-sake-of-it at times, which is a shame when much of what's going on flows naturally from the personalities of the people in charge; more to the point, if all these insiders are ready to flip and try to get out of the cult the moment Dallas gives them a reason to, why hasn't there been a reason for them to flip before?

It's more of a conventional police story than the previous book, though at the same time there's little mystery about what's going on; it's just a matter of proving it. Roarke is rather in the background, but I like the way he's grown up a bit from the more demanding figure of the early books. (Though there is a bit of a dropped thread: he asks several times "please let me know before you do X", Eve agrees, but she then does X without telling him and it's never mentioned again.)

Still, this is a series book that, as usual for Robb, doesn't feel like a series book; it has its own distinctive elements and place in the overall story.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Previous in series: Shadows in Death | Series: In Death | Next in series: Forgotten in Death

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1