Strangers in Death (In Death #26) by J. D. Robb

This is the first book I’ve read by J. D. Robb and let me tell you I was blown away. I am a fan after reading this book. I did actually listen to it, but I think it only made it better. The narrator really did a fantastic job with the different voices, especially Peabody and Roarke. I actually went to the story yesterday to pick up another audiobook for the series, and was pleased to find the earlier books come in three packs with the same narrator! Those are on my docket to listen to after my current audiobook finishes.

This was actually book number 26 in the series, so I jumped in the deep end and had to figure out who everyone is. Furthermore, the books are set in the future so I had to make the adjustment to the different world, which wasn’t as disconcerting as I thought it would be. I actually really liked that it was similar enough to relate to but still futuristic.

The story follows Lieutenant Eve Dallas as she investigates the murder of a high profile philanthropist and international sports equipment seller. He is found dead in his bed by apparent kink related strangulation accident. It turns out to be murder. The wife and nephew have solid alibis, but Dallas believes the wife is in on it. The investigation is long and takes multiple twists and turns, leading to surprising and interesting insights. Eva Anders, the wife, is a fully developed and thought out character that you grow to despise the further you go in the book.The way she is written is masterful. You get pulled into the interlacing world of money and politics, along with the seedier side of Licensed Companions and blackmail. The interviews and interrogations of the suspects was written amazingly well, you felt like you were in the room watching. However, throughout the entire book you live in Eve Dallas’ head and hear what she is thinking, which I think is the best part. She is a well-developed intricate character that is fascinating to learn about and see how her mind works.

Along with the complex investigation, you have the emotional relationship between Dallas and Roarke that grows throughout the book, which I assume has continued through every book in the series. The relationship fascinated me and gave a good relief to the constant investigation. It is often by discussing things with Roarke that Dallas has her breakthroughs or new ideas to pursue. It is a great example of a healthy, functioning marriage. In addition, you grow to know the entire cast of characters better, which I again assume happens in each book. I was fun to read and learn about each individual in Dallas’ life and how they affect her.

Furthermore, the complex crime and investigation reminded me a lot of Anne Perry, another author I love to read. I would recommend this book, or even the series, to anyone who likes complex story lines that don’t revolve around sex scenes. You can’t be squeamish though if you want to read this. The death and details are discussed throughout the book, along with reasons people do horrendous things to each other. I might recommend reading some of the earlier books first because this book references events from previous books, but I loved starting with this one. I’m sure I’ll come back and re-read it sometime.

My rating:

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