Fiction: “Holiday in Death” by J.D. Robb

J.D. Robb is the pseudonym for Nora Roberts when she writes her futuristic cop novels. Now, I have never read a Nora Roberts Nora Roberts, and I’m not sure I want to – when I go for a ‘romance’ novel, it’s usually of the Regency historical type, fraught with historical errors and anachronisms. So I’m not sure how Ms. Roberts writes one of her contemporary novels — according to her Wikipedia site, she focuses on trilogies of families and strong characters. I want to say that occasionally there’s a supernatural element in some? Maybe? I dunno.

Regardless, you won’t get any of that in a J.D. Robb. Set in the future (around 2050 or so), the main character is Lieutenant Eve Dallas, of the New York Security and Police Department. She’s tough as nails, curses like a sailor on occasion, and rarely lets people in. Holiday in Death is the seventh title in the series, so some background: Eve’s husband is Roarke — just Roarke, we’re not sure if it’s a first or a last name, and what the other one is –, and they met when she was investigating him for murder (Book #1, Naked in Death). They got married in between the third and fourth titles (Immortal… and Rapture…, respectively). Roarke is also super-rich. Like, he owns half of the planet, rich. If he had the chance to be evil, he’d be Lex Luthor (I’m guessing – my love for the Green Lantern and Wonder Woman aside, I was always more of a Marvel Girl myself).

Holiday… takes place around Christmas, and you may think it’s weird that I’m reading a “Christmas” story in June, but it was the next book in the series, and I don’t like skipping around in series that are supposed to be read in chronological order. Now, being set in 2050 or so, there are some cool technological advances which may turn readers off (how did I get into the In Death series? My mother had a copy of Witness in Death that she got from someone, but she couldn’t get past the telelinks and Auto Chefs and flying cars and stunners. My mother also hated The Prestige because it was told in a non-linear fashion. Man, I haven’t watched that in a while…).

And look, dudes, this series? Not romance. Not even close. I mean, yeah, there’s the relationship between Eve and Roarke that is always growing and maturing, but the crimes can be brutal. The serial killer in this instance rapes, sodomizes, and then strangles his victims with Christmas garland. And this was tame compared to some other crimes in previous books. I maintain that Nora Roberts gets her violent ya-yas out with this series, so, caveat lector.

I enjoy the In Death series because I can read them quickly. There’s not a lot of thought involved (and you would think that some of the other books I’ve read in the last two months would have been a breeze. You’d be wrong. Shayla Black, I’m looking at you). The killer always gets caught, Eve and Roarke always learn a lesson about their relationship, and all is right with the world.

Some illustrations of how much of a badass Eve is at her job:

“You run Personally Yours again, client and personnel, find who on there bought that smudger, and see how many more of the products used on the victims you can match.” She lifted her eyebrows. “Say yes, sir, Lieutenant Dallas.”

He heaved a sigh. “Yes, sir, Lieutenant Dallas.”

“Good. While you’re at it, McNab, see if you can wiggle into Piper and Rudy’s credit account. Let’s find out what brand of enhancements they use.” She waited, brows still high. One thing McNab wasn’t was slow.

“Yes, sir, Lieutenant Dallas.” [90]

“Here’s what we’ve got. You clear me through to your bosses now, or I take you down to Cop Central and charge you with obstruction, for impeding an officer, and for being basically stupid. You got ten seconds to decide how you want to play it.”

As lead Lieutenant on her cases, Eve regularly has to deal with the press. Nadine Furst is the lead anchor on a news channel that Eve is kind of friends with, but Eve is very protective of her cases:

“You turn that recorder off, put it here on my desk in plain or I’ll give you a break. I’ll confiscate it and anything else you have in that suitcase you’re hauling around. Recording devices aren’t permitted in official areas of Cop Central without authorization.”

“Christ, you’re strict.” Annoyed, Nadine took out her mini, plunked it on the desk, then set her bag aside. “Off the record?”

“Off the record.” Because Nadine had said the words, Eve nodded. Nadine could be irritating, tenacious, and a general pain in the ass, but she had integrity. There was no need to search the bag for another recorder. [127]

And finally, here’s a droid servant giving a statement to the cops about the events of the night before:

“[…] He was angry. He swore at me. I noticed he had some facial bruises and I asked if I could be of some assistance. He suggested that I fuck myself, which is a function I am not programmed to perform.” [174]

“is a function I am not programmed to perform.” How funny is that?

Grade for Holiday in Death: 2.5 stars


2 thoughts on “Fiction: “Holiday in Death” by J.D. Robb

  1. This is the only book I haven’t read, because I can’t find it. I’ve read every one twice. Just can’t stop reading them.

    • You can’t find it? Your library can’t get it on interlibrary loan or anything? That’s so sad!

      As you can probably tell, I go through fits and spurts with series. There are some series I love, but I end up spacing them out so I don’t finish them too quickly. The “In Death” series is like that for me. 🙂

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