One of the things I like about not reading the "...in Death" series, by J.D. Robb, in order in which they are written is that I get little surprises about the pasts of the extremely well written characters from this series. In this book which was actually book #3 in the 30+ books in the series. In this entry into the series we join Lt. Eve Dallas and her new husband just as their honeymoon ends.
Now one thing to point out is that these books are set in the late 2050s which brings in some cool sci-fi gadgets which make the storytelling much more fun and for me it helps offset the romance/love scenes which I find "icky." Yeah, I'm not a romantic fiction fan. This book had more than the usual amounts of romance and sex but they were key to the plot...so, I let them slide.
Just before Eve and Roarke are finished with their honeymoon on an orbiting resort satellite, a death occurs. And sure enough, Lt.Dallas is a cop first and foremost and is immediately called to go to the scene. However it's not a homicide which is Eve's forte, this one is a suicide. But the suicide is that of a young computer whiz that was very happy in life and had no reason to "self-terminate." After all he was helping design the holo-suites on Roarke's resort. Did I mention that Roarke owns nearly everything on Earth and almost everything in the solar system? Yeah, he's rich. One other thing about the self-termination is that he has a huge unnatural smile on his face. This doesn't sit well with Dallas but she turns it over as a self-termination to the local authorities since orbiting satellites are out of her jurisdiction as a homicide detective from New York.
Arriving back on planet Dallas has her normal duties to solve cases and appear in court to make sure those cases are seen to their finish. One attorney that tries to break Dallas on the stand, is found the next morning as a result of self-termination. Dallas again thinks that this person was one of the least likely to self-terminate.
When the publisher of a big tabloid jumps to her death while Dallas is trying to talk her down, Lt. Dallas starts putting all these cases together and realizes some other force is at work and tying in these cases. What did they all have in common? Okay a bit of a spoiler here...they all relaxed with a new Virtual Reality system created by Roarke Enterprises.
This is also the book in which Dallas' friend, the rockstar, Mavis, gets her start. However the producer may have alternative motives. He may be the best producer/artist in the music world of 2058 but he experiments on Roarke and Dallas by sampling their brainwaves and becoming able to nearly make them puppets. This is where the strong amount of sex comes in. After a "session" with the producer, Jess, Dallas and Roarke end up making love like animals on the lawn of the lush Roark Estate.
This book is non-stop action, great mystery, great thrills and great characters. One such character makes her step in becoming a regular in the series. That character is Lt. Dallas' aid, Officer Peabody. Delia Peabody is such a fun character and her interaction with Dallas and Roarke create some great humor that helps to break from the constant action and mystery without halting the story. And of course Dallas and Roarke are fun. The dialogue in all these novels is natural and brings out all the relationships in the story.