I'm continuing in my quest to read all the books in the "...in Death" series by J.D. Robb, a.k.a. Nora Roberts. This is the sci-fi series about NYPSD Lt. Eve Dallas, Homicide division. Lt. Dallas kicks butt and takes names, most of the time she forgets the pencil, but she always gets the job done. I accidentally read one of these books thinking it was just a straight sci-fi detective book. I was surprised to find they were written by romance/thriller writer Nora Roberts. I'm glad I have discovered these books. They are fun and full of excitement. Especially this one.
"Origin in Death," I'm going to go out on a limb and say this is the best book in the series. This has got all the great stuff of a great sci-fi/Detective novel. In fact this book would give Isaac Asimov and his R. Daneel Olivaw books a good run for the money. Great gadgets, great sci-fi/bordering on "could happen now" plot and, as with all the books, great action/thrills.
A well known doctor of cosmetic surgery is found murdered. The murder all points to a professional hit. The murderer was in, murdered with one stab of a scalpel, and out with no detection and within a matter of minutes. The murderer is caught on all security cameras and is an extremely beautiful woman. Her face does not turn up in any face recognition databases but her ID used to get past the 'droid and human security makes her to be a resident of Madrid, Spain.
This doctor, Doctor Icove, and his son, Dr. Icove, Jr. run a unique center which not only is the place for vidstars to get work done in complete privacy but also gives back to the community in many ways, donations of money and surgery for victims. The good doctors are saints. But Eve Dallas doesn't believe anyone can have that perfect of a record. Something has to be hidden, and to solve this homicide Eve will have to find that something.
Eve finds secret files in Icoves computers and these files refer to numerous cases of women ages 17-22 in which the records not only list healt records but IQ results. Not normal for cosmetic surgery. The first suspicion is that the doctor was experimenting with 'droid/human hybrids, which were outlawed back in the 2030's. But after following the money trail even more of a danger is discovered. After Dr. Icove Jr. is found murdered, Eve now has 2 murders that lead to a hidden institution and dangerous cloning experiments.
One thing I've always mentioned when writing about these books is the great characterization Robb/Roberts has created within these books. One of my favorites is Eve's husband Roarke. To some Roarke may be the "deus ex machina," because he is one of the wealthiest men on and off planet and that he has some of the coolest gadgets. Roarke is always at Eve's disposal and they make a great crimefighting team. Oh yeah that and his former criminal side sneaks in every so often, for example, his unregistered computer system that can find anyone and anything without being detected by CompuGuard.
As a side note, if you like audiobooks or would like to give audiobooks a try, I HIGHLY recommend checking these out. They are read by Susan Ericksen, and she provides great vocal qualities to each character so that you feel as if you are listening to a radio play.