Witness in Death
written by J.D. Robb
read by Susan Ericksen
audiobookPublisher: Brilliance Audio 2007
Original novel published by Berkeley 2000
We return once again to the world of Lt. Eve Dallas the best homicide detective in New York in the year 2059. This time the book starts out as Eve and Roarke are enjoying a play at Roarke's newly built "New Globe Theatre." The play is a stage version of the classic movie "Witness for the Prosecution." Dallas is enjoying the play because she is solving the crime while watching the play. The climactic scene in the play is at the end when the lead actor is stabbed by his wife onstage. The problem is that someone has switched the prop knife for a real one and the actor, Richard Draco, is murdered onstage in front of a couple thousand witnesses including Lt. Eve Dallas. Now Dallas has a homicide to solve.
"Witness in Death" is Book 10 in the "...in Death" series written by Nora Roberts' pseudonym J.D. Robb. It is the 10th book but the 11th story (one story appeared in an anthology) in the series that to date has 27 books (32 stories) in total. The books in this series are some really fun to read sci-fi crime thrillers, and this book is no exception.
While the crime itself took place right in front of Dallas, that doesn't make it cut and dry. After all who switched the prop knife for the real one, when did they do it and why? These are the questions that Eve and her crack team of NYPSD's finest have to solve. This time her team consists of electronics division detectives Feeney and McNabb, her aide, Officer Peabody (who has recently been exploring a love interest with McNabb), Officer Truehart, Dr. Mira - police psychologist, and Roarke (only because Roarke owns pretty much everything on and off planet and loves to dabble in his wife's work).
When it comes to who did it and why, that leads on a confusing trail, because everyone that knew the arrogant Richard Draco hated him and wanted him dead. All of them have a different reason for wanting him dead but it pretty much comes down to Draco being an arrogant jerk. (that's putting it pretty mildly).
When a stage hand is later found dead by hanging, the team rolls into overtime, because the stage hand had just booked a trip to Tahiti so probably didn't kill himself.
If you're wishing to check this book out in audio form, be prepared for a real treat. Susan Ericksen is the reader for all the "...in Death" books and has the vocal characterizations down perfect. My favorite is how she captures the entire character of Peabody in her voice. I'm afraid that if this is ever made into a movie, if they don't cast Holly Hunter as Peabody, I may have a hard time believing the actress. Listen to the audiobook and you'll see what I mean. Each of the character's voices created by Ms. Erickson are unique and you may feel you are hearing a multi-cast performance.