"Judgment in Death"
by J.D. Robb
published byBerkley (2000)
It's been a while since I read one of the "...in Death" series of books by J.D. Robb (a.k.a. Nora Roberts) so I picked up this book from earlier in the series. It was like visiting an old friend. NYPSD Lt. Eve Dallas and her rich and powerful husband Roarke make a great crime solving team. Lt. Dallas works homicide and has a reputation for kicking butt and always solving the case. Roark owns pretty much everything on and off-planet. I say off planet because these books throw in the sci-fi twist to what are great detective novels. This book takes place in the Spring of 2059, which being that close in the future you still get real cop work being done, yet being far enough in the future that there are some real cool gadgets (automated cars, lasers, super cool computer systems and 'droid maid service).
Now, on with the story. Lt. Dallas is called to a murder scene in a strip club called "Purgatory" to find the place trashed and a dead body lying in a pool of blood. The victim was bludgeoned to death and the scene was made to look like a robbery gone bad. But Eve doesn't buy that. Roarke doesn't either looking around he notices that the expensive liquors were smashed rather than stolen and fenced, and surrounding the body are several credits, 30 to be exact. Roarke is on scene to Eve's dismay because, as usual, this is a property he owns. Eve turns the body over to discover that the victim was lying on his badge. The badge is intentionally covered in blood. With these symbols; blood on the badge, and 30 "pieces of silver", Eve realizes this was no robbery but that a statement is being made.
On her way home from the scene she is confronted by former lover now Internal Affairs officer Webster. Webster drops hints for Eve to follow the money. Looking in to the victim's financials, it appears as though he was receiving large somes of money. The money seems to be coming from Ricker, a crime boss in New York that once had a shady relationship with Roarke.
After another cop's body is found Eve now has two crimes to close, finding the cop-killer and bringing down the crime boss that is funding these bad cops. The problem is that the first victim was a plant by Internal Affairs to find all the cops on the take and that the IAB was trying to make him look bad to cover themselves. Eve discovers that another precinct seems to be the breeding ground for corrupt cops and one of their own is killing off the bad cops. So before anymore bodies show up Eve and Roarke (who also becomes a target of Ricker) use pure instinct, cop know how, and great gadgets to catch a cop-killer and bring down Ricker.
Once again this book is full of the great characters that are prominent in these novels. You've got the trusty, although sometimes sarcastic aide to Lt. Dallas, Officer Peabody, Electronics Division Captain Feeney, and NYPSD psychologist/profiler Dr. Meara. A great team of great personalities are what make these books worth the read.