"Portrait in Death"
by J.D. Robb
read by Susan Ericksen
produced by Brilliance Audio
I don't know what it is but I can't help but keep coming back to the "...in Death" series of books by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts.) Okay, I confess, i do know what it is, it's the little twist of science fiction that make these books something more than just a good detective novel. The series takes place in the near future, this book in particular in the year 2059. Just enough sci-fi gadgets to make it seem fun. But the real draw to these books is the no-holds-barred main character Lt. Eve Dallas. Lt. Dallas takes nothing from noone. And she can brawl with the best of them.
Another aspect of this series is the colorful, unique and richly written characters. Not only do they all have depth but it is easy to imagine what they are doing in their "off" time. While Lt. Dallas could take on the world by herself she doesn't need to and she's finding this out as each book pushes the series. Her husband the extremely rich Roarke who worked his way from being a street thug to a man who thrives on "making the deal" in the business world and has made his life extremely comfortable through the riches.
In this book however Roarke, usually the crutch holding Eve up in her tough times, is out of sorts. He finds that the woman who walked out of his life at the age of 5, whom he thought was his mother was not his mother, and that his real mother was murdered by his father. This could be disturbing enough but he now finds out he has family, his mother's twin sister is still alive as well as many cousins, uncles, aunts and even grandparents. This throws Roarke into an emotional roller-coaster ride that Eve takes time away from her murder case to help him cope with these emotions.
That side story or Roarke dwells on the side of the murder mystery in which Eve has to solve before a serial killer kills again. Someone is killing young college students and posing them for death portraits and claiming to take their "light" within himself so he may live forever. Each student is young, innocent and "full of light." The case builds to where Lt. Dallas and her aid Officer Peabody are tracking down photographers and kids in the techno-clubs.
Once again J.D. Robb writes a book that keeps you guess as to "whodunit" and at the same time takes you on a great story focusing on friends and family and support groups within. Also Susan Ericksen provides the voice for the audiobook and putting as much depth in the character's voices as J.D. Robb puts into the book.