"Innocent in Death"
by J.D. Robb
Read by Susan Ericksen
Produced by Brilliance Audio 2007
I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse that the "...in Death" series of books are written by J.D. Robb, a pseudonym for Nora Roberts. I love the brilliant detective/mystery/thriller aspect of the writing, but Nora Robb creeps in the stories and you get that bodice busting romance type feel during moments of these books. I personally read them for the sci-fi detective novels aspect and just kind of skim inevitable romance and skip over the gratuitous sex, not that I'm a prude, it's just they seemed forced into the story. With that out of the way let's talk about what draws me to these books.
Lt. Eve Dallas is a take names / kick butt NYPSD homicide detective that always cracks the case. This series of books is set in the mid 21st Century around the year 2060. Dallas is married to the richest man on and off planet, Roarke. One of the things that makes this series interesting to me is the cast of characters. Dallas' assistant Detective Delia Peabody and Electronics Detective McNabb are just a couple of characters that make these books fun. I think Peabody is the queen of sarcasm.
The audio books in this series (including this book) are read by Susan Ericksen. Her voice work is phenomenal. She has a unique voice for each character and makes the listening to these books even more fun.
"Innocent in Death" begins with the death of a private school teacher. The teacher is found dead at his desk in his own filth. Obviously this leads to Lt. Dallas to suspect poisoning and the school becomes a crime scene. Who would want to kill this teacher. He was newly married and him and his wife were overwhelmingly in love, so rule out the spouse. He did however find out about another teacher making unwanted sexual advances on one of the school employees. Maybe it was a cover up. But soon the teacher that was suspected is found dead. Dallas must catch the killer before another dies.
With no known motives and various backgrounds of the victims this one has her stumped. But soon she comes to a suspect that surprises all. The problem with this case is not the lack of evidence, but, and here's where the Nora Roberts writing takes over, Lt. Dallas' husband, Roarke, is visited by one of his old flames that wants to relight that flame. This drives a wedge between Roarke and Dallas and between Dallas and her work.
With an ending to surprise all, I'd recommend this book for the detective story enthusiast, however, this is one of those books in the series that leans highly on the romance novel side of Nora Roberts.