Book Review - Innocent In Death by J. D. Robb
Another episode of being a NY copy in 2060 with Lieutenant Eve Dallas... Innocent In Death by J. D. Robb. An excellent installment that does a deep dive into the emotional bond between Roarke and Dallas, as well as solving a crime or two along the way.
Dallas is called out to investigate a death at a private school. A teacher's been poisoned, and on the surface there's no decent reason as to why. All of her leads are coming up blank, and the people who would have cause and means aren't causing her radar to activate. Some deeper digging into rumors leads her towards a fellow teacher that might have a reason to kill off his colleague, but before Dallas can close in on that angle, he is also murdered. This opens up the "who did it" derby a couple of other people, but again it's all circumstantial. Only at the end do the actions and events start falling into a unthinkable pattern than no one wants to accept as possible.
And on the personal front, Roarke is visited by an old flame and partner-in-crime. She's everything Eve is not, and Eve is feeling more than a little threatened. Regardless of how much Roarke tries to reassure her that she's the only one, Dallas can't let it go. And like most men, Roarke is totally blind to the manipulation that's putting his marriage to Dallas in jeopardy. It takes a major crisis, and some unwanted words from Summerset, to finally clue him into the truth.
I liked Innocent more than many of the recent editions of the series, and that's saying a lot (as I've read and loved them all). The crime plot was truly a mystery, and I had no idea how it was going to play out in the end. But the personal side was very well done. It was nice to see some cracks in Roarke's normally unshakable image, and it was also good to see Dallas actually have to express emotions that she normally buries and hides. As with most of the In Death books, this one didn't last nearly long enough for my tastes. But knowing the rate at which Nora Roberts is able to crank these out (without losing her edge, either), I shouldn't have to wait too long for the next one.