Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Leverage in Death by J. D. Robb

First Sentence:  Thou shalt not kill.
Marketing VP Paul Rogan attends a meeting where the announcement of a major corporate merger is set to take place.  Looking distraught, he opens his jacket exposing a suicide vest whose explosion immediately kills 11 people and injures nine. With the help of Roark, Eve's billionaire businessman husband, Lieutenant Eve Dallas, Detective Delia Peabody, and the team determine the motive is money, and that this won't be a singular incident.  How many more will die before Eve can find, and stop, the killers?
Reading J.D. Robb is always an entertaining way to spend several hours. Unfortunately, it also has come to feel formulaic, as though there are cards on a board and one simply shuffles the order.   
Robb does do characters very well.  Eve and Peabody contrast and balance one another nicely.  Eve and Roark are intriguing as characters who grew up with violence and poverty yet achieved wealth and success.  They are examples of loyalty, to one another and to their friends, and the secondary characters are ones readers have come to know and enjoy.  However, there is one scene over an issue which seemed out of sync and as though it was simply an excuse for a hot sex scene.  There had to have been a better way.  There is also food, the descriptions of which can leave one salivating, and certainly wishing for an Auto Chef. 

Of all her numerous skills, one is the natural way in which plot threads are balanced.  Even when working a case, there are considerations given to things outside the job.  A subplot is the upcoming Academy Award ceremony where the movie made about one of Eve's cases is up for several awards.  This provided an opportunity for humor to lighten the plot.
The theory about the motive is clever and different.  The analysis of the perps is logical and well-created.  There are a lot of non-recurring characters involved.  Some are interesting, some even provide red herrings, but one never felt truly connected to any of them.  

There was a considerable amount of time spent that really didn't go anywhere at all.  Severe editing might have helped.  Cutting out about 50 pages could have tightened the plot considerably, focusing it on the things which mattered.  Once one gets to the end it seems that the resolution is too quick, too compressed, and without the tension, it could have had. 
"Leverage in Death" is a good airplane book, although not up to the standard the series once had, which is a shame.  Still, it will keep one well occupied and, for those who like to leave books for others, be an enjoyable gift for the next traveler.  

LEVERAGE IN DEATH (FutPolProc-Lt. Eve Dallas-NYC-2060) – Good
      Robb, J.D. – 47th in series
      St. Martin's Press – Sept 2018


  1. I know just what you mean about a novel feeling formulaic. Even with well-written characters, it can leave a reader unsatisfied. I am glad the characters were at least written well.

  2. Being that it's the 47th book in the series, it's not surprising, but what she does well, she does very well.