Kindred in Death
by J.D. Robb
Review by Gayle Surrette
Putnam Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780399155956
Date: 03 November 2009 List Price $26.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Lt. Eve Dallas is a cop who stands for the dead. It doesn't matter who died, she'll do her best to see that justice is served and the murderer is caught, tried, and hopefully punished. When she's called in to head up the investigation of the murder of Deena MacMasters, daughter of Capt. Jonah MacMasters, the case becomes personal. While Eve didn't know sixteen-year-old Deena, Peabody did. Deena was a cop's daughter and, from the looks of the violence of her murder, she was killed to make a statement -- to get even with her father? Her mother? The department in general? Eve doesn't know, but she intends to find out who and why.
As usual, the plotting is tight and the usual cast of characters is available to help solve the case. Adding a little tension is that Charles and Louise are getting married in a week and Eve is Matron of Honor. That the victim is know to some of the team, and that the father has a good reputation as a solid cop, and is close friends with Eve's superior adds a bit of tension too.
Basically, the in Death books are police procedurals that take place in a future New York City around 2059 or so. There's also a strong romantic thread as well but the focus is always on the murder and the hunt for the killer. Kindred in Death is the 28th book in the series. However, in book time, only about two years have passed.
This particular case is difficult because it touches on elements of Eve's past and what was done to the victim brings a lot of those memories to the surface. Each major case also impacts Eve's relationship with her husband, Roarke, multi-billionaire, technological wizard and retired thief. He often helps the electronic division pull information from various sources.
What really hits hard in this novel is the slaughter of the innocent to punish people who don't even know that they're being punished, or why? I know it happens. You can read about it every day in just about any newspaper. But a killer who stalks and learns about the victim, studies the victim to find the easiest way to get access and then murder them in the most vicious way possible when the victim had nothing to do with the crime that's being avenged seems wrong in so many ways that it's hard to believe it could happen. Robb does a wonderful job of making the victims real. Once you read the story, you can never quite read the police blotter or about a crime in the newspaper without finding that the victims now have faces, families, lives that were cut short, hopes and dreams that will never come true or even have a chance to fail.
If you've read previous books in this series, you know what to expect-- a fast paced police procedural that will keep you turning the pages until you find out how all those various clues and hints come together and the killer is found. If you haven't read any of the in Death series, don't be afraid to just dive in. There's usually enough back story to bring new readers up to speed and then you can begin at the beginning to pick up anything you want to know about the characters.