March 3, 2013

Review: Calculated in Death

Calculated in Death
In Death Book 36
J.D. Robb

Released: 26 February, 2013
Trade, Paitkus, 400p.
ISBN: 9780749959357

In this new Eve Dallas thriller, Eve is surrounded by murder suspects from the high-stakes financial world.

On the steps outside an empty office in New York's financial district, a woman lies dead. It's a bitterly cold winter and her coat and other items are missing, which initially seems to point to a mugging gone wrong, but Lt Eve Dallas soon discovers that the body was dumped at the newly-renovated property. Now she has to find out why.

Marta Dickenson was an auditor, so Eve has a host of suspects among those who were under her scrutiny, not ruling out the fact Marta's sister-in-law is a famous judge. With the financial wizardry of Eve's husband Roarke at her disposal and the faithful Peabody by her side - when not distracted by the upcoming premiere they're all to attend - Eve starts the process of shifting through the motives of some powerful people to catch a killer.



So, what did I think about Calculated in Death?  I sit here wondering what exactly am I going to say.  Like 99% of all J.D Robb books I enjoyed it to some degree, but I was left me somewhat disappointed.  Usually the action comes hard and fast with Eve's mind working at 100 miles an hour, and there is a kind of frenetic energy that comes through on the page.  Not this time.  Perhaps its the weather influencing me, but I just didn't get that same spark from Eve and Co. in this book.

Although I felt for the initial victim, the case just felt blah.  Our killer didn't pull any real kind of response from me, and I just seemed to be going through the motions.  There were a few highlights that saved this from a 2 star rating.  One was Galahad's reaction to Eve after her encounter with another cat (very funny), and Eve and Roarke's scene after she made a fine catch after someone played toss the toddler.

" Wow, colourfulI think the kid's head plowed into meHe came at me like a mortar.  
PowSkull meets titsTits lose."

Eve and Roarke still have a phenomenal level of chemistry, but we don't see a huge amount of it - even though Roarke has more if a front and center role.  Peabody is as quirky and practical as always, and Trina gets her manicured hands on Eve again.  Most of the gang are present and accounted for in this book, but still I think that more could have been done with the story.  I found the ending a little annoying as we don't get to see Eve arrest, or even interrogate, one of the dirt bags.  I know, right.  She always grills them!

Calculated in Death just didn't have that spark, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Thankless in Death (due out in September) will make up for it.


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