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Desperation in Death

Desperation in Death is my first J.D. Robb book. Admittedly, I’m a latecomer to this series. Nora Roberts writes the series under the pseudonym J.D. Robb and has been doing so since 1995. Desperation in Death is the 55th book in the series (there are 57 to date).

The series all take place in the near future. The first book takes place in 2058. Twenty-eight years after the first book came out, the calendar has moved only up to 2061 in Desperation. At this rate, time is catching up to J.D. Robb.

However, it’s not clear why the book needs to take place in the future. The police work described could be current. Perhaps the above stated ‘future catching up’ to Robb is at play.

Now, about the story itself, Chapter 1 provides the readers all they need to know. They are eye-witnesses to the crime, a horrific breeding at ‘The Academy’ for girls aimed at selling them as sex slaves and servants. Most of the remaining chapters leave this reader wanting the police to catch up. The detectives find a clue. Duh, yeah. We know that. Glad you found it.

The lead detective on the case is Eve Dallas, seemingly the star in each of the 57 books. She has a backstory which is hinted at. Perhaps it is laid out if I read the previous 54 books, something I will not do.

I was leaning towards rating the book three stars out of five, but the ending chapters raised it to four. Robb’s orchestration of a police raid in several locations with a cast of characters redeems the book. That part is an excellent piece of work.

The writing itself is what one would expect from an experienced best-selling author, but I quibbled about the lack of dialog tags. It was often confusing who was speaking. Also, drinking coffee is over the top in the story. The word ‘coffee’ appears 94 times.

So, approach this book as OK if you find it on a library shelf and looking for something to read.

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Jackson Coppley

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