Calculated in Death
by J.D. Robb
Cover Artist: George Cornell
Review by Gayle Surrette
Putnam Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780399158827
Date: 26 February 2013 List Price $27.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
It was supposed to look like a mugging gone wrong, but Eve Dallas was called in and confirmed it was murder. A sharp-eyed and quick thinking officer who was the first on the scene thought it looked suspicious and Eve took note of the officer for future reference. The woman turned out to be an accountant/auditor married to the brother of one of the New York's un-bribeable and tough on crime judges. Was this a crime to get back at the judge? Something the accountant was working on? Or something to do with the building the body was found at, or the owner of the apartment in which she was killed?
Calculated in Death is the 36th book in the in Death series featuring Lt. Eve Dallas of the NYPSD's Homicide Department. You might think that by now the books would just be rehashing of older plotlines but you'd be wrong. While the motivations for the murder don't change all that much -- money, power, revenge -- each book stands as a well-crafted mystery and police procedural in a not so distant future.
The books have a large cast of reoccurring characters and, over the series, there have been many changes in their lives. Dallas' partner Delia Peabody is now a detective in her own right. Some characters have married and one even has a child. Life goes on in these books rather than remaining static. While each book deals with a murder, they also give readers a chance to check in on these characters and what's new in their lives.
The popularity of the series may have as much to do with the main characters -- Roarke, Eve Dallas, Peabody, and the large supporting cast -- as it does with the crime. Robb's characters pull you back book after book. In this case, there's as much going on in the background secondary plot lines as there is with the main story line. Even Roarke's expertise as a business man is called for in this particular case since the victim was an auditor and the crime may be related to her work.
If you're a fan of the series, Calculated in Death will not disappoint. If you haven't yet read any of the in Death series, you can start with this one as all of the books can stand alone. If you enjoy this one you can then go back to the first one and read through the entire series as you wait for the next book.