Faithless in Death
reviewed by Carolyn Scott
Reading a novel by J.D. Robb is like visiting with your closest friends. You can wear your comfiest clothes, settle down with your chosen drink and know you’re in for a really enjoyable time. Not only do you get to catch up with the lives of your favorite characters, but also become absorbed in a great mystery, and at the end, come away with a warm sense of satisfaction. This 52nd book in Robb’s futuristic ‘In Death’ series is just such a book.
When Eve is called in to a homicide in the West Village, she finds up-and-coming young artist Ariel Byrd with her head caved in. Rumpled sheets and two wine glasses by the bed suggest she didn’t spend the night alone, but was her death the result of a lover’s tiff or something else?
Gwen Huffman, the woman who found Ariel’s body, waited an hour before calling the police. She claimed to have been in shock, but her story doesn’t ring true to Eve and so she starts to pick apart the lies she knows Gwen is telling. Gwen is a member of an important family who are members of a powerful and wealthy religious group. She’s about to get married to a wealthy lawyer so perhaps she has secrets she needs to keep hidden from her family and the group, and even her fiancé.
After the excitement of the previous novel where Eve and Roarke’s lives were both in danger, this feels like a return to classic Eve Dallas. She’s back doing what she does best aided by Peabody, Roarke and the NYPSD team. What started out as a homicide case quickly turns into something much bigger and has Eve running on full power to keep up with developments. I love the way she’s grown in confidence and self-assuredness since the start of the series. With most of the focus on the unfolding investigation, there’s less time than usual to catch up with Eve’s friends. However, we do get a glimpse of Mavis and Leonardo, who have some important news that will impact on Peabody and McNab as well.
Somehow Robb continues to come up with original and interesting story lines to keep this series fresh. In this one Eve is up against many of the things she hates most: power, racism, misogyny, bullying, kidnapping and subjugation of children and women. It’s a very intense addition to this terrific series that just keeps on getting stronger.
With many thanks to St Martin’s Press and Netgalley for a copy of the book to read. Publication February 9, 2021.