Book Review: Witness in Death by J.D. Robb

Posted April 6, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Witness in Death by J.D. Robb

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Witness in Death by J.D. Robb
Genres: Detective, Police Procedural, Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley on March 3, 2007
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audibles
Also by this author: Mirror, Mirror, Festive in Death, Obsession in Death, "Wonderment in Death", Down the Rabbit Hole, Devoted in Death, Brotherhood in Death, Apprentice in Death, Echoes in Death, Secrets in Death, Dark in Death, Leverage in Death, "Interlude in Death", Vendetta in Death, Golden in Death, Shadows in Death, Faithless in Death, Naked in Death, Glory in Death, Immortal in Death, Rapture in Death, Ceremony in Death, Vengeance in Death, Conspiracy in Death, Loyalty in Death, Judgment in Death, Seduction in Death, Reunion in Death

Tenth in the police procedural In Death futuristic romantic suspense series and revolving around homicide detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas, who’s married to the luscious Roarke in the winter of 2059 in New York City.

In 2001, Witness in Death was nominated for the Romance Writers of America Romantic Suspense. In 2000, it won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Futuristic Romance and the Romance Readers Anonymous Award for Best Alternative Realities or Time Travel Romance.

My Take

It’s such a treat to read of this by-the-book cop who married a “former” criminal. Eve does get a lot of firsts with Roarke, and in this tale, a live theatre performance is one of them.

Their relationship is so cute. Eve can’t figure out why Roarke loves her, and he is desperate to give her everything, including comfort, security, and trust. It seems that Ian also needs something from Roarke. Advice. On how to woo Peabody, lol.

More crack-ups with Roarke quickly telling Eve he’s never slept with Areena. Speaking of, ahem, sex, there’s a recurring byplay between Peabody and Eve with Peabody constantly referencing intimacies she shares with McNab. I love how it freaks Dallas out, lol.

That Eve. She’s fierce about her territory and doesn’t hesitate to order Roarke off. He, on the other hand, slams plenty of reasons why he will stay. And he continually insinuates himself into her investigations. I gotta admit the boy is darn handy. Feeney thinks the same way, *more laughter*.

Of course, Eve’s territoriality conflicts with her Marriage Rules, the ones she’s struggling to learn. And in Witness in Death, Eve assesses “her participation in the whole love and marriage deal”. Oops. The effort she makes to reverse this is especially funny when she reminds herself that planning a dinner can’t be as hard as leading tactical teams, tracking psychopaths, or outwitting the deranged. Oh, ROFLMAO, when Eve learns about Authorization One! I hate to say it, but I suspect I’d go hog wild!

Draco is a highly acclaimed actor . . . and equally acclaimed bastard. As for the back history on these actors, wow . . . just . . . wow. The drama behind the scenes is just as crazy in their now as our now.

It’s interesting that there is such a colorful mix of people — Robb has a range of descriptions from mixed-race to dark and features an equality throughout with no pejoratives about any group of people. Well, okay, except for crooks, chemi-heads, dealers, etc.

Poor Ian. He’s so frustrated with Peabody and having to compete with the classy Charles. We know this through Robb’s use of third person global subjective point-of-view, which allows us to view events through the perspectives of a variety of characters.

It’s fascinating to watch Dallas assess people, herself. LOLOL, Dallas has issues with technology. Fortunately, the computer she requisitioned — two years ago — has just been installed. AND she plans to take her old computer home . . . and hunt down that hammer.

It’s full of action that’s character-driven . . . and oh wow, what characters! It’s full of surprises and laughs, drama and tension.

The Story

The opening night of the revival of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution at New York’s New Globe Theater turns from stage scene to crime scene when the leading man is stabbed to death right on center stage.

Now Eve Dallas has a high-profile celebrity homicide on her hands. Not only is she lead detective, she’s also a witness — and when the press discovers that her husband owns the theater, there’s more than enough media spotlight.

The only way out is to move fast. Question everyone and everything…and in the meantime, try to tell the difference between the truth — and really good acting . . .

The Characters

The troubled Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in charge of Homicide at Cop Central. Roarke is her gorgeous, extremely wealthy husband who enjoys classic black-and-white movies. Galahad is their sneaky cat. Summerset is a father figure to Roarke and the majordomo, aide-de-camp, in his castle-like home.

Dallas’ friends
The bouncy, colorful Mavis Freestone is Eve’s best friend, a former grifter, and now a singer. Leonardo, an acclaimed fashion designer, is Mavis’ significant other. Trina, a beauty stylist and friend of Mavis’, terrifies Eve. Nadine Furst is the top on-air reporter for Channel 75. Charles Monroe, a Licensed Companion, is dating Peabody. Jamie Lingstrom is an e-prodigy who does some work for Roarke (Ceremony in Death, 5).

Officer Delia Peabody has been Dallas’ aide for almost a year. Other homicide detectives include David “Horndog” Baxter. Commander Jack Whitney is in charge at Cop Central and is Dallas’ boss. Captain Ryan Feeney, Dallas’ mentor and father figure, is in charge of the Electronic Detective Division (EDD) where the colorful Detective Ian McNab also works — and he’s interested in Peabody. Dr Charlotte Mira is the department profiler. The snazzy Dr Li Morris is the chief medical examiner who also plays a mean saxophone. Rochinsky is one of his assistants, who’ll know better next time. Young Herbert Finestein has potential. The twenty-two-year-old Officer Troy Trueheart is part of the team at Grand Central Station. Pauline Trueheart is his mother.

Lombowsky is one of the sweepers. Tomjohn Lewis is from Maintenance. Allyanne Preen is Detective Harrison‘s case. Hanson works Vice.

Bianci is the mayor of New York. Captain Stuart is in charge of the New York City Transit Authority at Grand Central Station.

The play is . . .
. . . Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution is opening at the newly restored New Globe Theater owned by, natch, Roarke. Leonard Vole is played by Richard Draco. The extremely poor Michael Proctor is Draco’s stand-in. Christine Vole is played by Areena Mansfield. Tricia Beets is Areena’s dresser. Sir Wilfred, the lawyer, is played by the secretive and award-winning Kenneth Stiles. Walter is Stiles’ droid. Diane is played by Carly Landsdowne, a very lucky young woman in her parents. The nagging nurse, Miss Plimsoll, is played by the (formerly) very bored Eliza Rothchild. Pete is the property master. Linus Quinn has been the top stagehand for the past ten years. Young Ralph Biden is part of the cleaning crew. Marcina is a top screen producer.

Maylou Jorgensen is a freaked-out bookie. Squeakie is her dog. The Blue Squirrel is a dive where Mavis used to sing and where Dallas still holds meets. Wild Rabbit is an illegal drug. Anja Carvell, an actress years ago whom Stiles had loved, had a horrible encounter with Draco. One of Roarke’s big projects, the Olympus Resort, has been a year in the works.

The Cover and Title

The cover is DARK. The background is black with a night-lit central graphic of the bright lights of New York and a yellow police barricade warning people to not cross. At the very top is the author’s name in an embossed silver with an info blurb in white immediately below it. A testimonial, in white, is set between the legs of the barricade with the barely visible title in an embossed burgundy title with some coral highlighting below it.

The title refers to Eve, for she is a Witness in Death.

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