Book Review – Faithless in Death by J. D. Robb – Super series continues
My Rating – 4 out of 5
Plot Summary – Faithless in Death
Those not in the know, bestselling author Nora Roberts writes the ‘Death’ series under the pseudonym of J.D. Robb, starring NYSPD Detective Eve Dallas. This happens to be the 52nd book of the series – Faithless in Death and surprisingly my first reading the series! These books are set a little bit in the future, around 2060 rather than in 2021 but make no mistake, there is no aspect of futuristic sci-fi in this except in some communication devices and food and beverage dispensers!! But anyway, this is not about any of that – it is about a mysterious murder of a sculptor/artist and the investigation into it.
Detective Eve Dallas is called in to investigate the murder of Ariel Byrd, a West village sculptor, who is found with her head bashed in in her studio by one of her customers Gwendolyn Huffman. But Gwen has taken her own time in reporting the crime, waiting for over an hour and calling her lawyer fiance before the police arrived to take her statement. That alone makes Eve doubtful of Gwen’s role in the incident, and on further investigation, Eve comes across reasons which make Gwen a suspect and she starts picking away at her story to arrive at the truth.
Gwen and her fiance, have their own issues to address. Gwen comes from a family of doctors who are part of a secretive but powerful cult, who are, not surprisingly – Misogynistic, racist, patriarchal, bigoted and all the other negative things that make up such unacceptable cults. Rev. Stanton Wilkey and Dr. Huffman, who are the founding members of this powerful cult, have all the reason to keep the secrets hidden and any threat to its exposure, properly contained.
The cult, Natural Order, has its own farms to provide food, segregation policies to keep Asians, mixed race, people of color and Caucasians separate along with activities befitting their so-called social status. They even have an island nation to their name! It is downright scary how much control charismatic leaders can have over misguided folks, and where normal talking doesn’t get the job done, there is always recourse to intimidation, kidnapping, blackmailing and other methods of extortion to get the desired job done.
Yes, it does sound like a little fantastical, but it is all very well weaved in to the story of pure police investigation and subsequent action. It is about finding out and taking down an organization which is not only mammoth in size but it is so well entrenched, that will put a well oiled corporate to shame! It takes a well oiled investigation and a coordinated team of Officer Delia Peabody and Eve Dallas to unravel the intricate devilish designs of the bad guys.
Conclusion of Book Review – Faithless in Death
there is nothing great about this book, though it’s competently written, but it feels contrived in as much as the story line is pretty ordinary and it’s been dragged just to fill pages. Around the last 30% of the book is dominated by step by step processes of how the Police plan and execute, which in the hands of some other authors, could have been covered in less than half the pages.
To sum it up, it is a simple story, fleshed out to be way beyond logical limits and could have been written in about 100 pages less. That is not to say that it is bad or unreadable (quite the contrary in fact), but there’s no element of surprise, just how one would prove the inevitable and for a large part of the time, it did seem to me that the author had set out to fulfill an obligation to churn out a book out of a rather thin outline of a story. Easy read but it’s not going to ring the cashier’s till continuously!