Naked in Death, by JD Robb

Eve Dallas, a cop, is called in to investigate a murder of a woman: at the crime scene is a note saying that this is "one of six", and the same message accompanies a video of the killing, which is subsequently delivered to Eve's apartment. The victim was a prostitute, or, to use the book's euphemism, a "professional companion" - for this story is set in the future, where such a career is legal, but guns have been outlawed. That makes the murder all the more unusual...

Fairly soon, a prime suspect is identified, and Eve hooks up with him. But he's very charming, and so much of the book concerns Eve's relationship with him, which rapidly becomes compromising, and her doubts about whether he might, possibly, be The Killer.

I'm not exactly sure what the point was of having this book set in the future - it's not as if the story would have been substantially different otherwise. It wasn't science fiction, and the social norms that made this world different from ours were fairly slight. In fact I can't think of anything interesting that came out of the "future" aspect at all: the main differences were that guns were outlawed (there was occasional mention of the "urban uprising of the early 21st"), and computers understood what you said to them.

In fact, it read more like a Jilly Cooper novel (or at least, what I imagine JC novel would be like, I've neve read one) than a sci-fi cyberpunk book - quite a lot of emphasis on romance and sex scenes and not a lot on the plot.

The crime aspect wasn't that great either - would it turn out to be the charming rogue, or someone else entirely? I didn't really care. Another one I completed because I thought the ending might be good enough to justify the effort, but it was a let-down.

Apparently there are more in the series ("Glory in Death", etc.. In fact - good grief - there are about 30 of them according to Wikipedia) but I'll not be reading any of them.

Completed : 17-Jun-2009 (audiobook)

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