J. D. Robb is back with the 58th installment of her long-running In Death series, Random in Death. For those of you who don’t know, Robb is the nom de plume that Nora Roberts uses to write futuristic mysteries. We are getting uncomfortably close to the time when a lot of bad stuff happens in her timeline, and I sometimes wonder just how prescient she has been. But that’s a discussion for another time and place.
If you are a longtime reader of the series, you will recognize the blueprint around which this installment was written. Is it the worst installment ever? No, but it’s not really all that memorable, either. I would describe it as a serviceable placeholder. It’s fine, we get to check in with favorite characters, witness a marital spat between Eve and Roarke, and the villain is not immediately obvious.
Since there is a LOT of available source material, I’m going to spend the rest of my review dream casting the potential TV show that exists only in my mind.
Lt. Eve Dallas – brilliant, determined, possibly on the spectrum, survivor of a particularly brutal childhood. I’m going off book a little with this one, Camilla Mendes.
Roarke – charming Irishman, former criminal, current billionaire and owner of the known universe. I think Aidan Turner would fill those shoes nicely. (Colin Farrell has gotten too old.)
Summerset – Roarke’s father figure and butler, Eve’s nemesis (and secret supporter), think Batman’s Alfred. I think Bill Nighy would be amazing if he can do an Irish accent.
Commander Whitney – Eve’s boss – after Brooklyn99, I always pictured Andre Braugher. Maybe Chi McBride? Or doing some gender swapping, Taraji P Henson or Sanaa Lathan. I mean, Angela Bassett would kill it, but she’s occupied with 911.
Capt. Feeney – Eve’s former partner and Mentor, current leader of the NYPSD Electronics Division. Perpetually rumpled, lover of classic Rock. Brendan Gleason comes immediately to mind.
Delia Peabody – kinda naive, grew up as a hippy, moved to the big city to be a cop. Eve’s trainee to start, and later partner. I think Maitreyi Ramakrishnan from Never Have I Ever would be fantastic.
McNabb – Feeney’s minion, Peabody’s crush. Totally adorkable and obsessed with fashion, with unexpected depth. I’m going with Barry Keoghan. In addition to being unexpectedly charismatic (see The Eternals) that dude can WEAR some clothes.
Mavis – Eve’s bff, former grifter, current popstar, a rainbow in human form. Lana Condor from All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Anyway, about the book: it’s fine for devotees of the series. Not a good entry point. 3/5 stars.