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The 15th instalment doesn't disappoint!
on 1 September 2002
One sweltering New York July day in 2059, Louie Cogburn, suffering from a pounding headache, turns from his computer and answers a knock on his door with a baseball bat. After a frenzied attack on several people, he dies when the first cop on the scene hits him with a stun gun that should have only just knocked him out. Lieutenant Eve Dallas steps in as primary investigator to investigate this bizarre death and the cause of this unprovoked rage. Her only clue is a message left on Cogburn's computer - 'ABSOLUTE PURITY ACHIEVED'. The next day, another man dies, suffering from similar symptoms as Cogburn. The second victim is a policeman working gathering evidence from Cogburn's computer. It looks as though there is a computer virus on the loose, capable of passing from machine to humans, causing them to self-destruct. Dallas must solve this mystery soon as the city will be in a panic as more victims succumb to this new deadly virus. During the course of the investigation, Dallas begins to unearth a new vigilante group. It appears that most of the victims are drug pushers and pedophiles, but they have also taken the lives of several innocent bystanders as a result of the madness caused by the virus and Dallas must stop the perpetrators before absolute power corrupts absolutely and they begin to widen their criteria on who should be executed without trial and cause mob rule to spiral out of control. This is an emotive case for Dallas and her husband, the billionaire, Roarke, who both suffered from abuse as children. Dallas must stand for the dead and seek justice for their deaths (the dead choose her and not the other way around) but Roarke can't help but think that the world is a better place without such evil people, but innocents are also getting killed, so he throws in all the expertise and power that his money and influence can buy to help solve the case.
This is the fifteenth instalment of the 'In Death' series, but this novel still manages to be is as original as the previous fourteen. Many of the secondary characters from the series appear in this book, though some, only to pave the way for story lines for future books. This book could be read on its own, but like most series, it would be helpful to read the earlier novels. All the main characters are now well established and appear to have settled into a comfortable routine, but some events in the story upset the balance and make things a little more lively. All the elements of a J D Robb novel: murder, suspense, action, steamy romance and family drama are still evident, though it is darker in tone than some of the previous books and there is more focus on solving the crime. As the pressure mounts as the story unfolds, the pages keep on turning until the end with the crime solved, but leaving fans wanting the next book in the pipeline, Portrait In Death.