Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Purity in Death

Book 15 of the In Death series by J. D. Robb, is Purity in Death. The plot presents the arguments for and against the premise that evil exists and must be stopped by whatever means possible. An terrorist organization calling themselves The Purity Seekers is executing bad guys—drug dealers, pedophiles, all-around nasties. They use a “computer” virus to explode the bad guys’ brains. The plan is to drive the bad guys crazy with pain until they off themselves. Unfortunately, some innocents get taken out in the process. Eve and her team must figure out how the computer is being used to kill people and who is sending the virus.

Eve is put in the position of having to stand for the dead in a case where most everybody thinks it’s a good thing they are dead. She and Roarke disagree about it. This rocks Eve’s world. She has trouble getting her head around the idea that she and Roarke aren’t on the same page. Robb cleverly includes among the collateral damage a young cop, a teenage runaway, and McNab. (There were two other victims but they aren’t mentioned after their assault and murder—don’t know if Robb forgot about ‘em or what.)

There is quite a lot of politics in the book. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of New York, Chief Tibble, and Commander Whitney all have prominent roles in the story. We learn for the first time that Eve would have received a promotion to Captain by now, but for the fact that she doesn’t play the politics and she married Roarke who has a havey-cavey reputation among the higher ups. (I’m not exactly sure who the higher ups are, in this case, I mean she was talking to Whitney and Tibble—who else would be involved in her promotion. Last I heard promotions weren’t decided by committee but by your ranking officer.)

Notable moments in the book—Trueheart deals with his first use of force which results in the death of the perp. Eve arranges for Baxter to take on the training of Trueheart. Mavis announces her pregnancy. (I didn’t’ realize that it took so many books for her to actually deliver the baby.) McNab, dealing with his injury and paralysis, tells Peabody that he loves her. Jamie Lingstrom reappears and works on the team to solve the computer problems. (I can’t wait till he actually becomes a cop.)

All in all, Purity in Death delivers on the personal and professional front. The ending rocks because I always enjoy seeing the bad guy get their just desserts in a big embarrassing way. I give this one a four and one half stars.