J. D. Robb
Published: Berkley 2000
Source: own book
It is 2059, and New York City homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas's husband, Roarke, is producing a revival of Agatha Christie's thriller Witness for the Prosecution. On opening night, when the villainous character Leonard Vole gets his just deserts, someone substitutes a kitchen knife for the prop knife, and the actor, Richard Draco, is stabbed through the heart. Trouble is, in time-tested British mystery fashion, everyone in the cast had good reason to despise Richard, a misogynist who seduced and discarded beautiful young women, including one whom he knew to be his daughter.
It's up to Eve to solve the case, an emotionally difficult task as she is no stranger to incest herself: she was beaten and raped by her father before she managed to escape him. As Eve fights to keep her head above water, she tries to bond at a deeper level with Roarke, so that her future will heal the pain of her past.
Witness in Death is #10 in the In Death series. I am very pleased to make it so far, as now I am into the 2000 publications, I felt so far behind while reading the nineties books!
As usual I enjoyed this story, it didn't feel as gory as some of the past murders, it was more about the motives and psychology of the 'players'. As usual I never picked the murderer, although I kept thinking it must be obvious! However I am not a good murder solver, so just as well I am not a detective! To be fair there was a small surprise towards the end that I didn't see coming, and that quite changed the stakes.
As always, in each book relationships develop a little further. This murder is difficult for Eve as it brings her relationship with her father into focus, and also her pain at the absence of a mother. Roake is ever there to watch over her and be there for her. I had a short discussion with another blogger on twitter that made me take another look at their relationship. It hasn't changed my view but it gave me something more to look at in their relationship. They certainly both have their faults and each has a past that impinges, but I have no doubt of their love. I am certain they will grow as time goes by.... in book terms!
Peabody and her two relationships add further grist to the mill and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Peabody is now at the stage where she gives some cheek to Eve uninvited, which adds some humour. I am wondering about the young constable Trueheart who was injured in a take down scene - will he take on the innocent subordinate role that Peabody once was?
I liked the ending especially, which showed that Eve has a very compassionate side to her - not that I doubted that, but this time she was especially so.