on January 14, 2003
I believe that this book was a worthy addition to the wonderful "In Death" series, by J. D. Robb. It can stand on its own, but I'd recommend reading it after reading the ones previously published (starting with "Naked in death"). In that way, you'll know quite a lot more about the series, and your enjoyment will be even greater.
In "Purity in Death" (number 15th in the series)our heroine, Lieutenant Eve Dallas has to find the solution for a new case in which a deadly computer virus is unleashed on child abusers. Yes, the world is better without them... But is it up to vigilants to decide that and kill them?. And what about those inocents that get killed as some kind of "collateral damage"? .
Now, Eve, her husband Roarke,her aide Peabody, and Captain Feeny must discover the origins of the virus, and capture those who created it.
After killing its target, the virus puts on the screen a phrase: "Absolute purity achieved". Is absolute purity the aim of this group? And if so, what standars define it? Their own? Here appears the problems of justice, but also the problem of whether those who are the worst kind of criminals deserve some kind of protection.
Here again Eve, an Homicide detective, seeks to "stand for the dead" and achieve justice. In this very good book, she does just that... Recommended to all of those who like a good plot, mixed with spicy romance!!!
on April 19, 2003
This is the 15th novel in the Nora Roberts (writing as J. D. Robb) suspense/mystery/crime thriller series about a NYC Homicide Lieutenant, Eve Dallas. Supporting our leading lady is a cast of characters we have come to enjoy, including her billionaire husband, Roarke; her aide, (Ms.) Peabody; a young policeman named Trueheart (honest!); and electronic/computer cop specialists McNab and Feeney. A contemporary premise, that a PC virus could cause a human brain virus, starts things off in a hurry with Trueheart killing a civilian who seemingly has gore berserk and murdered one of his neighbors while raving and ranting about how his head hurts. Eve Dallas takes this call, and soon other deaths in like fashion occur, including one in which a fellow cop is killed from working on an infected PC. Autopsies reveal significant brain swelling from unknown causes. A screen message "Absolute Purity has Been Achieved" leads to the supposition that a vigilante group is behind the killings, as at first their targets are dope dealers and pedophiles, etc. The story follows police efforts to identify and catch the criminals -- but along the way we get doses of differing philosophy about the group and its cause; emotional scenes surrounding the death of the policeman and McNab's disability; glimpses into the politics of modern police departments, and as much suspense as we can handle til the real culprits surface after several mis-directions near the end.
As always, the scene is set ahead in time 50 years, so that video cellphones, personal air vehicles and a few other sci-fi touches enliven the stories without dominating the basic police procedurals. Still, Robb's writing seems at the top her form in this story; we wept several times during various sad and gripping scenes surrounding the deaths and funerals involved with the innocent. We feel this one of the most exceptional stories we have read in several months and have decided to put in on our ten-best in our lifetime list. That says an awful lot for someone who reads a couple of thousand books each decade.
Get it; read it; weep, smile, and enjoy immensely !!
on October 2, 2002
In this particular book, I found some plot elements that were satisfying, if predictable, and a few characters that seemed real, such as McNab, but others that were mainly taking up space. Once you get past the concept of a mysterious and never satisfactorily explained Svengali effect coming from a computer screen into an individual's mind on a selective basis, the story line makes sense, sort of. I have long admired Nora Roberts work in general, one of the better authors in her particular genre, romance/thrillers. I don't believe dalliance with science fiction angles is necessarily her forte, however, unless one is to suspend disbelief of all known laws of electrical energy conversion, E=MC2, and accept the untrodden ground of psychic phenomena as a material concept. But after all, it is fiction. Mainly, I liked the strong persona of the female protagonist who acts like a tough guy while working with tough cops, takes no guff, would make a gung-ho Marine, but I wished she had shown a bit more of her softer, feminine side now and then, such as in the unnececessary and rudimentary sex scenes with her too-perfect husband. The abruptness of them gave a jarring note to the continuity, sort of like they were thrown in to pander to titillation for commercialism. Of course as a man, I took an immediate dislike to her Irish husband, not because he is a foreigner, but due to being too rich, too handsome, too smart and too controlled. It was never mentioned if he had a green card, either. That aside, I found enough suspense and plot jigs to keep me interested through to the end. Perhaps if I'd read all the previous books in the series I would have cared more for some of the walk-on characters like Mavis, whoever she is supposed to be, but it is still a good read that doesn't force you to extend yourself by trying to figure things out. Entertainment, that's what it is.
on August 27, 2002
Once again we return to the lives of Lt. Eve Dallas and her sexy husband Roarke. And once again we are treated to a great story chalk full of suspense. J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) scores with this one, which deals with a group of terrorists sending an electronic virus to known pedophiles, drug dealers and other unsavory elements. Of course, Dallas lands the case and it becomes a race against time to catch the bad guys before they kill again. The novel also brings up an interesting point: do such morally corrupt people deserve to be killed by a group of vigilantes because they have committed such horrible crimes? It is a tough subject, one that is dealt with in Purity.
The story wouldn't be complete without a host of other interesting characters that Roarke and Eve have picked up along the way, including the infallible Peabody, the tenacious Nadine Furst and my favorite, the e-cop McNab, as well as a whirlwind appearance by Mavis.
Now, just as an aside, in the past few novels there has been lots of talk about babies. Could this possible be foreshadowing? I certainly hope so because I think it would be a lot of fun to see Eve and Roarke try to handle parenthood. But we'll have to wait at least 6 months to find out. Portrait in Death, the next in the series, isn't to be released until March 2003. If you haven't read the series, it's definitely worth it!
on November 27, 2002
J.D. Robb incorporates the threat of terrorism, this time through a computer virus designed to spread from machine to man, into the latest installment of her Eve Dallas series. People are dying, and it takes awhile for the detectives, with the inevitable help of Roarke, Eve's husband, to figure out what is causing it and who is behind the plot. Without giving the plot away, those close to Dallas are in danger, and are injured, compelling her to work at an exhausting pace to resolve the mystery and put "criminals in high places" behind bars.
Dallas is true to form both in action, and in squirming over the politics of being on the police force and being married to Roarke. All the colorful supporting characters are back, although there is rather less of the butler, Summerset, than I would prefer. His love-hate relationship with Dallas is always colorful.
Something about this installment dragged for me, although I couldn't put my finger on it, and I kept putting the book down and picking it up again...as a result, it took me longer to read than usual. Don't think that I'm tired of the series, I just believe that it wasn't quite up to Robb's usual standards.
I'm still looking forward to the next "In Death" book in March!
on August 28, 2002
Lt. Eve Dallas is back in another action packed who dun it. Citizens of New York are under assault from a group who calls themselves The Purity Seekers. Granted the only ones targeted are the bad guys; drug dealers, pedophiles, and flesh procurers. The method of assault is a computer virus that can be transmitted through the computer into the human brain. Eve, along with the yummy Roarke and a few other recurring cast members, sets out to solve the crime before any innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire. As if that werenï¿½t enough on Eveï¿½s plate, she gets lessons in the much dreaded game of politics and public relations.
With Ms. Robbï¿½s usual flair, she presents a story full of ...-kicking action and a pretty nifty plot line. Dialogue is at times witty and others heart wrenching. We see the return of several delightful characters that have been missing for the past few books. Namely Jamie, Baxter, Webster, Trueheart, and Mavis (who makes a brief but important appearance).
Purity in Death ranks fairly low on the gore scale ï¿½ its no worse than any other thriller or mystery. Foul language is medium on the sailor scale ï¿½ about like NYPD Blue. ï¿½Adult Content and Nudity/Sex Scenesï¿½ - well, it is pretty steamy and if this offends you just skip the pages. They donï¿½t happen that often. J As far as how this book ranks along with the rest of the seriesï¿½ Itï¿½s okay. There have been others in the series with more excitement. I would think of this one as a ï¿½secondaryï¿½ character book; meaning that Ms. Robb seems to be focusing more on the development of secondary characters than with Eve and Roarke. It was a very enjoyable read.
on October 5, 2002
On a panel at a science fiction convention, i once heard an author explain that you are permitted to introduce one piece of the miracle element "Bolonium" (which can do or be anything the author wants) into your story, but after that you can't do anything else contrary to fact in your storytelling.
Robb gets away with two chunks, but, since one is the underlying pseudo-science-fiction setting in the year 2059 introduced at the very beginning of the series, i'll give her a bye on that one.
My wife and i are both involved professionally with computers, and she told me that she was afraid i wasn't going to like this book because it involved a computer virus that could attack human brains. I explained the Bolonium Hypothesis to her; and, as i expected (based on previous Dallas/Roarke mysteries), while i didn't believe for a moment that such a thing could happen, if i accepted that it could, i was in for a pretty good romance/police procedural novel as Dallas and company mobilised to catch the Bad Guys.
Said Bad Guys are a group of vigilante-types who are out to bring their own brand of "justice" to child-predators who cannot be touched by the law; as is often the case in plots of this type, the initial public reaction to their actions and manifestos is guardedly favourable -- after all, they're only attacking nasty child-molestors.
But Dallas and her people are aware that people who deal extra-legal "justice" to one class of offendor are likely to expand their attentiosn to others. And not everyone agrees as to just who ought to die for his "crimes". A child-molestor? Quite possibly. A dealer in nasty drugs? Maybe. A jay-walker. perhaps?
As usual, Robb delivers the goods, specially in the secondary characters with which this series is so rich. Peabody and McNabb have particularly strong (and uncharacteristic, but completely in-character) roles to play, and Mavis has a Startling Announcement.
While you can start the series with this volume (or any other), i really think you'll have more fun if you start with the first and read them in order.
on September 15, 2002
A computer virus from hell is infecting more than machines in New York City circa 2059. Launched by a self-righteous terrorist organization (aren't they all?), this baby seeps into the brains of its victims, causing paranoia, extreme violence, unbearable pain, and unspeakable death. The victims are not stellar human beings--most are drug dealers and/or child molesters--but in the throes of the virus, each has murdered an innocent victim, including a cop. Besides, thinks Eve Dallas, who is primary on the case, vigilante justice is never warranted.
The story of the terrorist organization, Absolute Purity, and Eve's desperate fight to bring it down, is one of the best JD Robb/Nora Roberts has written in this series. It's fast, it's furious, it's interesting, and not entirely predictable. The deep introspection that has so plagued the last few books in the series is gone, as is the endless back-and-forth battle Eve wages to accept that she is loved. MacNab and Peabody are back, and their relationship has, just in the nick of time (for the reader, anyway), deepened. Roarke is his usual inhumanly gorgeous and brilliant self, Feeney is aboard with his omnipresent bag of candied almonds, and Eve's "rad" friend Mavis has a surprise that far surpasses her purple hair.
All in all, this is one fun read. Unlike the last few in the series, it left me wanting more, and I'm looking forward to the next In-Death release.
on September 10, 2002
I was hooked after the first book in this series. I didn't give this one my usual 5 stars because I have to admit that some aspects of the story-telling are getting a little repetitive. Certainly one can't love this series and not love the characters. They are always a strength of this writer and she is continues to be true to them. While we get to enjoy their growth and the changes that make them come alive and believable to us as readers, I have to admit that I'm getting a little tired of Eve's overly familar idiosyncracies. When I start to skip over paragraphs because I've read the same thing in all the previous books, it might be time for the writer to figure out how to freshen up this series a bit. While I do realize that each book must also be written for people who have never read any of the others, I think the criticism of Ms. Roberts proliferation abilities might be starting to ring true. The Janet Evanovich series with Stephanie Plum come out once a year, and I think they just keep getting better. ARE YOU LISTENING NORA? You're talent is too great, and your readers too loyal, to settle for less than your best.
on August 27, 2002
What we often overlook when we review a Nora Roberts/J. D. Robb novel is the author's extraordinary wit and sense of humor. Her comedic timing and spacing of these oratory gems are impeccable and enjoyable. The repartee between Eve Dallas and her aide, Officer Peabody, often makes you laugh out loud. And then there is that dry humor between Eve and Roark that seems so much a natural part of their relationship that, from the very opening lines of any of her "In Death" novels, you're held in a state of suspended animation waiting until the very first scene between the couple unfolds. That is, of course, until Ms. Robb takes Eve and Roark on one of their erotic journeys. Nothing to laugh about there; just enjoy the ride. (You may want to read or reread her "Midnight Bayou" novel for some excellent examples of her comedic talents.)
I'm sure that we can all pick out special scenes and situations in Ms. Robb's novels that are memorable, but in "Purity" the most hilarious (in my view) involved Mavis' announcement to Eve that she's pregnant. Poor Eve (and it's hard to think of Eve as being poor in any sense) has no clue what to do with her emotions even as she tried with difficulty to tell Roark and Dr. Mira about Mavis. We will all likely be in stitches when the stork finally visits Eve and Roark. Though I thoroughly enjoy Robb/Roberts as a seriously "mag" literary talent, that "In Death" episode when Eve finally becomes pregnate will fly off every global best seller list. Let's hope that it comes soon.