Top critical review
on April 22, 2003
"Portrait In Death" is the first J.D. Robb novel I have read. It wasn't until I finished the book that I found there is a long series of "...In Death" books. There doesn't seem to be any significance, however, to my having started out at the end of the list.
There is a decent amount of suspense in this book and it kept my interest to the end. This story takes place over 50 years from now. The year is 2059 and Robb appropriately incorporates innovations we will probably have in our lives 50 years hence.
There are many appliances in this story that respond to voice command, computers that talk in pleasant conversational voices, droids to act as servants, and other futuristic concepts. If you have already read some of this series this won't be news to you but it was new to me and I liked it.
As you can imagine, many futuristic computerized devices are used in helping to solve this murder mystery. Seeing advanced versions of equipment we already have, and that works, is interesting. Not once did anyone have to re-boot a computer.
Robb takes a "side trip" from the mystery and while it does serve to fill in some history related to the characters, I didn't especially like being taken away from the main story. The side trip was like a story within a story. Roarke, for example, had a personal event to deal with which was really its own story.
Like many mysteries, this one was good to read while exercising on the treadmill.