10. “Origin in death” by Nora Roberts (writing as J.D. Robb)

Publisher: Penguin, 2005
Page count: 347 pages

“Origin in death” is the twenty-second book in the crime/romance series about Lt. Eve Dallas. In this instalment, Eve and her trusty aide, Detective Peabody, investigate the death of a famous surgeon and philantropist, Dr. Wilfred Icove. When his son is later found killed in the same manner, Eve begins to suspect that there is more to this family than their perfect facade would suggest… Meanwhile, on the home front, Rourke is more nervous than we have ever seen him before, as he has invited dozens of Irish relatives over to New York for Thanksgiving.

The “in death”-series is a guilty secret of mine: they are predictable, formulaic, fluffy books with little to no substance… And yet I absolutely love them! Despite their predictability, or perhaps because of it, I find them strangely satisfying to read and far more addictive than the recycled plots would seem to suggest. Thus, I think of them as the litterary equivalent of comfort food, and indeed I find myself reaching for a new instalment every time I require some mental downtime in much the same way you might eat ice cream in front of your favourite chic flick.

That said, formulaic books seldom make for interesting reviews, and hence I don’t usually bother with writing them up. However, I wanted to make an exception for “Origin in death” because it has a genuinely decent storyline. Moreover, the author uses its futuristic setting (2059 A.D) to explore the ethical dilemmas of human cloning, thereby giving the book far more substance than usual. As a result, there is somewhat less emphasis on the relationship between Eve and Roarke than usual; however, I can reassure faithful readers of the series that the kick-ass finale more than makes up for this potential shortcoming. Overall, therefore, “Origin in death” is one of my absolute favourites so far in the “in death”-series.


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