My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I like to research what works and what doesn't in publishing so when I saw this on the B&N bargain table I grabbed it. I'd seen the name JD Robb but had no clue she was actually Nora Roberts. I don't think I would ever read Roberts even for research since she writes for a market I have no interest in. However her writing as Robb is interesting to me. She has created a believable near-future world and populated it with interesting characters coping with interesting problems. Not hard SF in any way, her stories are more character driven than tech and that's fine by me. That's the way I tend to write.
I knew when I started reading that I was jumping into the middle of a series but that didn't bother me; most authors will drop enough hints and tidbits of back story to let you catch up. I assumed the same for Robb but was disappointed - while she did refer to previous events she did so assuming everyone would know the story. I didn't so I was lost. Big problem.
I also found her attributions confusing at times. I read along assuming I knew who was talking only to discover several sentences later I was wrong. I had to go back then and re-read the dialog so it would make sense. Not something you want or need when immersed in a story.
The story itself was well told, the plot believable, the characters engaging. Perhaps someday I will go back and read the previous books and pick up what I missed.
If you like soft SF thrillers I recommend Delusion in Death.
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