Wednesday, June 4, 2014

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: "Purity in Death" by JD Robb

Purity in Death (In Death, #15)
Purity in Death by JD Robb; Narrated by Susan Ericksen
For Ages 18+ (Language, Violence, Sensuality)
Romantic Suspense -- Futuristic Setting

Berkeley -- Published in 2002
Audiobook, 12 hours and 44 minutes
Read in May 2014
Purchased from Audible

Murder Mystery, Alpha Hero, Kick-Ass Heroine, Secondary Romance

Louie Cogburn had spent three days holed up in his apartment staring at his computer screen. His pounding headache was unbearable--it felt like spikes drilling into his brain.
And it was getting worse. Finally, when someone knocked at the door, Louie picked up a baseball bat, opened the door, and started swinging....

The first cop on the scene fired his stunner twice. Louie died instantly. Detective Eve Dallas has taken over the investigation but there's nothing to explain the man's sudden rage or death. The only clue is a bizarre message left on his computer screen: ABSOLUTE PURITY ACHIEVED.

And when a second man dies under near-identical circumstances, Eve starts racking her brain for answers and the courage to face the impossible ... that this might be a computer virus able to spread from machine to man.

"The heat was murder."

Purity in Death starts off in the Summer of 2059 with Louie Cogburn, a minor drug dealer, suffering from a vicious migraine that has forced him to huddle away in his apartment blaring loud music.  When his neighbor tries to get him to turn it down, Louie attacks him and is ultimately killed by a police officer's stunner.  This starts homicide detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas on a complex and violent case that forces her (and readers) to think about the power of technology and the purpose of justice in society.

I found this case (and book) to be one of the most thought-provoking and sometimes difficult to read ones in the series.  The possibility of a virus that can move from a computer to a person's brain is just terrifying to me.  The fact that a group of vigilantes known as the Purity Seekers are using that skill to act as judge, jury, and executioner on criminals is intriguing especially when paired with Eve's strong sense of justice.  The goal of "absolute purity" is admirable, but it is obvious that the method is just as evil as the drug dealers, pedophiles, etc. that are targeted by the killers.  The part that really got to me with this case was when innocent people were seemingly sacrificed in order to achieve purity.

Eve and her husband Roarke continue to grow as a couple which is one of my favorite parts of the series.  In this particular book, they have to deal with differences of opinions when it comes to the Purity Seekers goal though they both agree about disliking the method.  I thought this minor plot point really showed how well suited Roarke and Eve are together.  They love each other, but are comfortable enough to express their own opinions even if they know they don't match.  Eve is also forced to rely on Roarke's tech expertise and unregistered equipment in order to beat the Purity Seekers at their own game.  While I'm not always the biggest fan of Eve using this equipment to solve cases, it was easy to see how necessary it was for this particular job.

Quite a few of the side characters had much bigger roles in this book.  McNab and Peabody are forced to re-evaluate their relationship after an unfortunate accident and their scenes were some of my favorites.  JD Robb really understands her characters and knows how they would react in certain situations.  Feeney's role in Eve's life is also emphasized when he is placed in mortal danger.  This is one of the first times were Eve acknowledges how much he means to her and I thought that was an interesting addition to her personality.  Mavis makes a small, but memorable cameo which sets up something that will be huge for the overall series storyline.  I also enjoyed the return of Detective Baxter, Officer Truhart, and young tech prodigy Jamie Lingstrom from Ceremony in Death.

In conclusion, I found Purity in Death to be another successful installment in the In Death world.  It really forced me to think about the role technology places in our lives and how badly it can go if someone achieves a virus such as this one in the real world.  It also brings up the sticky topic of justice and whose job is it to really judge people.  There also was the minor theme of the power of media perception that I thought was interesting.  As always, Susan Ericksen shows why she is one of the best when it comes to audiobook narration...she really brings the story to life.  Moving on to Portrait in Death!


Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

"Justice doesn’t hide behind anonymity. It doesn’t operate without rules of conduct."

There are too many to show here, but I'm providing a link to the Goodreads listing and the listing from JD Robb's website.




  1. I've been really curious this In Death series. I really like Nora Roberts, but the whole future thing has always freaked me out a little. But I'm really curious about Roarke. Do you recommend the audio versions??

    1. I cannot recommend the audio versions of this series enough! It is the one that got me hooked on audiobooks. I was a bit hesitant about the futuristic murder mystery thing as well, but Nora Roberts is such a skilled writer that I became obsessed from the first book (Naked in Death). The books take place in 2059 so it isn't too far in the future that readers can't relate and it is cool to think about the small things that might change in 50 years. I know you really like character development and that is one of the best parts about this series. It is long (almost 40 books), but you get to know the characters so well and see how much they grow. I hope you give it a try sometime!


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