Friday, April 13, 2012

I Dipped My Toe in J. D. Robb's Pool

New York to Dallas, by J. D. Robb

I've only got about 4 different books going right now.  Well, actually that's not technically true.  I've been staggering my way through The Walking Dead graphic novels lately, in an effort to assuage my craving for the TV series, which is now between seasons.  And, as many of you are by now aware, I'm waiting for the sixth book in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire", which will hopefully be released before I die.  So waiting for a book in a series, and "reading" graphic novels maybe don't technically count.

So really, there are two books in my life right now.  One of them is "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" by Seth Graham-Greane.  More on that some other time.

The other is actually the subject of this post.  It was an impulsive fling that sort of happened on the spur of the moment.  I was looking for something new from one of my favorite current authors, and sort of "cover browsing."  Didn't find anything that jumped out at me except for one title: "New York to Dallas," by J. D. Robb.  I've never read any of Robb's work.  But being a native Texan, and having spent the first half of my life within an hour of Dallas, I was intrigued.  I made eye contact with it, and picked it up.  Holding the book in one hand, I lightly ran my fingertips across the cover, and read the blurb on the back.  Ah, a double meaning.  The main character is a female New York detective, Lieutenant Eve Dallas (okay, I like detective stories.  I like females, too).  And something tragic and awful happens that causes her to go "back to Dallas" (Oh, you wicked, flirty book!  I must have you!).  So I bought it, and told myself, "if you can't read the ones you love, read the one your with."

"New York to Dallas" was a very enjoyable read.  I don't always get too heavily invested in female protagonists, mainly because I usually like to really identify with my main characters and, well, it is what it is.  Eve Dallas is an exception (Clarice Starling is another).  She is a recurring heroine in Robb's books.  As I said, I haven't read any of J. D. Robb's other stories, but that didn't hinder me at all from quickly getting a feel for the characters and settings.
Robb's story takes place in mid-21st century New York and Dallas (don't let the dates fool you - this isn't a sci-fi fantasy - it's just set comfortably enough in the future to throw in some enhanced technologies without beating you over the head with them.  The plot really starts to unfold when Dallas finds out that a kidnapper/murderer/pedophile she apprehended as a rookie has escaped from prison, bent on revenge.  This revelation, subsequent investigation, and the escapee's taunting challenges to Lt. Dallas both steel her resolve to catch him again, and re-awaken awful nightmares from her own childhood.

Plot twists and new developments abound.  In a good way.  I'm not typically one to dish out spoilers, so I won't get into a synopsis.  I will say that I recommend "New York to Dallas" if you're a fan of mystery/thrillers, as I am, and I will also say that J. D. Robb is now definitely on my list of authors that will get my attention the next time I'm browsing.

Alan Andrews - Basso for Hire

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm thinking about starting to read mystery thriller, since I haven't really before, and I think I'm lacking in that genre. Nice to know this is a good author to try out. :)