Naked in Death


This is the first book of the In Death series written by Nora Roberts using the pseudonym J.D. Robb.

The story is set sometime in 2060. Eve Dallas is a lieutenant in the New York Police Department when she is called in to investigate a murder. The victim is a high class call girl who just happens to be the grand daughter of a senator who is trying to pass a bill against vice – a very sticky and embarassing situation for the senator. This victim turns out to be the first of many – yes, you guessed it, a serial killer is on the loose. Eve Dallas main suspect is a mysterious billionaire called Roarke whom she is crazily attracted to.

The rest of the book deals with how the relationship between Eve and Roarke develop and how she uncovers the murderer.

My Review

I find the serial killer motif to be overused in so many crime thrillers. While I do like to read about serial killers, I really do want a change of pace and have a quiet mystery to solve where you actually scratch your head and wonder whodunnit? You know – the old-fashioned style of detection in the mode of Agatha Christie and some others.

That said, this is a good novel and kept me interested about three-quarters of the way through. By this time, I had figured out not only the killer but also the twist in the tale 🙂 .

The romance between Eve and Roarke is hot and heavy – a little bit too much so for my taste, but some may enjoy it. I would have liked it a lot more if the author had taken a slower approach to the romance. This is the first of a long series so I definitely felt the rapid-fire approach to the romance a bit on the jarring side, and it has somewhat reduced my interest in the lead couple quite a bit.

The romance becomes even more jarring when you realize that both Eve and Roarke have quite a few issues caused by their troubled childhoods. They actually have to overcome these issues before they get together; but they manage to do that all within the space of a hectic murder investigation!

But these are simply my personal issues with the book. It may well appeal to other readers especially those who are fond of the Nora Roberts romances because the romance in this book does not veer too far off from her other books.

So, basically what I am saying is don’t let my rather lukewarm review stop you from reading this book. My waiting so long to write this review does not do enough justice to the book.

Naked is Death is not great stuff, but it’s a pretty good timepass thriller.

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  • I think this series is particularly egregious wrt serial killers. If I remember correctly the first few books (hmm actually make that until I stopped reading) all have serial killers or murders which snowball into more murders (serial, no?) which annoyed me so much. But, then I figured out that Roberts is primarily a romance writer, her other books I think of as mystery or horror lite. So, I like to categorise this series as primarily a romance too.

    That being said you can guess I loved Eve/Roarke here and their romance. Eve because she’s pretty much kick-ass and Roarke because he’s … Roarke. Having just one name seems so megalomaniacal dont you think…. gotta love him for that!

    If you continue reading, you’ll be surprised at the leaps and bounds the romance makes in the next one too. You are right, that it’s unbelievable, I found I didnt pay much attention to the aspect because I wanted them to come together. And Roberts deals with the childhood traumas in latter books, so over the rest of the books the relationship does develop and get believable. And, I think the strength of these books is in the on-going relationship, Roarke takes such good care of Eve …. I love the role-reversal and how great he is in the role!

    You are right, people who already enjoy Roberts’ romances will enjoy this book, if you dont already like the style/genre (romance) then I wouldnt recommend these. Certainly, any further books by Roberts’ all have atleast one character colored in Roarke’s and Eve’s shadows, so I would say that this series spoiled me for most of her future books too 😀

    • @couchpapaya: Not just J.D. Robb, these days practically every other crime novel these days features a serial killer. It is almost like this decade’s fad…somwhat like gang warfare, which was a popularly overused (thankfully now dead) theme in the 90s 🙂

      Very strange…because I think there are far less serial killers now.

  • Kals

    Never read any of Nora Roberts’ book though my friends always tell me I ought to. Will probably pick one of these some time 🙂

  • Not too much into this genre but might borrow it from the library. I have liked some of her books so might as well try this one 🙂

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