Corrine's Reviews > Naked in Death

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
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's review
Mar 01, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: futuristic, mystery-with-sre
Recommended for: fans of mystery with strong romantic elements
Read in April, 2009

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Normally Nora Roberts (J.D. Robb) tends to take her strong heroines one step too far for me, but Eve Dallas was a nice mix of vulnerability and strength. And even though this was more mystery than romance, I was still enthralled in the storyline and the world-building of this alternate future.

NYC and the world in this future are quite jarring: prostitution is legal, but guns are not; real food is so rare as to be thought a luxury; space is being colonized. But a few things remain the same: politics, class division, bureaucracy, and humanity's unfortunate tendency towards murder. Lt. Eve Dallas works for the New York Police and Security Dept. and has to see murder on a day-to-day basis. But when a senator's granddaughter who just happens to be a licensed companion is killed - by a gun, of all things - the case begins to become a personal mission for Eve. Even if it means investigating the very handsome, charistmatic, mysterious Roarke. Eve has a gut instinct that he's innocent, but she can't afford to let her personal feelings affect her work. When Roarke is cleared and unwilling to back off from their attraction, Eve puts her career and her case on the line. But the killer has made it personal for her, and Eve is determined to find justice.

The mystery of this was really good. Had I not peeked at the end (one of my many quirks about books, I have to know that ILY was said, so I accidentally saw the killer, too) I think I would have been shocked. The plotting of this book was much tighter than NR's previous romantic suspense books, and you can tell this time she did her homework about crime and criminal profiling. THat's of the things that has bothered me with past works, the perpetrator didn't seem to psychologically fit with the profile of someone who would commit those types of crimes (Carnal Innocence is a good example; I was shocked by who the killer was, but it didn't fit for me, so I was slightly unsatisfied by the resolution).

The romance is good... I wouldn't go so far as to say it was excellent. Because the mystery is the main element of the book, the chemistry betweeen Roarke and Eve is a little forced at first and not very resolved at the end. But I will most likely read the next one in the series just to continue with this relationship.

The only element that really bugged me about this book is Eve's behavior regarding sex, with regards to her past. Typically, unless a victim of repeated sexual assault by a family member has been psychologically treated, they tend to use sex as a way to validate themselves. The way I understood it, since the past creeps up on Eve so frequently and she refuses to talk about it, she hasn't received any treatment for this trauma. So her casual attitude, distinterest and disregard for sex don't seem consistent with her past. Also, usually victims of any type of sexual assault don't like to be confined, pinned down or lose use of their limbs. Roarke frequently holds her still and twice pins her down in bed. Though she reacts a little each time, nothing like what one would expect if she held real distaste of it. But, luckily, this all occurs pretty early in the book and by the end these inconsistencies seem to fall away.
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04/01/2009 page 0
04/03/2009 page 181
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Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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Dina I absolutely LOVE this series and have read every single book released so far, except the last two - I´m waiting for the paperback release because I refuse to buy hardcovers, no matter how much I love an author/series.

Are you going to read the next books in the series? It gets better, I promise you. :)

Corrine I'm definitly going to read the next one. I normally hate series that have the same couple, but I just have to read it!

Dina I´m with you, I usually hate series featuring the same couple, but the In Death series is the true exception! I loved this series from the start, but it was the 3rd book (Immortal in Death) that really hooked me.

As it happens with series, not all the books in the In Death series are "to-die-for", but even the "bad" ones are above average (IMHO). Some are more relationship-driven, others are more mystery-driven. As I love mystery novels, this doesn´t bother me and I like them all, but many readers don´t care much for the mysteries.

BTW, this is one series that needs to be read in order to better enjoy the development in Roarke/Eve´s relationship. They really change - Eve more than Roarke - as the series progresses.

Corrine Good to know, Dina. I see a lot more of these books in my future. (Sigh. I don't think my TBR is ever getting under 100 again)

message 5: by Dina (last edited Aug 13, 2009 03:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina LOL! So far, there are about 30 books in the series - and I´m not counting the novellas! Word of advice: don´t read them in a row or you´ll get burned out.

Julie (jjmachshev) MWAH HAH HAH! Now you're hooked like me too. And I second Dina's last comment. If you read them one after the other, they'll lose some of their impact. If you space them out a bit though, it's like reading nirvana.

Corrine LOL. Okay, I'll keep that in mind. I usually try to read books by alternating genre and in the order that I've received them. So if I class this as a genre all it's own, then I'll read one every seven books or so. I'm such a nerd.

message 8: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee Did you say a TBR under 100?? ROTFLMAO!:)

message 9: by Eastofoz (last edited Apr 04, 2009 02:31PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eastofoz Corrine once you join GR the days of the under-100 TBR are loooong gone! I remember when I thought having 5 books was a lot (hahahahahhahahahahaha!!!!)

Auntee I laughed my head off with you comment (lol!) =)

message 10: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee I remember those days too, East....what happened to those days where everything fit very nicely on the book shelves...?

Stamatia You mean the distant past? Like 15 years ago?

Eastofoz Aah Auntee, they are long gone (lol!)

At the very least Stamatia (lol!)

message 13: by Auntee (new) - added it

Auntee ;D

Tammy Excellent review Corrine! I haven't started this series yet - I've been wavering - but I'm a little more than intrigued since I've heard the hero compared to Jeaniene Frost's hero (Bones) over and over again.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Yeah I think it's been about 12 years or so since I had a tbr pile under a hundred. Around the time I got out of school and had disposable income.

This one is coming up soon in the tbr pile. I appreciated your excellent analysis, Corrine. You are a good writer. Do you do any creative writing by any chance?

message 16: by Dina (last edited Aug 13, 2009 02:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina I've read and love ALL the books in the 'In Death' series, Tammy. Speaking for myself, not once I thought of Roarke (the hero in this series) when I read the 'Night Huntress' series. In my opinion, the only thing Roarke and Bones have in common is the fact that they're both British (Roarke's Irish, I don't remember what Bones is).

Eastofoz I didn't even remember that Roarke was Irish Dina (lol!) For me it was that aura of mystery that they both had and how they really loved the heroine who could be difficult but they had no qualms just biding their time until she came around.

message 18: by Dina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dina You have a point there, East, there are more similarities than I thought. The thing is, I'm so "familiar" with Roarke by now - remember, I read (and reread) ALL the 28 books, the Remember When combo AND the 5 short stories in the 'In Death' series - that Roarke is unique in my mind. Marry me, Roarke! (LOL)

Eastofoz LOL Dina!!! I've only read book 1 in the series so I've only got so much of him. I'm itching to read book 2 next which I might just pick up after the Megan Hart book I'm reading.

message 20: by Corrine (last edited Aug 13, 2009 04:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Corrine Danielle wrote: "Do you do any creative writing by any chance?"

LOL, as a matter of fact, I am an aspiring romance novelist! I've basically been writing the same book for the last six years. It started out as a contemporary romantic suspense, then it turned into an American historical, and now it's an American historical with paranormal tones and book one of a five-book series. I think I've written and re-written it close to five times. I just completely scrapped it and started from scratch again earlier this year, so it's a very rough work in progress.

I have been playing with the idea of writing some hotter novellas and seeing if one of the ebook presses would be interested in them (I'm leaning towards mostly straight contemporary for those).

Tammy Corrine wrote: "Danielle wrote: "Do you do any creative writing by any chance?"

LOL, as a matter of fact, I am an aspiring romance novelist! I've basically been writing the same book for the last six years. It ..."

Very cool! Are you a member of RWA yet? I've been eyeballing their Golden Heart contest for non-published members. =)

Corrine Yes, I've been a member for almost three years. I've been interested in their Golden Heart contest as well, until I realized how few of the winners actually get published. And if they do get published, it usually still takes them years!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Corrine I think you definitely should go for one of the smaller epresses. That's what my goal is. It will get your foot in the door. Plus there is more creative freedom. I always wanted to write for Harlequin/Silhouette, but now I'm really happy that I can go with an smaller press and write what I want to write and not worry about it not being acceptable for a certain line.

I love to write, should probably do it more, but it's a fever in my blood. Even writing reviews is a compulsion. LOL.

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