I’m a reader first and foremost. I love books; I’ve loved books since I was a toddler and would bring my grandpa a stack of my “favorites” to read eveI’m a reader first and foremost. I love books; I’ve loved books since I was a toddler and would bring my grandpa a stack of my “favorites” to read every night before bed. According to my mother, my grandpa would try and skip pages or hide a couple books under the couch cushion, but I would always catch him and demand (I’m sure in a very cute way) that he read every page in every book I brought.
My love for stories has grown with me. I read every Trixie Belden and every Nancy Drew, and as I migrated to “grown-up” books, I loved to find a series to glom onto. While a good standalone is always fun, finding a new world to immerse myself in where I can return from time to time is always a special treat.
Sometimes, I find a series and read a bunch and lose interest. Other times, I find a series and can’t wait until the next book comes out. I might tell myself, “Okay, that book was fabulous—she (or he) can’t possibly do it again.” And then the author writes another great book. And another. And another.
Such is the In Death series by J. D. Robb. I keep expecting—after nearly 50 books—that there’s going to be a gradual decline. How can anyone, even a serious, professional author, keep writing stories with punch to keep me turning pages—to make me want to read every single page? It’s like I’m waiting for a dud … and while there have been a couple that I didn’t like as well as others, there has been no dud. No crash and burn. No steady decline. And mostly? I get a book like Dark in Death, which goes near the top of my favorites in the series.
I always seem to have both a sense of pride and envy when I read great authors. Pride—because as an author, I love being part of a community that contI always seem to have both a sense of pride and envy when I read great authors. Pride—because as an author, I love being part of a community that contributes to great storytelling; and envy—because when a great storyteller proves their chops time and time again, I can’t help but feel a teensy, tiny bit jealous that they are so damn talented.
Not that this jealousy would ever stop me from buying a good book.
For me, the single most important factor in any story (other than competent writing) is character. I want characters I love, characters I hate, characters I can feel with—joy, pain, sorrow. When a writer can put me in her creation’s shoes, it’s a win-win—for a few hours, I can live vicariously through anyone. An FBI agent. A reporter. A doctor. A grieving widow. I can be someone else because the author transports me to another world—whether it is our world, the past, the future, or a fantasy.
Nora Roberts is one of the few authors who can do this every time she puts pen to paper. I am willing to walk the road because I’ve read enough of her books in the past to know that she can spin a good tale with characters I feel like I know.
Some In Death books are thrillers with a race-against-time ride to the finish. Other In Death books are chilling suspense novels where the tension driSome In Death books are thrillers with a race-against-time ride to the finish. Other In Death books are chilling suspense novels where the tension drips from each fast-turning page. And many In Death books are like Secrets In Death: a well-crafted police procedural that has you walking step-by-step with our heroine Eve Dallas as she solves a violent crime and proves, yet again, that she deserves her badge.
After 45 books, there’s a maturity to this series that makes it shine above most other long-running mystery series. Every book is as smooth as good whiskey, well-crafted, intriguing, and downright fun. Secrets is no exception.
43 books in and the series is still one of my all-time favorites. APPRENTICE IN DEATH is a stellar example of a series that has had very few duds and43 books in and the series is still one of my all-time favorites. APPRENTICE IN DEATH is a stellar example of a series that has had very few duds and many, many winners. This goes into my top 5 in the series. (SURVIVOR, OBSESSION and NEW YORK TO DALLAS are the three that come to mind as my favorites, though there are a few more ...) ...more
I loved this book so much when I read it as an ARC, I gave it a blurb: "Unputdownable, a gripping story that begs to be read in one sitting."
Writing bI loved this book so much when I read it as an ARC, I gave it a blurb: "Unputdownable, a gripping story that begs to be read in one sitting."
Writing blurbs is actually hard, because you want to tell potential readers everything about the book, but you only have a few words. "Unputdownable" fits this book better than anything. I started it and when I was forced to put it down, I couldn't stop thinking about it--I had to know what happened. That's a sign of a great story.
I've read most of J.T. Ellison's Taylor Jackson and Samantha Owens series (one a cop, one an M.E.) and I really enjoy those. But there was something about reading a stand alone, a book that is not and can not be part of a series, that is particularly attractive to me as a reader. This book delivers in all the best ways....more