Review: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

Posted December 15, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Naked in Death by J.D. RobbNaked in Death by J. D. Robb, Nora Roberts
Series: In Death #1
Also in this series: Creation in Death, Strangers in Death, Suite 606, Salvation in Death, Kindred In Death, Glory in Death, The Lost, Rapture in Death, Immortal in Death, New York to Dallas, Celebrity in Death, Brotherhood in Death, Fantasy in Death
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: July 1st 1995
Genres: Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

In a world of danger and deception, she walks the line--between seductive passion and scandalous murder...
Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she's seen it all--and knows her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire--and a suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about--except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.
Hooked on Eve Dallas? Pre-order your copy of the newest book, DEVOTED IN DEATH, coming in September. 


Lori recently reviewed this as part of Christine‘s In Death Challenge, and I couldn’t resist picking it up for another re-read.

I’ve talked about this before, but years ago a friend recommended this series to me. Even though she swore it was amazing and wonderful, I didn’t think it was something I’d enjoy and put off reading it. Eventually she wore me down, however, and I picked this book up. At first I was rather annoyed with it…Robb drops us into an unfamiliar world with no rhyme or reason and expects us to catch up.

It didn’t take long for it to grab me, however. I struggled through this book, but it stayed with me. By the first chapter of the second book, Glory in Death, I was completely hooked.

The year is 2057 and though the world has come a long way since the turn of the century, one thing hasn’t changed – murder. Lieutenant Eve Dallas is a murder cop, one of New York’s finest. She lives and breathes the job, until her latest case brings her up against Roarke, the ultra-wealthy and mysterious man who is now her number one suspect.

Eve is a very tough woman. She doesn’t remember much of her life before she was found at age 8 in an alley in Dallas, broken and bloody. She worked hard to overcome her past and now her job is everything to her. She sees things very much in black and white, though she’s still able to grasp the subtleties and nuances of murder..and what drives people to it.

Roarke is the least likely person for Eve to end up attracted to. Though there’s no proof of it – anywhere – it isn’t hard to believe he’s a shady guy. His attraction to Eve completely baffles him. He’s known many cops over the years and has no desire to connect with one, especially not on such a personal level.

The murder plot here is well done. As usual I figured out early on whodunit, but watching Eve puzzle it out was a joy. The way she walks through the crime scene in her head, getting inside the mind of the killer, is fascinating to watch.

It isn’t the murder mystery that was the focus of my attention anyway. The character studies are what really make this series shine. 32 books in and I’m still hooked. I love the various shades of each character. Eve, though she seems rigid and almost pompous in the beginning, is really a multifaceted character. She’s very much a puzzle, one I find it interesting to piece together.

Traditionally it is the heroines who are the pursuers, the more affectionate and open in the relationship, but that isn’t the case here. Roarke is the one who realizes he wants more with Eve, and he’s the one who pushes to spend time with her. He’s the one with the pretty words and sentiments. Eve is prickly and standoffish, unused to -and in fact almost unwilling to acknowledge – the feelings Roarke inspires in her. While this could have become too much, Robb keeps her on a tight ledge..close to, but not quite falling over the edge.

The world-building is flawless. As I mentioned above, it was somewhat irritating to be dropped into this futuristic world, but it wasn’t long before I was wrapped up in it. Especially since there isn’t anything that couldn’t absolutely happen in the future. I can easily see many of the inventions and modern practices taking place. Even the social commentary (as Lori mentions in her review) isn’t far-fetched, though it is obviously flavored with Robb’s personal biases (not that there’s anything wrong with a matter of fact, many of the things she has here make perfect sense).

I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the beginning of this series. Meeting Eve and Roarke again, and watching them meet for the first time, was lovely. The world-building is flawless and though I was annoyed by Eve’s standoffishness just as much as the first time, I loved it.

If you’ve put off reading this series because you don’t think it’s for you, or because you’re intimidated by the number of books, I really hope you’ll use Christine’s In Death Challenge as an excuse to start it. I know it seems like a lot of books. I know many of you don’t like series that focus on one person/relationship. But trust me, this series is the exception to every rule.
4.5 out of 5

The series:

For a full list of the books and their reading order, see here.

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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10 responses to “Review: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

  1. I just started reading this series for Christine’s challenge. I’ve finished the first two books and really enjoy them. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  2. Love this series. But then, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a Nora fan girl. I’ll read anything she writes.

    Holly, if you haven’t, think about trying one of the In Death books on audio. The narrator is fabulous, and she really does a terrific job of giving life to these characters.

  3. Luci

    Natahsa the relationship between Roarke and Eve is fantastic. Give the books a try! I have read 15 till now so I am half way through and have no hope of catching up as I am making my way slowly through the series. however, none of the books I have read so far has disappointed me. I was reticent to start them too. I admiot that I appreciated the first book only after having read the second so stick with them.

  4. Love the In Death series and I’m not a Nora Roberts fan. I would suggest giving it a try, they’re fabulous. I’ve only read one or two Iris Johanson and IMHO the In Death books are far superior.

    I usually figure out what’s going on in suspense. But I actually didn’t in this one. Trying to be spoiler free. I got who bad guy was but I didn’t catch on to the other.


  5. Awesome review, Holly! If I hadn’t started this series yet, I’d be on it after your review.

    I love Eve and Roarke. I glommed 32 books in one month so yeah, I love the couple. 🙂

  6. Seneca

    Hmm, isn’t that like when you hounded me to read it? LOL

    I”m so glad you did. I looove this series.

  7. Natasha

    I have been putting off reading this series. Mostly because of the number of books and the one person/relationship that you mentioned. I tried a one person/relationship series once. The Eve Duncan series by Iris Johansen. I left the series after 2 books. (I just noticed the similarities in their names! Eve Duncan….Eve Dallas! Maybe that’s why I’ve been procrastinating!)

    But now I’m starting to get curious. Too many people are raving about the series. Maybe I should finally read it to figure out what the fuss is all about 😀

  8. Lori

    Darn that Christine.

    Great review, Holls. And yes, I’m hooked. And believe it or not I’ve had to wait while my library ordered these books from another library. Because my stupid library doesn’t have this series.

    I’m just starting Vengeance now.

  9. Great review Holly! And Tabitha – 32 in one month. Wow! There’s a great recommendation for the series for anyone who hasn’t read it. It’s definitely one of my favorites. 🙂

  10. Great review, Holly, and thanks so much for the shout out for my In Death reading challenge! I’m excited about it.

    I think I was taken by sweet surprise at how much I loved Naked In Death the first time I read it about two years ago. I really enjoyed the setting and premise of the futuristic crime solving aspect, but the wonderful complexity of both Eve’s and Roarke’s characters was so much more than I expected. I’ve only read the first four, but can’t wait to read more.

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