Thursday, 6 June 2013

Review: Naked In Death, by J. D. Robb

Re-reading this book, I was at first surprised how much of the book I remembered, bearing in mind that I read it first maybe three years ago. At first this worried me, as I thought it wouldn't be worth a full re-read... but, I have proved myself wrong- Naked in Death was definitely as good, if not better, the second read round.

What's the skinny?

The year is 2058, and Lieutenant Eve Dallas is launched into a high profile murder case, when a senator's prostitute granddaughter is murdered, shot in her own bed with an illegal firearm. Eve, who is brash, up front and dedicated to her job, is thrown into a hot bed of complicated politics and triple meanings and agendas, with the Senator breathing down her neck to find his Granddaughter's murderer, and the ominous threat "one of six" left beside the victim's mutilated body. And just to complicate matters further, there is Roarke, the overtly sexual, mysterious Irish hunk super-billionaire who is expressing a great deal of interest in Eve, which is exceedingly unfortunate, as he is increasingly looking good for the main murder suspect.

What does it offer?

Romance, murder, great characters and an excellent set-up for an incredibly long-running series (which is still going at nearly 40 books and 20 odd years of publication). J. D. Robb, also known as Nora Roberts, has created a detailed futuristic world, in which guns are banned (after the gang wars of the early twenty-first century), space stations are common, and the underground spans across all of America. Technology has infiltrated the world Robb has created entirely, in the forms of drones, surveillance, lasers and body mods (known to us as cosmetic surgery), as well as a reliance upon communication links.

Sexual tension is there a-plenty, and did I mention Roarke? If the sentence above didn't pique your interest, then I'm not sure what will. Roarke is a pretty deep male lead, who is most definitely multifaceted, and with enough back story to fill entire libraries- he is, at least from Eve's perspective, infuriatingly unreadable, past his obvious love of luxury, and yet the reader gets to see another side to him, as we watch his fascination with Dallas develop. Whilst he is not at his best in this first book as later on in the series, he is a character that is well-deserving of my mild fan-girling.

And then, to top it all off, there is Eve herself. Funny, angry, sarcastic, head strong and tortured, Dallas is really a protagonist to be proud of, with snappy dialogue to boot. She is well-complemented by an eclectic bunch of secondary characters, my favourite of which is Mavis. Afterall, who else could perform a show on stage in a club dressed in only strategically placed paint.

A strong all rounder, Naked in Death provides everything that is demanded of both a romance and a murder mystery/crime thriller, and more. Robb has a strong sense of humour, heavily laced with a wry tone and more than a smidgen of sarcasm, and this lightens the tone of the book without seeming out of place. Definitely worth the re-read, and more than worth a first read. I very highly recommend the entire In Death Series, even if they may seem daunting at first. 8.5 stars

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