Friday, February 01, 2008

Book Review: "Naked In Death" by JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts)

Nora Roberts had a great idea for a story, A female cop that kicks serious but around the year 2050. But due to contractual reasons she had to write the story under the pseudonym of J.D. Robb, thus launching the " Death" series of books. This book, "Naked In Death" was the first in what is now 26, with more to come and some short stories in some anthologies.

This book launched the coolest cop character I've ever read, Lt. Eve Dallas. Lt. Dallas is one tough cop and with some cool sci-fi tools from the mid 21st century she can get the job done. Before I go any further I've got some things to say about the series. First I didn't get interested in the series until the 24th or 25th book but I'm glad I did pick them up. I'm now going back and reading the series in somewhat publication order. I've skipped around some and am just now getting to book one. Also I want to point out that yes, Nora Roberts is a romance writer, and yes these books have those moments. In whole I don't mind, (I'm just not much of a fan of romance novels, something about the airbrushed models on the covers or something.) Each time in these books that I get to one of the romantic moments, I trudge through this book seemed to have more than the others I've read in the series, and at times it seemed like they went on for too long. I'm a thriller sci-fi type guy, not a mushy kissy kissy guy, okay, not with books anyway.

"Naked in Death" introduces us to Lt. Eve Dallas, a hardcore NYPSD detective that takes no bull from anyone and kicks serious butt. She has a dark past which comes back to haunt her usually in her dreams. She was abused and molested by her father and then abandoned at the age of 8. She was raised in the "system" and turned out to be a tough detective that cares for the victims and won't give up until justice is served.

Also introduced in this book is what turns out to be Eve's love interest, known simply as Roarke. Roarke though, also has an interesting past. Right now he's a multi-billionair that owns nearly everthing on Earth and a few interests off-world.

The story starts with a murder of an LC (Licensed Companion, prostitution is legal as long as they are licensed in this near future). The big hitch in this murder is that the LC also happens to be a member of an influential Senator's family. Senator DeBlass, at the time of his grand-daughter's murder is introducing a morals bill to ban LCs. The murderer also left a note at the scene and sent a video to Lt. Dallas saying "1 of 6." Then there are two more LCs murdered each with the corresponding numbered notes. Also each victim was shot with antique bullet style guns (hey it's the mid-21st century, they now have lasers and stunners) and each time the gun was left at the scene. The suspects are all collectors of antique weaponry.

The list of suspects is a tough one. First there's Roarke, the multi-billioniare, who does not have an alibi for the nights in question and he's a known weapons collector. Another suspect becomes the man who tries to stall the investigation at every turn, the Chief of Police.

The romance between Roarke and Eve is a dangerous one, in that he's the prime suspect and Eve risks her job just being seen with him, but she has already ruled him out. The actual murderer has a darker and more heinous motive that hits close to home for Eve.

So when it comes to futuristic thrillers, J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) has me convinced. Check out this book and get hooked on the "...In Death" series.

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posted by Gil T. @ 8:36 PM Comments: 0