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REVIEW: Strangers in Death by JD Robb

Dear Ms. Roberts:

I discovered the In Death series almost 20 books in (at the publication of Portrait in Death), so I had the opportunity to read a big chunk of Eve and Roarke’s story all at once. I was immediately and completely caught up in the fictional futuristic world, from the tumultuous adventure of Eve and Roarke’s courtship and marriage, to Peabody and McNab’s touching and funny transformation from antagonists to lovers, to the HoloRoom and AutoChef and hovering cars and every other technological transformation of half a century into the future. It really felt like one integrated story to me, and I couldn’t get enough. Now, after a few more years and almost ten more books in the series, I still feel compelled to check in with Eve and Roarke and New York circa 2060. But whether it’s the months between books or the circumstances of any long series, my enthusiasm shifts back and forth with each new book. With Strangers in Death, my experience was mixed: I loved reading about the investigation but was not so enraptured by the relationship aspects of the novel.

This time out Eve must solve the murder of Thomas A. Anders, a charming and respected sporting goods magnate found dead in his own bed in what appears to be an erotic asphyxiation gone bad. His wife was out of town at the time, suggesting that Mr. Anders had some secrets and perhaps a bit of the kink, something especially humiliating for his family and in stark opposition to his reputation for honesty, sportsmanship, and fidelity. How does Eve endeavor to solve the murder of a man who seems to have no enemies and whose death isn’t one in a string of serial murders?

Like in those wonderful old episodes of Columbo, in Strangers in Death Eve fixes on a suspect quickly, which creates a taut pleasure for the reader who gets to watch her unravel the mystery, thread by thread. Knowing who did it means little if Eve can’t prove it, especially when the high profile of a case like this makes it imperative that she tuck in every single loose end. This has probably become my favorite set-up in the series, because I so often guess the killer very early on that there’s less enjoyment for me in having Eve catch up than there is in watching her match her instinct with the evidence, hoping that she and I have both guessed right. And Eve’s in fine form here, fully confident in her suspicions and wonderfully sharp in both insight and tongue. She’s back to threatening the local addicts into keeping her POS cop car safe, smart-mouthing Summerset, bantering with Baxter (aka Detective Pig-Eater) and Morris, and sparring with Peabody:

“This is going to have to come out of my Roarke fund.” [paying off a bet to Eve] “You have a fund for Roarke? To donate to him, or to try to buy him?”
“I wish – on the buying part. It’d be a skim for McNab. We have a deal where we both get to pick one person, and if we ever got the chance to . . .” She closed her fist, pumped it while she wiggled her eyebrows. “With said person, the other of us would understand. A one-shot deal. I picked Roarke.”
“Well, he’s a superior lay, so you’d have that before I peeled the skin off your still quivering body, roasted it on an open fire, and then force-fed it to you.”
“Okay then. So . . .” Clearing her throat, Peabody turned the cube on record. “I owe Dallas, Lieutenant Meaniepants Eve, twenty dollars to be paid out of my hard-earned, under-appreciated detectives salary next payday. Peabody, Detective Churchmouse Delia.”

This is the Eve I have enjoyed and admired throughout the series – the Eve who is “the top bitch cop in New York City,” because she understands the law inside and out and has an amazing insight into people and what they try to hide beneath the surface. And when Eve’s in cop mode the novel clips along, the movements logical, the pacing sharp and even. I can never tell how revised the Constitutional protections are in Eve’s world, because they don’t always conform to current versions of the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments, so there are things during the evidence gathering, interrogation, and charging stages of the investigation that I just choose to ignore. And although I wondered at the wisdom and logic of Eve sharing her suspicions with a couple of characters, overall the investigation was the most consistently compelling aspect of the book for me, reigniting that same excitement I had during my original series glom.

What didn’t work so well for me in Strangers in Death were the parts of the story that focused Eve and Roarke’s relationship. I realize that because Eve and Roarke have been together a much shorter time than we have been reading the series that there is sometimes a disconnect between the reader’s time frame and the characters’. This is, I think, why some readers are tired of Eve’s flashbacks and the like. And the good news for those readers is that Eve doesn’t have any bad dreams in this book, nor does she get unglued by the sexual elements of the crime. That felts a bit off to me, precisely because she and Roarke have been together for a relatively short time and her emotional trauma has been portrayed as so acute. Also, while one aspect of Eve’s emotional insecurity seems to have abated, that urgent intensity between she and Roarke, the undercurrent of desperation between them, continues to be expressed strongly. And those two elements have been powerfully intertwined in the series, so to see them separate was not completely convincing to me.

I also have to admit to some reader’s fatigue of my own in regard to that relationship intensity. For example, at one point Roarke comes home to find Eve working, and — again, still — he’s bowled over by the depth of his feelings for her:

She’d taken off her jacket, tossed it over a chair, and still wore her weapon harness. Which meant she’d come in the door and straight up. Armed and dangerous, he thought. It was a look, a fact of her, that continually aroused him. And her tireless and unwavering dedication to the dead – to the truth, to what was right – had, and always would, amaze him. . .
She sensed him. He saw the moment she did, that slight change of body language. And when her eyes shifted from her comp screen to his, the cold focus became an easy, even casual warmth.
That, he thought, just that was worth coming home for.

I think that some version of this monologue has occurred at least once in every book, along with all the peaks and valleys of their lovemaking, those consistent – and dramatic – reassurances of the intensity of their physical and emotional bonds and the surprise in both of them that they really did end up happily together. Even the language feels repetitive (i.e. Roarke’s lyrically poetic face and Eve’s intoxicating whiskey eyes). I was talking to a friend about this, and she suggested that Eve and Roarke have not yet developed a lightness of being with each other, an ability to tease and take each other a little for granted. I think she’s right, and I don’t mind that in and of itself, but because some aspects of their character development in the relationship seem a bit fast-tracked while others have become somewhat repetitive, I have a hard time tuning into the relationship with the unremitting seriousness that Eve and Roarke still do.

In fact, I was incredibly relieved when they finally had a fight about two-thirds of the way through the book, because even though it was basically the same argument they have over and over (Roarke: "why can’t you trust me enough to depend on me?’ Eve: "why can’t you trust that I can take care of myself?’), it broke some of the melodramatic tension. And while I understand the vagaries of relationship evolution, sometimes it feels more like a heavy authorial hand than a natural unevenness setting the trajectory of Eve and Roarke’s relationship. Although I did chuckle with satisfaction over a reference to Magdalena (“Magdabitch” as Eve refers to her) that played nicely into the plot at one point.

Readers sometimes complain that secondary characters have become gratuitously planted in these books, and for the most part I didn’t feel that way here. Trina got a reference but no personal appearance. Louise and Charles came on scene in a way that was actually relevant to Eve’s investigation, and both Summerset and Mavis were present and accounted for but minimally obnoxious. I do have one quibble, though, which is that I’m starting to miss some of the more futuristic aspects of the series. When was the last time Eve and Roarke took a HoloTrip? Why isn’t Eve beating traffic with a patrol car capable of going vertical? I enjoyed those touches, and I think a number of them have fallen away.

When contemplating a grade for this book, I realized how divergent my reactions to the police procedural and relationship aspects of the book were. When Eve was in the groove of working, I was completely engaged in the novel, and when she and Roarke were in relationship mode, I vacillated between boredom and frustration. So in the end I decided to split that difference, awarding the procedural aspects of the book a B+ and the relationship parts a C. I have no idea how that averages out, but in the same way I couldn’t reconcile the different aspects of the book, I have no interest in trying to do so with the grades.

~ Janet

This book can be purchased in hardcover or ebook format (only in Mobipocket that I could find).

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!

44 Comments

  1. sandy l
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 14:20:38

    I had not planned on buying this one. The last one, Creative in Death, was a DNF for me. However, there it was staring at me in Target. And since I’m in a reading slump….
    Anyway, I started it this afternoon. I’m really enjoying it so far. It reads more like her earlier Dallas books.

  2. McB
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 16:27:43

    Just a quick note, but you’ve given two differen titles for the book in this post.

    I’d say that Eve’s comfort level with her past is better now, not just because of Roarke, but also because of her widening circle of friends. She has a wider support system now than she did at the beginning of the series. To me, the lessening of the nightmares reflects that.

    As to her relationship with Roarke, well they are both very strong personalities. They will continue to butt heads on some issues.

    On the descriptions, I might agree with you that they seem repetitive; however, I think it’s necessary. For many readers this book will be their first introduction to Eve and Roarke and their relationship. The series is best read in order for character development, if nothing else; but each must also be capable of standing alone.

    I enjoyed your review.

  3. Anne
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 17:20:54

    Well, see, that second excerpt? That’s what endears Roarke to me and sets him apart from all other heroes. He deep affection, love, and adoration for his wife and that he can feel a shift in her from cop to wife, that it hasn’t grown tiresome or stale. THAT to me is what sets Eve and Roarke above others. I would NEVER get tired of a man feeling like that for me, even if it thought the same things day after day. Sigh. I absolutely LOVE this series and to me it never gets old. Not Eve, not Roarke, not their friends, not their routines, and not their love. It’s been wonderful thus far to watch them grow and fall into routine when they’d each led separate lives for so long, and it’ll be just as wonderful to see what happens in the books to come.

  4. Nora Roberts
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 17:31:08

    Thank you for the review. (See I read the previous article.)

    I do hear what you’re saying about some repetition. That’s the strange, slippery line navigated in a long-running series–for me anyway. Trying to keep it fresh for the long-time reader and make it clear for the new one. It’s a struggle. Frankly, I’m not sure what to do about it–and I think about it every book.

    Please note–I really did read the previous article and the comments–this isn’t an excuse, justification, argument.

    I also agree we need to beef up the furturistic stuff now and then. I think I did that in the last book I finished. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see that for awhile, but I do think I’d let that aspect wane somewhat.

  5. Bev Stephans
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 18:07:03

    I would think that by now Eve and Somerset would have come to a more peaceful coexistence. I’m starting to get a little irritated by their sniping.

  6. Jane
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 18:19:23

    Boy I’m going to get grief about the whole thanking/no thanking thing forever, aren’t I? Please note, I’m one who said I do not like to be hugged either. Maybe “thank you” is an online version of a hug.

    I had the same feeling as Janet in this book. Absolutely loved how the mystery/sleuthing played out and I actually skipped over the Eve/Roarke interchanges.

  7. Joy
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 18:21:33

    I would think that by now Eve and Somerset would have come to a more peaceful coexistence. I'm starting to get a little irritated by their sniping.

    This rings true to me. There are some people where ther basis of your relationship is sniping. We know that Somerset cares for Eve (and vise versa)but they are comfortable expressing their affection with hostility. There are people in my life like that.

  8. Kristie(J)
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 20:20:21

    I think that this series has maintained a very nice balance. In some books the mystery takes more of centre stage and in other books it’s more about the relationship.
    There are so many reasons why I love this series, and one of the reasons is seeing how much of a whole person Eve is now compared to Naked in Death. I agree that her nightmares have diminished quite a bit because of her much wider support system. Back when the books first started she only had Feeney and Mavis. Now there are so many other people there for her.
    And I too love the second quote. It’s so nice to see these two people are still so passionately in love – although as you say the actual time hasn’t moved on that much. But still – the passion is as deep now as it was when they first met and that’s helps make these such real comfort reads for me.

  9. Robin
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 23:51:24

    McB: thanks for pointing out the name thing! It was funny because I kept having to check the cover of the book to make sure I was getting it right, because for some reason this title just didn’t stick with me.

    Regarding the Eve and Roarke relationship, I just want to clarify that I’m not tired of the emotion between them or the relationship itself. In fact, when I did my initial glom of the books it was the relationship that kept me hooked. It’s just something in the representation of the relationship here that I feel is in some ways less consistent and in other ways too repetitive (it started for me in Divided in Death) that effected some kind of disconnect in me.

    What sandyl mentioned about a likeness to the earlier books hit a chord in me, because that’s become my measuring stick as the series continues. The books that bring me back to those earlier books (read paperbacks) tend to be my favorites (like Innocent in Death, for example). And I’m not saying that I want the series to take a step back or reverse; it’s all in the style, voice, and rhythm, an aura I can’t really explain but that’s recognizable to me when I’m reading. I don’t understand all the reasons for my back and forth reactions to the books these days; I only know that the relationship aspects of SID felt off to me.

    Robin/Janet

  10. Jennybrat
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 00:12:35

    Will Penguin release this book in MS Reader format? I don’t buy Mobipocket.

  11. Anji
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 09:05:31

    I’ve only seen it in Mobipocket so far, but I’m sure they’ll have it in other formats too. I also looked on the Penguin website, and they don’t have it in any of the ebook formats.

    But they’re having a ‘Naked in Death’ giveaway as a promo for the in Death series on Feb 22:

    FREE J.D. ROBB BOOK GIVEAWAYS ON FEBRUARY 22, 2008!

    In celebration of the publication of Strangers in Death, look for free copies of the first J.D. Robb book, Naked in Death, on Friday February 22nd at these locations:

    * New York City at Grand Central Terminal (42nd Street between Vanderbilt and Lexington)
    * New York City at Penn Station (At the main entrance by the front of Madison Square Garden on the 7th Avenue side)
    * Los Angeles at Westwood Village (Westwood and Le Conte Ave near UCLA Medical Center)
    * Los Angeles at Manns Village (961 Broxton Ave)
    * Washington, DC (at the Dupont Circle subway station)

  12. Jane
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 10:01:11

    How . . . interesting and a bit weird. LOL.

  13. Jia
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 10:09:32

    Is there a significance as to why three of the five giveaway locations are subway stations? Actually, are the L.A. locations public transit stops too?

  14. Jane
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 10:20:27

    Oprah gives away a million free downloads and Penguin gives away a few paperback copies at public transits. I wonder if the book is about killings at public transits which would incite fear amongst transit goers leading to transit authorities never allowing a book giveaway again.

    Can’t remember one In Death from another based on title. Robin would know. She’s an In Death encyclopedia.

  15. Robin
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 10:59:26

    LOL, Jane. First as to the LA locations, I don’t know if those are bus stops, but they are both near/in Westwood, right around UCLA (target audience: college kids?).

    As for Naked in Death, it’s the first book in the series, and it features serial killings of licensed companions. The crimes are especially baffling because they feature actual guns, which have been outlawed since the Urban Wars, and the LCs are always posed naked, thus the title, I think. Washington, DC plays a role in the novel, as does, obviously, New York, but I don’t remember an LA connection. And, uh, the transit thing doesn’t ring any bells, but it’s been quite a while since I read the book, so someone else might have a better recollection.

  16. Jane
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 11:06:16

    Ah ha. I just read Naked in Death. LOL. I am obviously not very good with titles (but in my defense, there are like 28+ titles in this series). And no, public transit doesn’t play a role at all. In fact, I remember Eve asking for the use of ol’ Roarke’s private transit. (and it’s not a dirty innuendo either).

  17. Joseph Murray
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 11:43:03

    I see I have really been getting behind in my reading. Thank you for the review and I will need to get a copy of this one. :)

    Joseph

  18. Mary-Frances Makichen
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 12:38:39

    I loved this book. I would have given it an A. This one ranks up there as one of my favorites along with Reunion in Death, Seduction in Death, Naked in Death and Born in Death. The mystery was very satisfying and there were alot of wonderful moments with the characters in this book. There was some really nice forward movement in the lives of several of the secondary characters and several entertaining interactions between Dallas and both Peabody and Feeny.

  19. Terry Odell
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 12:52:38

    As someone who read Naked in Death on an airplane, thinking I’d leave it in the seat pocket for the next traveller, and then ended up not only bringing it home, but headin straight to the bookstore and buying the next 14 (yeah, I came in late to the series) in one go, it was the relationship and the characters that hooked me. I have to read these books at least twice, because even thought I’m a mystery reader, I read it first for the Eve-Roarke plot and then go back and pay attention to the mystery.

    I have to agree with those above who think the way Roarke can love Eve with the intensity he does is what endears him to me. Every woman yearns for someone who feels that deeply about her. And one of the things I liked about this book was that we got to get inside Roarke more. That’s probably why one of my favorite books is the one where Roarke goes to Ireland and meets his family.

  20. Jia
    Feb 20, 2008 @ 15:14:10

    I guess I thought there was a connection since giving them away at public transit stops seemed a little random.

    there are like 28+ titles in this series

    That is a lot of books. Wow.

  21. Shelly
    Feb 21, 2008 @ 10:41:16

    I really loved this book; both the mystery and the relationship worked for me. The depth of feeling between Eve and Roarke and their willingness to express those feelings are what keeps me coming back to this series. Again and again….and again! I hope that Nora Roberts will continue to write about them for many years to come.

  22. Maya Reynolds
    Feb 23, 2008 @ 12:36:39

    ****SPOILER ALERT****

    IF YOU HAVE NOT READ STRANGERS IN DEATH YET, DON’T READ FURTHER.

    My university job will take me to Bethesda next week, and I bought Strangers in Death to read on the plane. All this discussion about it piqued my interest so I picked it up last night, intending to just take a peek . . . but ended finishing it about an hour ago.

    I’ve read the entire series (came in at book #3). Helped by the title and the new cover photo, I suspected the solution on page 41 and was certain I was right by Page 58.

    The joy of this book for me was in observing the way it was crafted. I paid more attention to the pacing, re-introduction of previous characters, etc. It is just very well-written.

    It’s Eve’s growing circle of relationships that keeps me coming back–that and Roarke, who is every woman’s dream lover. The only relationship that doesn’t ring true after all this time is Eve’s with Summerset. I’m a little weary of the one-note tune. That’s the only repetition that really bothers me.

    I keep waiting for Roarke and Eve to take in a child, which would satisfy me more than if Eve got pregnant (I can’t even imagine that possibility!!!). At least three previous times, I’ve thought they were about to do so and each time was a little disappointed when it didn’t happen.

    I think it was a solid B+. The only reason it doesn’t get an A was because the packaging made the solution way too easy.

  23. jcsspeaks
    Feb 23, 2008 @ 15:42:01

    I read the book in one night. I loved the fight about money. What couple doesn’t fight about money? I loved the references to the previous books. As for Roarke and Eve’s relationship, I understand that even after two years of marriage, you can feel so blessed and fortunate to have that person in your life. They love deeply, fight passionately and are loyal to each other and friends. I get it!! I do want Eve’s relationship with Summerset to move forward more openly. I am not a member of “Waiting for a baby” reader. I want more of Roarke’s family visiting and more interaction with Nixie, and others from previous books.

  24. LKB in Nashville
    Feb 25, 2008 @ 15:28:10

    It must be difficult for an author as prolific as Nora Roberts to keep all of the characters, plots and sub-plots straight. Years ago, I was really bothered by the reference to Sebastian and Mary Ellen’s children as Shawn and Keely in “Charmed” and then as only Aiden in “Enchanted” :) I have not found any such discrepancies in the In Death series, although I was disappointed in the editor of Strangers in Death for the typo in the next to the last line, which, I believe, should read “formerly OWNED”. I enjoyed Strangers in Death, especially since it was not as graphically violent as the last two books have been. The book had a lot of “laugh out loud” sections and the plot was believable. I hope future books have more of Sinead and family.

  25. Marisa
    Feb 28, 2008 @ 13:17:53

    “I would think that by now Eve and Somerset would have come to a more peaceful coexistence. I'm starting to get a little irritated by their sniping.”

    I love that they snipe, I hope they never stop!

    I haven’t read this book yet but I’m hoping it’s great. I always love all Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb books, and look forward to new ones. I have a hard time resisting buying them in hard cover trying to hold out for the cheaper paperback and most often fail to wait!

    And I think it’s amazing that Nora Roberts checks these and actually comments on them, makes me love her that much more.

  26. Terry Odell
    Feb 28, 2008 @ 20:27:55

    “I would think that by now Eve and Somerset would have come to a more peaceful coexistence. I'm starting to get a little irritated by their sniping.”

    I have to “disagree” here — I think Eve & Somerset know exactly how they feel for each other and are simply too stubborn to admit it, but the sniping is part of their ritual, something they expect of each other. And I hope Nora forgives me for not remembering the titles (I can’t remember which of my own books is which, and I’ve only writtn 6), but they’ve been there for each other enough times to show there’s a mutual respect.

  27. Maya Reynolds
    Feb 28, 2008 @ 21:16:18

    I’m one of those who wearies of the sniping.

    Now that you’ve forced me to think about it , I have to say that, for me, the issue is that the same scene is repeated in every novel: Eve drives up to the house, leaves the car out front to annoy him, dumps her coat over the bannister of the staircase, exchanges nasty comments with Summerset and goes upstairs. There is nothing new or interesting about that scene. By the fifth or sixth telling, the repetition lost its charm.

    One of the joys of this series for me is that all of the other relationships in Eve’s life are growing, changing and maturing. This relationship feels static. I welcomed the stories in which Summerset’s daughter came up and in which Roarke’s malicious ex-lover worried Summerset–just for the variety.

    I read each book twice. Once for pure enjoyment and once for analysis–to see how Nora pulled the process off. To still engage readers after this many books is a remarkable achievement. The Summerset issue is tiny in comparison to how much I enjoy following Eve’s adventures.

  28. Joy
    Feb 29, 2008 @ 21:03:14

    So, I just finished the book. Spoilers Ahead.

    Eve doesn't have any bad dreams in this book, nor does she get unglued by the sexual elements of the crime. That felts a bit off to me, precisely because she and Roarke have been together for a relatively short time and her emotional trauma has been portrayed as so acute.

    This worked for me because it was kinda mentioned. Roarke said she was not “suffering” while working this case. So, she wasn’t haunted by the details and therefore did not have nightmares.

    I felt stupid for not figuring out why the book as titled as it is. I did get it about half a page before it was obvious.

    and I stand by my comment that Eve and Summerset care for each other. We’ve seen it from him in previous books and she had a brief moment of concern for him in this one. I think it would (has?) confuse both if them if their interactions changed.

  29. Jill
    Mar 01, 2008 @ 08:30:45

    I agree that the issue of the sniping is repetitive but I’m fine with it since sometimes when Eve is in a bad mood, Summerset would give out an insult that would actually hurt Eve. It shows that Eve still has insecurities on her relationship with Roarke.

  30. rose
    Mar 02, 2008 @ 16:13:15

    I loved this book, enjoyed it so much more than the last one. It didn’t hold a single force note for me, the mystery was mag. and the relationship between Eve and Roarke never grows old. I hope his photo never makes it on a cover, He’s better left in our imaginations to make of what we want.

    I think the reason Roarke is so often blown away by what he feels for Eve is what are the chances of someone with his mega billions of finding someone who really loves him for him, without a shadow of a doubt. The relationship between Ava and Tommy underscores this. The man lived with the woman for sixteen years without a clue. I think he recognizes the miracle of finding a woman who just loves him.

    The secondary characters absolutely make these books. If it was about Eve and Roarke all the time, it would be very boring. I was gonna be very mad if Louise and Charles had broken up. I was also very delighted with the reappearence of that little boy, makes it all seem more real, and what a delightful character. I hope we see him again, and please Nixie, and I would lobby for Callendar from the last book, she seemed like a promising character who would shake things up a bit.
    I think the reason this works for me is you think of a sitcom lets say, that is one character driven, where all the story lines evolve around one person, they tend not to work very well in the long run e.g. “Sybill” a while back, while the more ensemble casts like “Seinfeld, Cosby” are more successful.

    I had also long wondered about Sebastian and Mel’s kids. In this one at the beginning of chap.3, …. “He’d teamed a rust-colored shirt with a dull gold shirt……” I think somewhere in there was supposed to be trousers.

  31. rose
    Mar 02, 2008 @ 16:22:40

    The relationship between Eve and Summerset, hasn’t remained static. On the surface they snipe at each other, but underneath there is an affection and concern for each other, which I think has kept it all interesting, because how could they become all lovey dovey, that would just ring false.

  32. Katrina
    Mar 08, 2008 @ 21:46:21

    I want to see Tiko again! He is something else. Wonder how he and Roarke would get along as Roarke is or was a thief. How would he mesh with Crack who probably has a void still left from losing his sister. I want to see Hastings from Portrait again. Hook him up with Trina if we want some amusing and serious fights and sparks!! And yes I would like to see nixie again as I miss her. Also how will the trial of little spoiled bitch Rayleen Straffo turn out? That has to be coming up and soon. And last thing… Sommerset and Eve get along just fine and like their relationship just fine. They are both hardasses and both love Roarke seriously. They can and do set aside their enmity when it is necessary as we have seen in many books most notably in Portrait and in Innocent. And as in Innocent after they resolve the problem Sommerset insults Eve and comments that there they are back to normal. They neither show emotion well and his sniping allows them to show it without the mush they are both extremely uncomfortable with. Keep up the excellent work Ms. Roberts.

  33. Brenna
    Mar 10, 2008 @ 21:39:43

    I haven’t read Strangers yet but I’m one with the others who want to see Nixie again. After all, Eve & Roarke made a promise to her. And as they are the type of people who keep their promises seriously, Nixie has got to figure in some of the future books. Or should I say must? It’s strange that while Richard and Elizabeth are one of the really close friends that Roarke has, they are hardly mentioned at all nor do they ever attend the parties that Roarke gives. Granted that Virginia and New York are some distance away, this is the future wherein travel is extremely easy, fast and convenient.

  34. Anita
    Mar 17, 2008 @ 19:36:03

    I don’t find the description of Roarke or the interaction between Eve and Sommerset or Eve & Roarke stale at all. I came across someone reading SID in a plane and she did not realize that it was book 25+. I envied her that she has so many books to look forward to. When a series is long running, repitions are bound to happen. The Death books are not romance books. Roarke is a bonus. Roarke/Eve relationship is a bonus. All the secondary characaters are bonuses. The heart of the book to me is the police procedural. How Eve’s mind works to solve the crime is amazing. Kudos to Nora for that.

    I loved SID – it was not intense – you could tell that Eve already knew who the killer was- How Nora tied it all together was awesome.

  35. Brenna
    Mar 22, 2008 @ 03:58:42

    This is probably too late now but I’ve finally read SID and I love, really love this book. Much, much better than CID. Loved the “putting your what where” dialogue between Eve & Peabody. That was deliciously funny. I’ve bookmarked that page in my ebook so I can find it whenever I want it. And the playful love scene between Eve and Roarke. As usual, the secondary characters did not disappoint either. I liked the mystery. It is more like an Agatha Christie style of solving a mystery wherein Poirot merely uses his grey cells to catch the murderer. And the ending was great. Roarke buying Anders share and putting it in Eve’s name made me chuckle. Seeing that boy again, Tiko, was very nice and if we got to see him again, I really hope to see Nixie again in the future books. I hope Nora is listening and will not disappoint.

  36. rose
    Apr 02, 2008 @ 20:38:06

    Crack as a father figure to Tiko? I don’t know, he already has a strong family relationship with his grandma. When they were all eating the Pie, I thouhgt the next step was for Roarke to find a way to set up the grandma in some kind of a baking enterprise, or offer her a job in one of his hotels as head baker or something. After all he has given Trina a job, and according to Eve, this was an orgasm inducing pie, considering their sex life it must have been really, really good pie.

  37. Janet Lee
    Sep 02, 2008 @ 16:39:13

    Being a numbers gal, I am confused about the suspect, Bebe Petrelli. On page 206 of the hardcover, she married Luca Petrelli 06/10/2047, with children following 01/18/2048 & 07/01/2051. She owns a restaurant with Luca, who is found dead in the East River on 06/12/2047, page 208. That would be 2 days after their wedding & before the kids were born. Am I missing something here?

  38. MCHalliday
    Sep 02, 2008 @ 16:59:33

    I loved the fight about money. What couple doesn't fight about money?

    When your husband, Roarke, owns a 28% share of global assets, you don’t argue about money. Well, I wouldn’t. And I’d roger him soundly every night I was with him. *G*

  39. Elaine
    Sep 24, 2008 @ 21:54:46

    I’m a late-bloomer. Just started on the In Death books about 2 weeks ago. I’m only on Book 4, Rapture in Death, having finished Book 3, Immortal In Death yesterday. That leaves me umm…another zillion-over books? Anyway, I’m having the time of my life as I bought the entire series with one click of the key (dangerous things, these online bookstores!).

    One thing that did bother me (just a teeny bit, though) is that in one of books, it mentions that Roarke is worth 2 or 3 billion. In 1995-96 even that is less than some billionaires’ net worth and in 2008, with Bill Gates worth 50 billion, it wasn’t all that impressive to me. I had to tell myself there was no inflation or that there was an overhaul of the financial system so that 1 billion in 2058 (or whichever year the story takes place)is equivalent to 20 billion in 1995, making him richer than Bill Gates. Things like that should be left vague just as heroes shouldn’t be likened to some actor (just in case I don’t find Brad Pitt hot, know what I mean?)

    I love the sniping between Eve and Summerset but hope NR gives me glimpses of a growing affection between the two. I enjoyed seeing a more realistic side of Roarke in Immortal where he got angry with Eve. Though I’d only read 2 books prior to that, Roarke was becoming a bit of a paragon and a tad unbelievable. You can’t love someone without that person bringing out a whole range of emotions and I was getting a little bored with Roarke always so calm and accepting of Eve’s snippy, insensitive ways.

    While I agree with the repetitiveness of reading about Roarke’s emotional responses to Eve everytime he walks in on her working, I’m glad NR reminded me of the reason why she had to do that. Now that I am reading the entire series from the start and back to back, it’s important for me to bear these issues in mind.

  40. $1.00 Books v. Free Books (or why Authors Should Charge) | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 04:01:49

    […] to seed new readers. Publishers tend to agree with this concept giving away free digital books or even masses of free paper books. The idea is that the author’s own words is the best […]

  41. Cora
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 09:51:25

    @Terry Odell: Hi Terry, I have been searching for the title of the book when Roarke first met his family in Ireland…..I read my first In death series book – Witness in Death and I fell in love with Eve & Roarke and I started collecting them and since I read them fast with digesting as I just borrowed the books in the library, I start collecting them and read them from the 1st —Naked In Death …the only book I am missing is Portrait in Death…Any please let me know which book —when Roarke first met his family in Ireland..I would appreciate it…..thank you

  42. Terry Odell
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 10:18:43

    @Cora: It was “Portrait in Death” (P. 245 in my paperback edition.)

    Terry
    Terry’s Place
    Romance with a Twist–of Mystery

  43. Robin
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 11:20:35

    @Cora: I think it is Portrait in Death where that occurs, Cora.

  44. AimeeJoz
    Aug 03, 2012 @ 12:25:57

    @Nora Roberts:

    I always enjoy the In Death series. Love those books from start to finish every time. I have just finished “Strangers” and I agree completely that some bits of information have to be repeated. My sister got me into this series by reading “Seduction” first, thinking it was a lone novel… if those things weren’t repeated, she may not have wanted to know how it all started… we now both own all in the series (her in paperback, me in hardcover format). LOVE THEM!

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