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REVIEW: Creation in Death by J.D. Robb

Dear Ms. Roberts

I feel a bit awkward writing this review because I know that you read the blog on occassion. I felt like I was on a Nora Roberts high the last three books. Angels Fall, Innocent in Death, and High Noon were all either keepers or close to keepers so I was near tingling with anticipationBook Cover when Creation in Death hit my doorstep.

I’m not sure what I would have graded this book had the ending been different, but I’d be less than honest in saying that the ending, which seemed to spring out of nowhere, influenced my overall feelings about this book to a great extent.

One thing I really liked about Innocent in Death was the exploration of the Eve’s jealousy of Roarke’s attractiveness to the opposite sex. This was definitely a side that we hadn’t seen before and the personal conflict added a new layer to the relationship between Eve and Roarke. In Creation in Death, the emotional relationship explored is primarily between Eve and her surrogate father and mentor, Feeney.

In Creation, Eve faces a serial killer who is stalking the young women in New York. He hunts and selects his victims from within a certain age group, race, gender, and coloring. Soon after finding the first body, Eve recognizes that this is connected to an unsolved case that took place nine years earlier. Feeney was the primary and Eve was his partner nine years ago. This time, the situations are a bit reversed. Eve is the primary and Feeney works a bit at her command. To ratchet up the stakes, the current victims are all employees of Roarke Enterprises and they all look like Eve.

The way in which the conflict between Eve and Feeney arises, however, seemed contrived. First, I was surprised at what led to the conflict; then I was surprised by both parties’ reaction to the conflict; then I felt that the conflict went on way beyond its natural life.

The mystery/suspense is provided again by a serial killer. I wonder if there will be some exploration as to why the futuristic New York City is breeding/harboring/fostering so many serial killers. After all, it seems that Eve has face over 20+ since the series began and a little more than a year has passed. While I liked the climactic ending to the serial killer plotline, much of it dragged for me. I am not sure whether I am suffering from serial killer malaise or what.

The writing is classic Roberts. The prose is spare but pointed. The dialogue exchanges between Peabody and Eve serve as some of my favorite moments. The relationship between Eve and Roarke seems stronger since the test in the previous book. I’ve always enjoyed the relationships that Eve has been building over the course of the series including the ones with Nadine and Mira and we readers are treated to a bit of interaction with these favorite characters.

All that, however, couldn’t overcome my shock and dismay at Eve’s actions at the end of the book. One of my problems with “end of the book” shockers is that there doesn’t seem to be any build up prior to the “shocking revelation” that explains what is about to happen. I understand that to foreshadow too much would ruin the impact, but I think that some clues should be put out there so that a reader could go back and say “ah hah, I see where you were going with this.”

Maybe the clues were there and I just missed it but what Eve does is so out of character that I can’t help but be concerned for her future. Either she has to deal with the repercussions and that makes me dread the future books or this is a blip that won’t be addressed again which makes me think – plot contrivance.

I am certainly going to read the next book but I feel like my heroine has fallen off her pedestal a bit. I hope I like the future Eve Dallas. C

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased in hard cover or ebook format.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

81 Comments

  1. Alyssa
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 15:16:50

    Wanting to avoid spoilers, so I’ll talk generally . . .

    I finished this last night. I liked the ending quite a bit–the last few chapters were my favorite part of the book. Eve did surprise me, but I didn’t feel she was out of character. She’s always had a strong sense of justice, and I thought her actions reinforced that.

    Would say more, but again, I want to avoid spoilers.

  2. Meljean
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 15:19:49

    [Being vague to avoid spoiling for others]

    By the out-of-character thing, do you mean the request she made at the end, involving a big eraser?

    I was surprised by that, I’ll admit — but I think I would have been really, really disappointed if the Groom had gotten away with his plan (and I thought it was foreshadowed when Mira explained that this would be his final bow to the audience, so to avoid-spoilers-speak). And Eve has used Roarke to cross the line of the law before. The difference to me was that this time she did it after the murderer had been caught rather than trying to find him.

    In a way, it reminded me of … Witness in Death? where Eve turns off the recorder and gives advice to the murderer out of pity, and a sense that if the murderer did too much time (considering the reasons she’d committed the murder) that justice wouldn’t be served there, either. So although it wasn’t exactly the same, it didn’t feel out of character to me that Eve would serve justice rather than the line of the law.

    Unless, uh, you meant something else.

  3. Jane
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 15:25:54

    I think what I am going to say might give it away and I will try to talk as obliquely as I can (if you are anti spoiler, don’t read my comment).

    I, like you, feel that Eve has a strong sense of justice. She is, in essence, the conscience of the book. Where a reader might demand more exacting punishment, or why Roarke might want to skirt the lines of legalities, or when even Peabody feels the law might impinge of their duty to speak for the victims, Eve is always the one to find a way within the confines of the system to exact justice. To her, I always felt that towing the lines of what is legal and what is not is very important to her. She’s often rigid in her perception of black and white.

    I’ve often felt that the ultimate conflict was between Eve’s sense of justice (and ethicalness) would butt up against her greatest torment – her father. What would Eve do, in those circumstances, if she was ever met with her father. Would she kill him as she might have every right to do and engage in her own personal brand of justice. Would she haul him in to face the criminal justice system and its confines as she has always done in the past?

    The ending to this book seems to remove that conflict for me. It weakens her in my eyes, not because she is more human by her actions but because her strength of purpose, of character, what set her apart, was her ability to maintain a strong core of ethics despite the shitty childhood she has had. The whole series is, to some extent, a rebuilding of Eve’s family. Her father – feeney. Her mother – Mira. Her sisters – Peabody, Mavis. Her lover, confidante, protector, sword and shield – Roarke.

    But her family is drawn to her because of her strength of character and I felt that this book took away some of that for me.

  4. Jane
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 15:27:55

    My comment crossed paths with you Meljean, but yes, you and I are talking about the same things. I know that she has allowed Roarke to cross the line but I felt that this was a big departure as for all the reasons previously stated.

  5. Nora Roberts
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 15:49:57

    Jane, you’re right that she crossed a line–can’t go into it too much. And it’s a decision she’ll have to live with. I didn’t feel it was out of character, but it was out of her normal zone.

    There will be mention of it in the next book–and a scene in the one following that where, I think, she and the reader will see why she can live with it.

    To her it was a decision born out of: would the killer use the law to escape justice, or would she circumvent the law to see justice served. (And keep her word.)

    But unquestionably she crossed a line she’d drawn herself. And when I wrote it, I knew some readers would have trouble with her decision. I hate to use this, because it always sounds so lame, but it just wouldn’t write any other way.

    Still, I understand why it didn’t work for you, and why. That’s your skill as a reviewer.

  6. Kristie(J)
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 16:33:47

    Arrgghhh! This is tough. For some lucky reason, the in Death books are the only ones I can hold on to until the end to see what happens without skipping to it. Now I had to pass the comments section to avoid possible spoilers – something I never have to do ’cause I’m an unabashed end reader. Luckily I have this one on order and received confirmation it has shipped so hopefully I won’t be too late for the discussion.

  7. Angela James
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 17:20:06

    Jane and I had a lengthy discussion about this and I wasn’t nearly as dismayed as she was. I suggested a few reasons I felt this might have been done and it worked much better for me than it did for Jane, though I was still surprised when it happened.

    One thing I thought was interesting, over the course of our discussion, was that Jane brought up ethics (Eve’s) as a person who upholds the law, and as they’re important to her (Jane) as a lawyer and I wondered later if it wasn’t for this reason that she had a harder time with it. Because ethics are such an incredibly huge part of being a lawyer that it was that much more of a stumbling block than it might have been for someone else? (like me).

    I did agree with Jane about the conflict between Feeney and Eve, only because it seemed…not Feeney-like. So in this book, we’ve got several characters acting a bit different than what we’re used to. It does work to keep things interesting, I suppose.

    But in the end, I liked this book very much (though I still love the previous one more and I would have liked one good grovel scene where Eve reminds Roarke what a jerk he was, but that’s just me being evil). One thing I actually liked about it was that it focused so heavily on the case, less on the relationships this time. Generally I live for the relationship parts of this book but I enjoyed the difference of this one.

  8. Robin
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 17:24:56

    And Eve has used Roarke to cross the line of the law before. The difference to me was that this time she did it after the murderer had been caught rather than trying to find him.

    Since the beginning of her relationship with Roarke Eve has been forced to confront the difference between her loyalty to the law and the opportunities Roarke gives her to perfect justice. And her unambiguous view of the world has similarly been challenged by Roarke’s ever changing shades of gray POV. The tension that emerges from that uncomfortable rub is one of the things that keeps me attached to the series and the characters.

    But at what point do Eve’s choices to entertain the gray change who she is, both as a person (represented as such, at least) and a character? I can take Eve becoming a different person, even if I see that change as problematic, because she’d still be Eve. But if she changes in terms of the trajectory of her fictional character development, that wouldn’t be okay for me as a reader, because she’d no longer be Eve. And so I’m anxious to see what happens next to Eve, both as a person and a character.

  9. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 17:30:59

    Y’all are fricking killing me. I keeping having to fight the insane urge to go buy the ebook, since I haven’t bought the print one yet.

    I think a bookstore run is coming on.

  10. Maya Reynolds
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 17:33:30

    You all are driving me crazy. I’m halfway through the book and unlikely to have time to finish it before the end of the week.

    I’m dying to know what you’re talking about, but I’ve skipped several comments here. Thanks for the spoiler warnings; I appreciated them.

  11. Jane J
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 17:44:32

    Meljean mentioned Witness in Death and I’ve always thought of that one as one in which Eve acts out of character for the very reason Meljean mentions. Eve is sympathetic to the killer because of evilness of the original murder victim. But the killer also killed the stagehand (?) who was attempting blackmail. And while I think blackmail is pretty bad, is it worthy of death? Eve never mentions him in her interrogation of the murderer and thus her sympathy seemed wrong somehow.

    As for Creation, I agree that I was a little thrown by Eve’s actions at the end, but I agree she was still serving justice.

  12. Josie
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 18:14:59

    I didn’t have a problem with the ending of this one at all. And, to be honest I was kind of pleased that Eve took the step away from her rigid sense of justice. I would have been more disappointed if the result had of been otherwise.
    The only let down for me (and it was slight) was that Roarke seemed to be more of a support act to Eve this time around. I love these books for the relationships, particularly Eve and Roarke’s. Innocent ID is one of my favourite books for this year and after the emotional wringer of that instalment I wasn’t quite so invested in this one.
    But in saying that I still couldn’t put it down :-)

  13. Phyl
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 19:06:59

    I literally finished this a few minutes ago, and I have to come down on the side that liked the ending. It didn’t bother me. True, this is a departure for Eve and a fairly big one. But her actions in previous books don’t make her actions in this one totally inconceivable. I like your point, Angela, that our reactions to Eve’s actions may stem from our own personal sets of ethics and justice. Those will vary between us to one degree or another, I’d think. I’d like to debate this more freely, but giving out spoilers to a book that’s been on the shelf less than a week is hardly fair.

    Nora, thank you for giving us something to look forward to! Will your website soon be showing 2008 release dates so we know how long we have to wait?

  14. Jane
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 19:33:34

    Nora – those are kind words. I know I’ll be interested to see the next book. If anything, the ending had me curious about the future for Eve. I figured it meant something – you seem to be a conscious writer. There are hardly spare parts in your books which is why I like them so much.

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    Angela – I don’t know if it is a case of personal ethics. For me, part of the intrinsic relationship tension is between Roarke, the criminal and Eve, the law. Roarke seems to be almost derisive at times of Eve’s desire to remain inside the confines of the law, to work within the law. I’ve always seen Eve as someone who clings to the rigidity of the law to provide order for her world. Her reliance on the system of justice is the thing that prevents her from being a monster herself. Now, maybe I am reading context where this is one, but this is the Eve that I have grown to love.

    It’s not that I cannot accept characters who flount convention or flout the law to achieve their own perceived good. It’s that I have never seen Eve in this manner and her actions seem to remove some of the internal character conflict as well as the relationship conflict between Eve and Roarke.

    Jana J – I agree that Eve is still administering justice, but it is now on her terms and not that of the system in which she worked hard to enforce. It’s a violation of her own ethics. To some extent I see that a great deal differently than allowing Roarke to do it on her behalf.

    Josie – I loved Innocent in Death and the relationship between Eve and Roarke is my favorite element of the series as well.

    Phyl – I guess my response would be the same as I gave Angie and that is if Eve had been constructed differently or if the conflict wasn’t what I perceived, then I wouldn’t have been so “shocked and dismayed”.

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  15. Julie Leto
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 20:38:28

    Well, it’s much better to be a conscious writer than an unconscious one!

    ROFLMAO!

    Anyway, I’m very much looking forward to this book. I think I can figure out what Eve does from the comments…and I like it. But then, that’s the kind of gal I am.

  16. Jan
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 20:40:06

    Jane, I am so with you on this one. To me many things about Eve can and have changed, but her foundation has always been justice and the law, often making her act in ways I found distasteful. She was often willing to hurt innocents in her pursuit of justice because the rules were so important to her. It’s been what has defined her up until the last book, and to so suddenly take that away seemed OOC to me as well.

    However, reading that Nora wrote it with this in mind makes me feel better about the whole thing. If she’s going to address all of this in upcoming books it will make a big difference in how I perceive this one. There are going to be serious repercussions within Eve if she has to redefine herself, and I look forward to reading them.

  17. Phyl
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 21:33:01

    Jane, I believe I understand what you’re saying. But I’m realizing that I have not been seeing Eve quite the same way you do. And maybe that’s why this worked for me. Meanwhile I’m enjoying all of the discussion and the fact that I actually had a chance to read this one already.

  18. Nicole
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 21:40:23

    Kinda

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    Finished the books last night.

    I liked the ending, but also…Eve doesn’t think too much on her decision at the time, if I remember correctly. She doesn’t have much time to really mull it over. And so she makes that call. And once it’s made, she can’t go back. I can see that moment affecting her in the future and causing a lot of internal conflict. I suppose my feelings were it was something that perhaps would cause friction between her and Roarke in future books as she deals with her sense of justice and being with someone who can flout the law so easily and thus was able to enable her to make that call in almost a sort of moment of weakness. Er, I’m not sure that really conveys what I felt on the matter.

    But I could be reading it all wrong.

  19. Angela James
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 21:49:51

    Hm.

    Possible

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    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Roarke as derisive of her so much as not being able to understand it completely because it’s somewhat of an antithesis to what he’s believed. Just as she sometimes views him and his money and his beliefs.

    Through the series, we’ve seen him give some on his beliefs (getting rid of his “gray area” businesses and working within the parameters of the law, as well as her accepting doing things (like computer searches) outside the law. I guess I saw this not so much as her doing a total 180 but more of her no longer seeing her world so rigidly, doing something that she would never have considered before she met him, but living with him has changed her, just as living with someone for any period of time changes any of us.

    I think I just rambled, but it makes perfect sense in my head, darn it.

  20. Shelly @ Bewitched
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 22:27:17

    Argh! I’m dying to know what you guys are talking about. But I have been making my way through the series on audio (Susan Erickson is SUCH a great reader!) and I’m only on Born in Death. BUT I have bought this one on MP3 and can’t wait to finally get to it!

  21. Phyl
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 23:01:11

    I guess I saw this not so much as her doing a total 180 but more of her no longer seeing her world so rigidly, doing something that she would never have considered before she met him, but living with him has changed her, just as living with someone for any period of time changes any of us.

    Very well said, Angela. That’s how I see Eve and it is those changes that allow her to make the choice she made. So it didn’t seem out of character to me.

  22. Anne
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 23:02:27

    I have to say, having just finished this, that while it is a controversial ending as anyone can look at it anyway they want, whether Eve was right or wrong is in the eye of the reader… but, I think Eve did what she always does…

    She did what she had to do to exact justice and she kept her promise. While she may suffer from a bit of guilt in the future, I think, as will she when she remembers the why of it all, she did the right thing. The strong, courageous Eve I’ve come to know through this series wouldn’t have been able to accept anything less than 100% justice for those she stands for–the victims. It wasn’t about her, as it never is. It was about them.

  23. Meljean
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 23:07:40

    Nicole said:

    She doesn't have much time to really mull it over. And so she makes that call. And once it's made, she can't go back.

    You know, I think this is why it works for me. If she’d seen this coming (we knew about the *SPOILERScoughTERMINALcoughDISEASEspoilers* so I expected that it would come up again at the end somehow, but not exactly HOW it would play out) and had spent time anticipating his move and looking for a way to counter it, and still used Roarke, it would have been a huge let-down for me. But because it was such a fast decision, made on a moment and had to be carried out at that moment, I could accept it.

    Jane said:

    What would Eve do, in those circumstances, if she was ever met with her father. Would she kill him as she might have every right to do and engage in her own personal brand of justice. Would she haul him in to face the criminal justice system and its confines as she has always done in the past?

    Ah, and so this solution was more of a “she killed him” rather than “she hauled him in” ending. I get that — and in those terms, I see better why it’s problematic.

    (And, sorry, just working through now why I’m still okay with the ending. When I hit that scene, I did stop and re-read it three times just to make sure that I’d really read it — so it was a shock that she’d done it, but one that worked for me.)

    And I think in those terms, it comes down again, to the split-second decision. Just as if she was faced with her father, and she meditated on whether to kill him or or haul him in, and she chose to kill him, I’d be completely taken aback, and it’d knock her off the pedestal for me, too. But the Groom hit her with this thing that would totally remove any sense of justice from his capture, would let him win, and she reacted — and I realize it’s not the same as self-defense (because that’s legal) but working somewhere along the same principle for me.

    And I do think that this is where trusting Robb as an author really helps me, too — because where Eve says flat out that she’s crossing a line, it brings it out in the open as something to be dealt with, and won’t be left a non-issue. And I remember thinking, “man, this is going to have to be brought up again.” If it never really is, then I’ll be crying and sobbing with grief within a few more books.

    I also think that other factors play into my being okay with it, and they might be on the “personal reader” side. Like, if I hadn’t liked Ariel so much, I don’t know that Eve’s decision would have felt right to me. It was definitely something I had to work through, even as I read it … and trying to parse out now why it did work, I can see that my reaction could have easily gone the other way had the Groom’s reveal and Eve’s decision been set up any differently.

  24. Keishon
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 00:49:03

    This discussion is all so intriguing. I haven’t read the In Death books in quite sometime. Hopefully it stands alone well if I wanted to pick it up and read it.

  25. Nora Roberts
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 06:49:17

    I’m now worried that Eve and Roarke don’t discuss this in the next book but in the one after that. I have two finished and in house–and can’t clearly remember. But it is brought up, discussed. It is something that troubles her. And I think the scene in Salvation ID–which follows next Feb’s Strangers ID illustrates the why she made the decision. Why it was the right one, in those circumstances.

    Tip-toeing around spoilers here but the law was being used to cheat justice. Eve went outside the line of the law to eliminate the loophole. The decision will trouble her, and she’ll question it down the road–but it doesn’t and won’t change her.

    I seriously considered two other angles on this matter, or this ending. To simply eliminate the problem altogether and leave the twist out. (Easier). To have her let it go, accept the killer’s manipulation of the law, because it WAS the law. It just didn’t ring true to her character or to the storyline for me. So in the end she stood for the victims and served justice, but crossed her own line to do so.

    She’ll think about that line, question where she stands on it quite a bit in upcoming books. But what happened in Creation doesn’t change who she is, or what she is.

    Let me add that it’s enormously flattering to have a character I created generate this kind of interest and discussion from readers.

    To answer a question upthread. Strangers In Death comes out in Feb 9or maybe it’s March) and Salvation comes out next Nov. There’s another anthology called Suite 606 next October.

  26. Nora Roberts
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 06:53:33

    ~Hopefully it stands alone well if I wanted to pick it up and read it.~

    I never know the answer to this. I try to craft the books so the reader can pick any one of them up and have a complete, cohesive story. But it’s a series, so I have to craft them being aware of the long-time series reader.

    It’s a delicate balance, and I never know if I’ve pulled it off. I leave this one to readers so they can advise other readers.

  27. Angela James
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 07:30:45

    I'm now worried that Eve and Roarke don't discuss this in the next book but in the one after that. I have two finished and in house-and can't clearly remember.

    I’d be happy to sacrifice some time and read them to let you know, to put your mind at ease ;) Probably I should read both of them, so I can get a clear picture of what happens in both and share that with you. *snort*

    ~Hopefully it stands alone well if I wanted to pick it up and read it.~

    My thought on this book is that if you’ve read some of them, so you at least know the main characters/the players and understand the dynamics, this book would, more than many that preceded it, stand alone. I think I said this above, but this one focuses more on the case, less on the relationships, Keishon, so I think you could read it and easily follow along since you’ve read some of the series before. I don’t know that I’d ever recommend it to someone who’s never read the series. I think many of the nuances would be lost. But I’d just tell them to go back and start at the beginning. I think this discussion does nothing if not demonstrate that it’s a series people can get enormously involved in, even after all this time.

  28. Kristie(J)
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 07:33:26

    I repeat – Arrrrrgggghhhh – you guys are killing me :-( ! An in Death discussion and I can’t join in. I’m keeping my fingers crossed I get my copy today!!
    And Nora – more than any other author, I trust you to stay true to character for our beloved Eve and Roarke – even though as yet I don’t know what everyone is talking about.

  29. Anne
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 08:49:58

    Hopefully it stands alone well if I wanted to pick it up and read it.

    Thinking about this book, I honestly think this one could stand alone. You wouldn’t have gotten the “beginning” of Eve and Roarke but you would totally understand them together and the love they share.

    Let me add that it's enormously flattering to have a character I created generate this kind of interest and discussion from readers.

    I have to say that one of my blogging partners/friend, we talk about Eve and Roarke all the time. Just yesterday we were saying how Roarke is the best hero ever. He’s magnificent.

    Tip-toeing around spoilers here but the law was being used to cheat justice. Eve went outside the line of the law to eliminate the loophole. The decision will trouble her, and she'll question it down the road-but it doesn't and won't change her.

    And I can see this about her. She’s about justice. She didn’t want justice cheated for those she stood for, so she bent the rules, and rightfully so to bring The Groom to justice. The sick bastard. :-) There shouldn’t have been an easy way out for him and I think Eve did what was right. Will Feeney bring this up to her sometime in the future? Makes me wonder. I think he’s going to agree with what she did if it does happen because he knows what went on there.

    Nora, these books are absolutely amazing. Suck me in every time.

  30. Donna
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 08:57:53

    I'm fine with the ending, I didn't any problem at all with it. I agree with Angie's assessment of it. What I wanted to address was the comment about her conflict with Feeney. I've been in a similar situation (in the business world, not cop world) where I am now in charge not my former manager/mentor. This was his reaction and it completely floored me. For some reason the male ego doesn't see the person he trained is now caring the torch, he sees you leaving him behind. Not including him in all decision making. As a conflict between Feeney and Eve, it worked for me.

  31. Shannon Stacey
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 09:25:30

    trying not to read….trying not to read…

    Does Creation come before or after the new antho?

  32. Diane
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 09:27:48

    Of all 27 books (and how many novellas), this was the most disappointing, but not because of Eve’s choice. The book seemed too crowded with established characters, but none of their sideplots could be given a fair shake, and new characters were brought in without a chance to develop them. Roarke is apparently on vacation from business. I didn’t perceive any growth in Eve and Roarke’s relationship; it seemed to be status quo. And the futuristic angle is dwindling away pretty fast. No cars were lifting into the air, and there was even a mention of a MetroCard…hey, those are already in the pipeline to be replaced by a SmartCard. You can bet that, half a century from now, MetroCards will be the vaguest memory of commuters in the Big Apple. There were also some quirks that didn’t make sense to me: since when does Eve say “Huh?”, which she has suddenly begun saying, like a verbal tic. Luckily for my broken heart, since I thought the series had run out of steam, I read Eternity in Death (part of the Dead of Night anthology, just released), and I see Nora back in top form. I guess, with Creation in Death, she just had a bad day at the office. Nora, if you read this: I love your work, I have all your books, and I’m looking forward to more ID! But, now that you have so many characters, please feel free not to include them all in each book, so when someone does appear on the page, you can give him the attention he deserves, just as you did in the earliest volumes.

  33. Nora Roberts
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 09:31:00

    Let me touch on the Feeney-Eve conflict by first saying it doesn’t matter what my process was. If it doesn’t work for a reader, it doesn’t work for that reader.

    But since we’re discussing I’ll say Feeney was way off. His reaction came from a combination of guilt–he’d been primary, hadn’t stopped this guy and many more people were murdered. That’s on his head, on his heart. Now he’s watching his `student’ take over, and when the case turns for her it’s personal. The case turned for her, and she didn’t come to him. What did he miss 9 years before? What hadn’t he done? Why was she shutting him out?

    Wrong reaction entirely. But in that situation, in that moment, he felt old, useless, guilty and shuffled aside. Add in stress and exhaustion, and he lashed out.

    It’s not his usual style, his usual way, but I felt it suited the moment–as did their resolution of the conflict the next day.

  34. Nora Roberts
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 09:36:32

    ~I guess, with Creation in Death, she just had a bad day at the office.~

    I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. It’s just not possible to please every reader, every time. But I always hate disappointing anyone.

    This particular book was an ensemble story–had to be. And its focus was on the case much more than relationships. Again, had to be. I wanted to show quite a bit of the cop work from Roarke’s pov, immerse him in it.

    But again, as I said above, if it doesn’t work for a reader, the process and reasoning of the author don’t really matter. It just doesn’t work for that reader.

  35. Mary Lou
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 10:25:45

    What a great discussion! Just finished the book the other day, and loved it. Yeah, a little less relationship tension between Eve and Roarke, but a good case story – loved that. I’m embarrassed to say that when I read the review above, I couldn’t figure out what Jane had a problem with at first. Then, of course, I remembered. For me, it works. I like what Angela said about how Eve and Roarke being together has shortened the distance between their disparate views on law and justice as they stood at the beginning of their relationship. I could appreciate Eve’s immediate response to that situation, was a little surprised that she thought of a solution so quickly, and in the end, I’m glad to hear she’ll wrestle with it later – that’s as it should be. I have to say, this is what I find so compelling with Nora Roberts’ writing – such great characters. I walk away from her books knowing I’ll miss them.

  36. Donna
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 10:39:53

    I loved getting back to the “cops and robbers” aspect of Eve. After all she is a cop. Nora has given us many books where relationship is the main part of the story. This was a nice change up. I love a good crime drama, but then I am a John Sandford, Lee Child, etc. fan.

  37. McB
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 12:18:48

    I finished CID yesterday and enjoyed it very much. Yes, in this book there was less than we are used to about some things, i.e. Eve and Roarke’s relationship, Eve’s nightmares and some other stuff. But it felt right to me. It felt timely for Robb to pull back from some of that stuff. There’s a point at which angst gets old. You can’t have Eve and Roarke suffering emotional upheavals in every book or the reader is going to wonder if there won’t eventually be one straw too many for that camel’s back. And that would ruin the series for me because whatever else is going on, I need to know that Eve and Roarke and the gang will always come through solid. And, IMO, it’s nice that you, Nora, are giving Trueheart a break these last few books. Really, what you put that nice boy through for a while!

    And I liked that we saw a bit more of the day-to-day cop stuff mixed in. It showed that no matter how big the current case is, the nuts and bolts stuff, the pettier (petty-er?) crimes still need to be dealt with too.

  38. McB
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 12:39:31

    Also I didn’t have a problem with the ending. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that there was a loophole in the justice system and that Eve stepped over the line to close it. That’s how I saw it: she closed a loophole. It’s a fine line between that and circumventing, and it will bother Eve because she believes in the system. But she believes in justice even more.

  39. Phyl
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 12:48:07

    Thanks Nora for the updated publishing schedule. Amazon lists Strangers in Death as available for pre-order and to be released Feb. 19. Only 98 days to go!

  40. Karmyn
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 12:55:14

    Nora, I think I love you. You are a true professional. So many authors, both new and established, would react badly to a review that wasn’t an A+, but you know that not everybody is going to enjoy everything. Brava!
    *makes mental note to check out more of your books next time I go to the library*

  41. Diane
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 12:59:27

    A sidenote: for those of you who re-read Nora’s work (as I do, constantly!) and are worried about paperbacks falling apart, it turns out that some of her books, which are only released in pb in the USA, are issued in hardcover in the UK. Piatkus books produces BEAUTIFUL editions, and you can buy them through the publisher or from Amazon.co.uk. However, this is very expensive. A typical book, with shipping costs, runs about $75. You can sometimes find used copies (still an excellent value) on ABEbooks.com or Alibris.com. The ID series are a very proud addition to my library.

    Nora, thank you for your very gracious response. I figure it must be hard on you, being held to a higher standard by sticklers like me, who know the best you’re capable of, and sulk when we don’t think we’re getting it. I’m sure some of us are always yapping at your heels, demanding to know Why This? or Why Not That?

  42. Robin
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 13:39:56

    Tip-toeing around spoilers here but the law was being used to cheat justice. Eve went outside the line of the law to eliminate the loophole. The decision will trouble her, and she'll question it down the road-but it doesn't and won't change her.

    How do you see Eve in CID relative to Eve in, say, Witness, Purity, or Divided? In Witness, for example, where she gave Areena advice for her defense but knew she might still go to jail, or Purity where she and Roarke argue because she thinks Roarke is sympathetic to those willing to take the law into their own hands, or Divided where Roarke and Eve’s marriage is strained because Eve won’t allow Roarke to take the law into his own hands to avenge what he saw as a great injustice? Do you see her as having changed at all? Or is it that she can change without becoming a different person? Or are you conceptualizing her as the same person consistently?

    To me, CID was the first time Eve actually *interfered* with the law. And while I totally understand how that outcome is satisfying for readers, do you see what she did as consistent with what she’s done in the past or as one more step or as something different? As a reader I think Eve already has changed from Naked because her life with Roarke has offered her a whole new perspective and because he’s challenged so many of her previous certainties. So I’m wondering if when you say Eve won’t be changed by this decision you’re talking about it in a different sense than I’m thinking about it. I don’t think, by the way, that Eve changing is necessarily a good or bad thing.

  43. Tamar
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 14:02:20

    I just finished CID (as well as WID, PID and DID – had to do a quick reread of what the library had!) and I think Eve has stayed basically the same. In the previous books, and maybe especially DID, what she didn’t want was for people to skip over the process of the law. If Roarke had taken the law into his own hands, he would have totally ignored the law and its steps that Eve believes in.

    SLIGHT SPOILER

    In CID she still follows the process. She arrests The Groom, he is booked, he will have a trial (if I remember correctly) and based on his own testimony will be sentenced and sent to prison. The system still stands for her. She just takes away his get of of jail free card.

  44. Bonnie
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 14:07:14

    I haven’t read CID yet. Being fairly new to NR, I have a lot of catching up to do, but I will get to it.

    Nora, you truly are a class act. The grace in which you respond to negative opinions is admirable. My hat’s off to you.

  45. Nora Roberts
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 14:33:16

    I’m not quite sure how to answer some of this without stomping into spoiler territory.

    I’d say while I don’t see Eve as changed–in the core–I see her evolving. Maybe that’s just semantics. If she doesn’t evolve, re-think, adjust, she’s stagnant, as a character in a long-running series. Things happen, various circumstances, experiences–they all play a part in influencing her thought-process, her evolution. But her core of morality remains.

    In Divided, it was the avenging–going outside the law to avenge a wrong that wouldn’t be righted–she could and would not accept. The deed was done. And it was also about her, personally. She as the victim. She couldn’t accept revenge on her own behalf. And that revenge wouldn’t change anything, balance any scales, relieve any pain. While Roarke saw this as justice, she simply could not.

    I wish I could remember the E&R conflict in Purity more clearly, but I can’t. What I do know is these two characters will always question each other–and themselves–on where they stand. And why. It’s part of who they are. Where they stand and why may shift some, depending on the situation and the circumstances. Otherwise, I think, they’re both rigid and uncompromising. And not very interesting.

    In this book, it was about crossing that line of the law to serve justice–and the victims she stood for. As she saw it, yes–right or wrong. Again, I feel she could do this, make this decision at that moment, because the killer had found a way to use the law to escape justice.

    She knows what she’s doing–knows she’s crossing that line, which is why she doesn’t discuss it with Feeney or anyone but Roarke. She’s not going to involve them. She’ll carry this weight on her own.

    I do think the last two years have opened her, and that her evolution during that period played a part in why she could justify doing what she did. But I don’t think the act changes her moral center.

    If that makes sense.

    And yes, Diane, I often get the why not this or why that. My feeling is reading is such a personal act–every reader gets what they get out of a story. It’s the beauty of reading. So I have to go with my own instincts when telling that story, or I’d be trying to please everybody. Probably end up pleasing no one, me included.

    When readers wonder about characters to this extent, debate and discuss their motivations, personalities, decisions, it’s incredibly satisfying for the writer.

  46. Diane
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 15:50:41

    One of the most satisfying things about a long-running series like ID: over time, you get to feel that the characters are people you know. In single titles or trilogies, you may learn that there is a Happily Ever After, but that’s it. In ID, we can be there DURING the happily ever after. I just wish I could email Eve and Roarke, and pester them to have a baby!

  47. Meljean
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 16:26:16

    I just wish I could email Eve and Roarke, and pester them to have a baby!

    lol! Speaking of never pleasing every reader, that would be where I’d probably stop reading. But you know, Nora writes fast enough — maybe it could be the “choose your own Eve as they continue on in parallel universes” … one book a year with baby-Eve, one book a year with babyless-Eve, and everyone follows the version of the series they like :-D

  48. Diane
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 16:38:25

    What a marvelous idea: alternative history! Perhaps it could be called the “… out of Death” series instead. Leonardo will be the singer, Mavis will be the clothing designer; Peabody will be the IT and McNab will be undercover, while Trueheart will be a real ladies’ man. Perhaps Roarke will become a stay-at-home dad, and Summerset will take over Roarke Industries. Eve, during her pregnancy, can wind up in the Commander’s chair and try her hand (and her temper) at bureaucracy. I would also love to see our futuristic friends meet more of Nora’s other characters (as occurred in “Remember When”).

  49. McB
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 16:50:30

    My favorite ID “what if” fantasy: Eve tangles with virtual reality again. This time she gets sucked into a reality where she didn’t become Lt. Dallas. Of course this means she probably never partnered with Feeney, befriended Mavis, met Roarke or took on Peabody. But in order to get out of this alternate reality, she has to solve a puzzle. And in order to do that, she’ll have to assemble her “team” – from scratch.

    Don’t ask me HOW it works out, I’m not the writer. Just a reader with a vivid imagination.

  50. Mary Lou
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 17:22:53

    Nah, I don’t want a ‘choose your own’ story… I love reading what an author has come to in her own imagination. I can interact with it, love it, hate it, whatever, but it’s the author’s creation. I think Nora Roberts has done a great job so far, and I’m happy to see where it goes. After all, it’s a book to read, it’s not politics in the Middle East, for crying out loud! :)

  51. Lisa B in Tx
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 20:00:32

    Diane – I’m in agreement with you. I am Nora’s biggest fan, have read and re-read all the ID’s many times. But Creation in Death seemed “uninspired”. At the very beginning, the discussion of the murderer – I thought it sounded familiar. It reminded me of David Palmer in Midnight in Death (he liked to see how long his victims would last). I didn’t see any second story between the characters. There’s usually one good story of something going on between a couple of them – but there just wasn’t this time.

    I have been amazed time and time again with each new In Death just how creative Nora can be – and bring us fresh stories each time. I’m hoping there was just blip with this one – or maybe it was just not connecting with me.

  52. Miki
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 20:27:34

    My take on this was a little different. But first let me agree with McB that every book in this series does not need a big personal issue and/or revelation for Eve. So little time passes between these books in book time, but since we only get them twice a year I think we forget that. Eve and Roarke deserve some “down time” once in a while!

    I was okay with Feeney’s melt-down (I could see the “feeling guilty about not catching this guy the first time” angle – and figure a fight was due). The particular reason for the fight would hardly be important, you just knew he was going to feel guilty on jump on Eve sooner or later.

    And to the …SPOILERISH… issue being discussed…

    While it surprised me that it was done so quickly (would have expected a bit of the old angst where Roarke has to persuade Eve to go around the rules), my main thought was: This isn’t something she’s going to be able to be evasive on, and management just lets it slide.

    Seems to me, this guy is going to make noise about what happened. And I would think he – and his attorneys – would have copies not in the public domain (so to speak). Print-outs, if they’re “old-fashioned”. Back up discs if they’re digitally inclined.

    In this case, I would think this Unhappy Person would have some recourse to say the document existed and to make noise about it, either requesting an official inquest or seeking “justice” in the media. And this would give some ammunition to those in CopCentral who hold Eve’s marriage against her and use it to keep her out of consideration for promotions.

  53. Diane
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 20:36:59

    Miki, that’s a very good point. Roarke could only have erased digital items on networks. Any private computer or link, any piece of paper, could wreak havoc with Eve’s gambit. Well, maybe it will come back in the next book, or the one after that; say, a hung jury, a mistrial, a suspension from the force for Eve…we’ll just have to wait and see what Nora has decided. And, although I’m totally dedicated to Eve and Roarke, I think it would be wonderful to see a spinoff or stand-alone for Peabody and McNab (in a comic vein) or for Charles and his doctor (in a truly romantic vein).

  54. Robin
    Nov 13, 2007 @ 22:53:08

    I do think the last two years have opened her, and that her evolution during that period played a part in why she could justify doing what she did. But I don't think the act changes her moral center.

    If that makes sense.

    Yes, I think it does. I need to think more about the conflict in Purity and how it relates to Eve’s decision in Creation, because to me it feels like a change has or is occurring in Eve in terms of her relationship to the law (to the rule of law, more specifically). I realize that Eve has found ways to remain true to her central mission of justice for the victim, as you say, and I likely won’t know how I feel about Creation until a couple of books from now. Thank you, though, for explaining your perspective. I ultimately thing it’s this aspect of Eve we’ve been discussing, her commitment to justice and her balls to the wall work ethic, that makes her so compelling to many of us.

  55. Nora Roberts
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 07:06:06

    (would have expected a bit of the old angst where Roarke has to persuade Eve to go around the rules),

    I can say I felt, strongly, that this had to be Eve’s decision. Not something she was persuaded to do, but something she chose to do–all her.

    I don’t think–never know for sure, but I don’t think–there will be any outside conflict from this decision. It’s internal. It’s how she deals with the decision, after the initial rush of having the case closed fades.

    This isn’t going to haunt her every step of the way–too much else to do, and that would, I think, blur into other storylines. But she does have to deal with it, consider it, question it.

    There’s a discussion/debate between E&R in Salvation next year about those lines, that moral code, and how they each deal with their own–and deal together. And another scene that goes a ways toward clearing Eve’s conscience about the decision.

    It worked for me. We’ll have to see if it works for the reader.

    To my MD BFF Angela: If ONLY I’d sent you the next two mss before they went in house! What a fool I was.

  56. AJArend
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 16:30:23

    Personally, I see it this way: I think were people get mixed up about Eve is that they feel she stands 100% for the letter of the law, and that’s just not true. I think she’s more interested in justice, and she understands that sometimes the law is not just. Sometimes killers are let go on a technicality. Is that just? No, but it’s the law. Eve understands that sometimes you don’t get real justice if you follow the law 100%, and since she’s 100% for justice, that means sometimes bending the law in order to give justice to the people she stands for.

  57. Peg
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 20:48:33

    I had no problem with Eve’s decision. One of the most interesting aspects of the ID series is the characters’ growth, especially Eve. Her “rebirth” came when she graduated from the Police Academy. That provided her with structure, rules, identity, and a black and white view of justice, with no shades of gray. Justice equals the law. She has grown through her marriage to Roarke, developing a new understanding of the arts, fine food and wine, even high fashion. With that new understanding has also come an awareness that justice is not always black and white. There are indeed shades of gray. More importantly, true justice may sometimes require finessing the letter of the law. Allowing the Groom to take an easy way out would have been an obscene perversion of justice, and a total betrayal of the victims. And in the final analysis, it is the victims alone who matter. Eve “stands for” them. They belong to her. She absolutely had to get them some measure of justice – regardless of the personal cost to herself, and be assured, this will take a heavy toll on Eve.

  58. Diane
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 21:45:12

    I wonder if there are any plans to issue a volume of all the short ID’s. With 3,000+ books, I don’t have room for the anthologies (which I buy simply to read an ID novella). It would also be great to have them in one binding because I could read them in order. It’s hard to tell, with anthologies, where a particular novella fits into the canon.

  59. spyscribbler
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 22:59:35

    Okay, I didn’t read every single comment above (it’s getting late), but I do think that Eve has gradually changed. Roarke has changed her. She doesn’t put up the fuss she used to when he takes care of her, and more and more she’s tread into the waters of using Roarke’s expertise both officially and non-officially. Taking that last step to use Roarke to do what he did at the end doesn’t seem that big of a leap to me. She was more emotionally involved in this case than any one I can remember, and it seems logical to me that her reaction to the circumstances at the end would have more emotion involved than usual.

    Nora, thank you so much for being a writer. :-)

  60. Teresa
    Nov 15, 2007 @ 15:47:10

    This case hit everyone involved before hard. Morris wondered if he missed something with previous victims that could have helped the cops. Eve didn’t even have to bribe Dickhead. He had everything ready when she came into the lab. He was pretty upset, wondering if he missed anything 9yrs before. He had some strong reactions. I’m not upset at the ending, I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Eve. She would have worked to find a loophole to keep the Groom from “getting out of jail free”. Expecially after confessing so freely.

    Can’t wait for Salvation.

  61. Gina
    Nov 16, 2007 @ 08:57:58

    First, Nora thank you’s to you and TTPB for offering that wonderful subscription service, getting your books delivered automatically (and autographed) is just an amazing highlight in my reading life. (I’d have had mine sooner but I had to update my information with TTPB so I’m behind the eight ball on this book)

    What I like most about this series is that no one is ‘perfect’, everyone has issues to deal with, pasts to overcome, there is nothing pretty or predictable about the characters. About the only thing we can be sure of in this series is that Eve is one kick-butt cop and her relationship with Roarke gets hotter every time. Even better, this book clearly showed us that they are really a couple now and have happily accepted the fact.

    I also love touching base with Eve’s family (Peabody and McNab, Morris and Dick***, Mira, Summerset). This little band of people in her life that she’s unknowingly turned into her family add elements to the book that I look forward to.

    As usual, I laughed, I cried and I cheered her on…and I look forward to the next chapter in Eve’s life.

  62. El
    Nov 18, 2007 @ 01:35:11

    This book seemed like a bit of a departure–the way we (through Roarke) see the whole investigation, the complete immersion of everyone involved in the investigation, the pacing and the tone. Once I started getting into the meat of the book, I just started grinning.

  63. Lorrie1969
    Dec 02, 2007 @ 00:25:48

    SPOILER:

    I totally respect the reviewers POV on this subject. But I saw Creation ID through totally different eyes. I loved the ending! Eve is usually so rigid with the law and working very hard not to cross those specific lines. Therefore, I found the ending as one of those moments where you can “stand up and cheer!” I loved that it ended the way it did. I think had it ended differently where Eve didn’t cross that line, it would have been a total disappointment not just to the reader but also to the characters themselves. As a reader I find myself “adopting” the feelings of the victims. If Eve hadn’t made that decision it would have felt like the victim lost. I think that’s the difference between being a “victim and being a survivor”. If the ending was different whereas justice wasn’t served victims would remain victims. Even the victim that was saved. But through Eve’s actions, she’s a survivor…no longer a victim. And if Eve wouldn’t have done what she did would she find herself questioning her ability to make a difference for the victims she’s fighting for? I don’t know. But I think it shows how strong her character really is. She made a difficult decision…one that is ultimately going to affect her, and in doing so may make her a stronger person in the long run, because she went above and beyond her comfort zone to make sure the victims were spoken for, and justice was served in the only way it could be. (Perhaps because no one spoke for her when she was a young victim, even though those on the side of the law knew what was happening and did nothing???)

    I also liked the conflict between Feeny and Eve. It shows the tension and stress that the two are in. I totally got that. There was soooo much going on inside Feeny: self doubts, stress, exhaustion, feelings of past failure, and having to step aside and let someone else take over an investigation Feeny felt was his responsibility to fix long ago. All human emotions that showed how personally involved they were in this case. I liked Eve’s reaction to it too. I love her thought process and how she handles her personal conflicts, and how she works through them. I just thought it humanized the story line. Got the reader emotionally involved. The book was an awsome read!

  64. joan
    Dec 02, 2007 @ 23:45:52

    I did not like the book from the first reading. I re-read it on a 5 hour flight and liked it better. After reading the above posts, I understand better where Nora Roberts was going with the plot. The fact that it is going to come up again, even in a small way, made it a better ending for me.

  65. Judy
    Dec 05, 2007 @ 16:29:06

    No car destroyed. No stollen candy. But OH THE DEPTH of the story itself. Thank you Nora!

  66. rose
    Dec 10, 2007 @ 20:08:20

    I discovered Nora about three years ago and have devoured all her books that I have been able to get my hands on, I have to confess that I am a huge fan. I especially love the J.D. books. I own them all, the only HC I buy. I am sorry to say that for the first time I was dissappointed in Creation In Death. Not the book itself, it was excellent, but the story line. It felt like a longer version of Midnight In death. I could’nt help but have this feeling of deja vu while reading it, and that spoiled my enjoyment. I sure hope Nora is not running out of ideas, becuse there is nothing out there to compare to these books.

  67. rose
    Dec 11, 2007 @ 17:39:36

    who is this woman who started appearing on the back of the books, i think the first one was memory in death. who is this polished woman of the perfect hair and ugh lip enhancements perfect hairdo? The only thing recognisable about her is the leather coat. I think one of the reasons i love these books so much is the difference between the very polished roarke, and the i don’t give a damn what i look like eve. And this has been so from the beginning and he has’nt tried to change her, or she change herself for him. Sure he buys her clothes and things, but he loves her even in ripped jeans, and her self sheared off hair. This would have been better left in our imagination or at least depicted her as close to the books as possible. What is the point of creating such a wonderful character, that has no equal out there and then not stay true to her.I love the dishevelled eve very much, this one should go back to oblivion.
    I love the books so much, it’s always so hard to wait for the next one, especially as they never reach all of us on the release date. By the way why not, if they can do it for harry potter, why not for roarke and eve who are in opinion more wonderful.

  68. rose
    Dec 11, 2007 @ 18:08:56

    the ending was fine in creation, would’nt it be boring if there was no variation to a character. we all change, and the way you react to a situation today is not the same as you would have 5 years ago, and yes i know she is just a character, but if she was always predictable, there would be no spice.

  69. Miki
    Dec 11, 2007 @ 22:28:09

    the difference between the very polished roarke, and the i don't give a damn what i look like eve. And this has been so from the beginning and he has'nt tried to change her, or she change herself for him.

    Y’know, I love these books, but this isn’t a statement I’d agree with. He’s been replacing her clothes and treating her like his very own Barbie doll from almost the beginning. He let Sommerset replace clothes she’d packed for a trip with what they (Roarke and Sommerset) considered more appropriate.

    He may love her despite the clothes, but he has definitely worked – at least in this area – to change her!

  70. rose
    Dec 12, 2007 @ 21:36:26

    I disagree, it’s more like she doesn’t have a clue about clothes, so yes he does nudge her in a certain direction when appropriate. He has a need to buy her stuff because of their respective backgrounds. When she walked into the restaurant where he was having dinner with the actress and her possy and everybody was glammed up ( forget which book) and the major domo wanted to throw her out, what was Roarke’s reaction to her. Just one example of many, and she still has her ragged clothes, otherwise how could she still be wearing them. Don’t forget Summerset is an absolute snob, but he is coming around.

  71. Kristie(J)
    Dec 16, 2007 @ 10:33:31

    OK – finally read this. I must admit I was a bit puzzled when I saw what she did and that Jane, you had a problem with it. To me it was very much in character. Sort of scanning these posts but not wanting to too much as to have it spoiled – I thought she had done something very dreadful. I’m glad she did what she did. To me it seemed the right thing – the just thing. I think she likes to see justice served above all things and if she hadn’t, justice for the victims wouldn’t have been served.

  72. steff
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 11:25:09

    I finally read Creation in Death & as nothing else appeals to me at the moment, I’m re-reading the series from the beginning. Just finished Naked in Death last night, & Eve went against her moral code of ethics in this first book by asking Roarke to use his secured, unregistered comp unit to research the financials of one of the suspects. So we see this in Eve from the very beginning as she seeks justice. She also has Roarke turn/leak this information to Nadine Furst, even though the department & she are under orders to give the press nothing.

  73. rose
    Jan 24, 2008 @ 22:55:56

    I couldn’t decipher your user name, with this new format it’s all blurred, and the color does not help.
    Anyway I completely agree with you about the unregistered which Eve has used from the beginning. She has added it to charges, as in the case of Niles Renquist in Imitation in Death, and Clarissa in Loyalty in Death. Lets also not forget that she protected Jamie in Ceremony in Death. So it seems to me that her moral compass has alwyas been flexible. Tibble suspects the unregistered and has looked the other way too!
    I have found myself rereading the whole series from the beginning. I have just finished Ceremony in Death. I am curious about something I came across. In Glory in Death, right at the end of the book,I thought Morse died. In Immortal in Death, pg. 146, Eve and Nadine are talking about him as though he is still alive and he is gonna stand trial. What do you think?

  74. steff
    Jan 25, 2008 @ 10:08:26

    I think the character Morse from Glory in Death ends up in a “cage” & doesn’t die; he may have been injured, though. I just finished Vengeance in Death last night, & boy did Eve bend the laws in this one! Not only her, but Peabody & McNab AND I even believe that Commander Whitney & Chief Tibble pretty much knew that Eve wasn’t telling them everything & let it slide. Men who gave Roarke tips on where to find the 6 men who killed Marlena, Summerset’s daughter, are being tortured to death & Summerset is being set up for the deaths. Eve has to try to catch the killer without bringing it all back to Roarke & she keeps information from her commander while pursuing the killer. One of the best books in the series.

  75. azteclady
    Jan 25, 2008 @ 13:20:12

    I read the thread just after reading Creation ID, and I must say that I was–still am–surprised at so many people’s reaction to Eve’s decision. She’s always been about justice over the letter of the law. Yes, she does try to stick to the letter because without order of some kind justice would be the first thing to go–but simultaneously, it’s justice that matters most to her. Witness ID made that clear to me, when she says, “Justice was served in a courtroom” at the end.

    I can see how Eve will struggle, once she’s cool off a bit, over having Roarke not just cross a line but obliterate it–for far too long law and justice have been almost the same thing to her. But her relationship with Roarke has allowed her to grow and discover more shades of gray than she saw before.

  76. LKB in Nashville
    Feb 11, 2008 @ 14:56:20

    For some reason, I have never liked romance novels written by men, so I did not read the J.D. Robb series from the beginning, assuming that it was a series written from a masculine POV (my mistake). When I first moved to Nashville 2 years ago, I read one of the books and I was hooked, subsequently researching and buying every title out there, including the anthologies (just for the ID story). I even discovered Innocent in Death on the Amazon UK website before its US release and did the “Search Inside” with various words until I practically read the entire book (which I purchased as soon as it was available in the US). I have always liked NR’s books – she frequently includes references to WV (my home state) and has even mentioned Shepherd College, my brother’s alma mater :). The ID series provides an aspect that you do not get in a single novel or even in Nora’s trilogies. The emphasis remains on the key couple (although I really enjoy the little touches such as the reference to Young Frankenstein’s “Abby Normal”) and the entire premise is a wonderful fantasy (the hero is unbelievably handsome, rich and, most importantly, “outrageously” in love with the heroine). The idea for the billionaire and the cop is one that just keeps on giving – it is perfectly believable that they could work together and it allows for glimpses of the “good life”, too. It is a “no brainer” to admire the strength and intelligence of Eve, but I also admit that I like the descriptions of the clothes and jewelry and enjoy the character of Roarke, especially when he gets to be worried and protective :) I also like the books because I have grown to like so many of the characters and, as one reviewer noted, they are Eve’s family. I hope NR changes her mind with regard to a baby for Roarke and Eve. They have Summerset for child care and it would add one other dimension to the growth of the characters. Certainly Nora Roberts’ life and career did not end when she had children :) Regarding the comments on Eve’s request of Roarke at the end, I was pleased that she didn’t allow the law to be circumvented and I did not feel that it was a departure from her previous actions. After all, she protected Jamie when he killed his sister’s killer in Ceremony in Death. Eve has always been all about the victim – to me, this was no different.

  77. Katrina
    Feb 12, 2008 @ 10:33:21

    I loved the ending and did not see it as out of the realm of reality for Eve. She has always stood for the victim and has bent the lines of the law plenty of times in the past. True this time she crossed the line thoroughly. But as the injustice to the 25 victims of the Groom would have been severe and have set a precident for future lawbreakers to use it was fully justified. Sure it will give Eve some bad times, but those are outweighed by the results of her actions. And, as it took Roarke several hours to accomplish the deed I assumed that meant that he took care of the paperwork as well as the digital records. After all, if all he had to worry about were the digital records he would have had it done in under an hour. I assumed being a thorough man and fully aware of paper backups and files that he hired a few people to rifle the various offices and remove the physical files. As the lawyer couldn’t put his hands on the certification he had to have done this. I loved this book and all of the ID books. You go Nora!!!!!!

  78. Sarah
    Mar 04, 2008 @ 18:38:45

    To be honest with you, I cannot fathom how readers cannot reconcile Eve’s decision at the end of this novel with her character. I personally found it much more of a stretch to imagine her not only overlooking Roarke’s vigilante actions of the past (especially when face to face with exactly what those crimes looked like), but actually saying in the end that he did the right thing. This is what I would have imagined would eat away at Eve Dallas; knowing that her husband was capable of something that horrific… something that she’s spent her life fighting against. Her decision in this novel was still absolutely about seeking justice, (true justice, not the handcuffed version we are unfortunately sometimes forced to live with) just in a bit more circuitous route. Like one other reviewer, I would point no further than what she did with Jamie at the end of that novel, to say that this is indeed not out of character for her.

    As to the question about the mistake of having the dead (the knife in the throat and Roarke saying he wasn’t going to allow Eve to go through testing for something he did, I’d say makes it obvious he was dead) Morse standing trial in the next novel, I’d point out that if you listen to the audiobook version of Survivor in Death you’ll realise that originally she misnamed the couple that had lost their daughter in Naked in Death as Katherine and Justin (the aunt and uncle of the victim), rather than Richard and Elizabeth, but it has been fixed in subsequent print editions as it’s correct in the paperback I own. I’m not sure if the Morse typo was ever fixed or not, I haven’t sought out different editions of this one to check as I did with Survivor, this was simply a minor mistake that I wrote off as par for the course. Ultimately when you are writing a series as involved and as prolific as the in Death series, it’s hard to keep every single detail in order. I’ve only ever written single titles myself, but even then I have had to come up with detailed time lines down to the exact day and time something happened, as well as virtual family trees to try to avoid this problem even within just the one book, and still I have found inconsistancies upon further review. Unfortunately, it’s going to happen no matter how fabulous the author might be. You hope that the editor, friend, critique partner, or whoever you have read through it catches it, but that doesn’t always happen.

    Overall, I enjoyed this book and actually the conflict with Feeney and the decision she makes in the end ring completely true with me, especially since I have a grandfather that’s just been diagnosed with Alzheimers and so I can completely relate to watching someone that’s realising that he’s not Superman after all, dealing with the fact that sometimes you have to rely on those that you raised and let go of a bit of the independence. It’s not precisely the same, but it’s hard to let go of youth and vigor and realise that sometimes you can’t do it all and you can’t have the answers for it all. Losing some control, and passing on the baton, especially when you feel like a failure, quite simply stinks, and it does not make for a happy or even at times rational person.

    The only problem I had with this book was that like a few other reviewers, I found the method of murder a bit too close to that of a previous killer that Eve had faced. But when I suspended that element the rest of the book was actually quite refreshing. After the intense emotional heft of Innocent in Death, it was a nice surprise to have this focus on the investigation and allow Roarke to truly appreciate perhaps for the first time, exactly what it is that she does day to day. A great breather in their relationship.

    One other note, after nearly dying twice in the line of duty, I don’t think Trueheart is the green rookie that everyone still wants to see him as. Just because it hasn’t made him jaded doesn’t mean that it’s left him naive. A nice, kindhearted guy doesn’t equate with a lacking or again, naive one. It just means that he’s even stronger as a person than most of us are because no matter what he’s faced, he’s still kept his core character and didn’t allow it to negatively affect him as a person. It would be nice to see that portrayed sometime soon. I think he’s a heck of a lot smarter, tougher, and deeper than we’ve had a chance to see yet, and I think he would surprise us all with just how intimately he understands things like how precious life is and how important his job is, not to mention how unshakable that backbone of his is if given the opportunity. Some of the sweetest people I’ve known have also been the strongest. Just my humble opinion though.

  79. rired
    Mar 06, 2008 @ 23:31:39

    I just found this site from a link on another forum. First, Thank-you Ms Roberts for creating such unforgettable characters! I can’t get enough of them. I was introduced to the ID series when I came across a pb copy of Origin ID and I’ve been a loyal fan ever since.

    My pov may be a bit different having read most of the series straight through without breaks… until Born ID. (sigh) I was not disturbed by Eve’s decision. It seemed fitting as I reflected on something Mira said back near the beginning about watching Eve grow as a person.
    First, she had Mavis and Feeney, but kept them at arm’s length. Then Roarke came into her life, followed by Peabody, McNabb, Mira herself, Nadine, etc., and she is no longer a one-dimensional personality. She cannot afford to remain rigid in the black and white world she created. Human interaction forces her to see the shades of gray and deal with them.
    I love the relationship between E&R, but it’s all of her relationships that keep me coming back. Watching Eve grow and develop as a character is such fun.

  80. ShadowDancer
    Apr 16, 2008 @ 23:18:51

    First, I love the fact that Nora Roberts is part of this discussion.

    I felt the ending of Creation in Death was very much in Eve’s character, and something that she may have doubts about later. She has always stood for justice, and by having Roarke fix the problem, justice was served. SPOILERS:

    It would have been different if Eve had “bypassed” the system to kill someone. That would be a total departure for her, and I can never see it happening. However, in this case, Eve bypassed a self-termination order. Forcing someone to live (assuming that the Groom doesn’t manage to hang himself with his bed-sheets) isn’t against the spirit of justice.

    I love all of the In Death series. In fact, I ended up reading Nora Roberts as a temporary “fix” to my J. D. Robb addition. Now, I’m addicted to both authors.

    Oh, just FYI. One of my favorites of Nora Roberts’ set is her vampire trilogy: Morrigan’s Cross, Dance of the Gods, and Valley of Silence. I’ve loved vampire fiction ever since Dark Shadows was on TV in the 60s. On the evening of my birthday, I was feeling a little sorry for myself, so I went to Barnes and Noble to see if I could find a new book. I practically danced in the aisle when I found a Nora Roberts vampire story. Two of my favorite things in one shot.

    Speaking of NR and vampires, I laughed myself stupid over “Eternity in Death.” The contrast between it and the vampire trilogy was priceless.

    Thanks so much for more books I can read to rags.

  81. REVIEW: Fantasy in Death by JD Robb | Dear Author
    May 26, 2010 @ 13:01:55

    [...] as insignificant, but which for me changed the series in a fundamental way. Several books ago, Jane noted that Eve did something at the end of Creation in Death that seemed completely out of character for [...]

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