Nicole Tracy | Literary Columnist
When one picks up a copy of Naked in Death by J.D. Robb and reads the blurb on the cover, one gets this for the summary: “In a world of danger and deception, she walks the line–between seductive passion and scandalous murder…
Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she’s seen it all–and knows her survival depends on her instincts. And she’s going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire–and a suspect in Eve’s murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it’s up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about–except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.”
Naked in Death is the first in an ongoing series of 41 books (so far) in the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb, a pseudonym for the incredibly prolific romance novelist Nora Roberts. The books are police procedurals with a core of romance at the heart of the story. The story follows Lt. Eve Dallas, who is a driven and dedicated homicide detective.
She is called in when a young and beautiful licenced companion (read: prostitute – in the 2050s, prostitution is not only legal, but licenced) is brutally murdered. Her superiors are putting pressure on her to have the case solved quickly and quietly, as the victim was also the granddaughter of a powerful US senator.
Under the murdered woman, there is also a note, suggesting that this murder is just the first of six. Lt. Dallas could perhaps be dealing with a serial killer. Her main suspect is the gorgeous, obscenely wealthy and extremely powerful Roarke, a friend of the murdered young woman’s family.
Normally, Eve has no problems staying focused on a case and remaining entirely professional, however, whenever she and Roarke meet, sparks fly, and she is having trouble convincing herself that Roarke is bad news and should be best left alone.
Reading Roberts/Robb’s In Death books has the feeling similiar to turning on the television and watching an episode of “Castle,” if Castle was a insanely wealthy businessman instead of a crime writer, and Beckett was a futuristic policeman. They really do have similar plots and character dynamics. If one is a fan of the show, by all means, one will enjoy this story.
The characters are well written, and are entertaining enough. Roberts has a knack for visual descriptions and overall, the story’s plot is not bad. Most of the new technology in the book is pretty appropriate – it gives us a bit of a sci-fi feel without giving Eve too much of an edge over what any cop would have now.
Just like one would expect to find in a Nora Roberts romance novel, there are scenes where the characters find themselves in rather “adult” situations. It is not particularly necessary to the story line, and the excessiveness of it all of throws a damper on an otherwise decent story.
Overall, if one is a fan of Nora Roberts’s romance novels, this novel and series, in fact, is highly suggested to be put on one’s “To-Read” list. If one likes suspense novels with a twist of romance, again, this series is highly suggested.
Naked in Death is available at the Howard County Public Library. Copies are limited, so if it is unavailable, ask at the front desk to be put on a waiting list for it.