Top positive review
42 people found this helpful
Great Start For Futuristic Mystery Series!
on 28 February 2005
"Naked In Death" is the first book in J. D. Robb's Eve Dallas mystery series. I have been hearing positive things about these books for a long time, and now, after reading this terrific novel, I understand why.
New York City, 2058 CE, are the time and setting of "Naked in Death." Robot drones and voice activated machines do menial work, i.e., clean house, serve meals; there is a total ban on guns, (the police use lasers); major improvements have been made in medicine and technology, with advancements in genetics (and strong genetic control); airbuses for public transportation have replaced subways; tele-links replace telephones - but it is not a "brave new world." Minor armed skirmishes have taken place between China and the US, and France had another revolution which lasted for a few years. The overpopulated world has more limited resources - real coffee is rare and way too expensive, as is beef and other fresh meat. Robb has not written a sci-fi series, however. Far enough into the future to make the storyline more interesting, 2058's world is still easily recognizable.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the NYPSD is called to a murder scene where a young licensed companion, (a legalized prostitute ), has been brutally murdered with an antique handgun from the 20th century. The victim, Sharon DeBlass, is from a very prominent family - her grandfather is a US senator. An angry man who preaches morality and leads an ultra conservative branch of his party, the senator would like to totally suppress the case, and perhaps even run the investigation himself. According to friends and relatives, Ms. DeBlass apparently chose her career not only because she liked sex, she did not need the money, but because she was rebelling against her family and strict upbringing. A note was found under her body with the printed words, "ONE OF SIX." So, was the perpetrator a serial killer warning that there were to be five more murders? One of the prime suspects is a sexy Irish billionaire named Roarke. We never learn whether this is his first or last name. Perhaps if one is a billionaire, especially a tall, dark and handsome, with an Irish brogue, billionaire, it doesn't matter. He is quickly cleared of suspicion, and he and Eve embark on a stormy, intense romance - but not before murder #2 occurs.
Eve, although a tough cop who made Lieutenant before the age of 30, is also very vulnerable. She doesn't remember the early years of her life, but knows that she was sexually, physically and emotionally abused by her father, then abandoned at age eight and left to the mercies of Children's Services. She has made her work her life, and letting Roarke get close to her is a first.
Happiness is discovering another excellent series - and from what I have read, this looks like a winner! The writing is tight, as is the plot - an excellent and complex mystery. I really like the characters, Eve, definitely, Roarke - who lives up to his description, Feeney, Eve's partner, and Eve's chanteuse friend Mavis. I can't wait to pick-up book two, "Glory In Death."