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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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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."
JANA
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on 11 March 2003
"Naked in Death" is the first book in a new series of sci.fi-crime thriller books by Nora Roberts. She writes under the pseudonym of J D Robb, although it's a fairly open secret since the book-cover is published as "Nora Roberts writing as J D Robb"
The book is part of a series - which revolves around the central character of Lieutenant Eve Dallas - who with the New York Police and Security Dept. Its set in the future - 2058 - which provides the author with the freedom to experiment, not to only in terms of the police environment i.e. the equipment, tools and tricks used by cops in the future, but also the framework of relationships and their evolution.
Eve is presented as being a dedicated,shrewd and hard working cop, who is also trying to come to terms with the fact that she cannot (or rather does not want to) remember the first 8 years of her life. The reasons for that are not completely sketched out, something which presumably, future books in the series would address.
The storyline is fairly simple - Eve is in the middle of an investigation - involving a series of sexual murders of prostitutes, and she finds herself strongly attracted to the prime suspect on the case. This is of course the hero - Roarke (no last name) - who is sinfully rich, sinfully gorgeous to look at but is still likeable for all that. Truly the stuff of fantasy. So she deals with the tugs and pulls of the situation - since she inherently does believe in the value of the badge.
"To serve and protect" is not a byline for her, its her philosophy of life. Getting involved could potentially jeopardise the investigation, more importantly if she is wrong about the man, she would ruin her credibility in her own eyes. An interesting sub-angle is the impact of the murders on her own psyche, she finds herself starting to have memory flashes and nightmares about her childhood, even as she deals with the the classic "head versus heart" tug-of-war.
How she solves the crime and whether she gets the man - not necessarily in that order - forms the gist of the plot.
What makes the book readable, and makes it rise above its somewhat clichéd storyline are two things. First, the level of research that has gone into creating a believable environment in the future. For example, "Testing" i.e. a mandatory psychiatric procedure that every officer on the force must go through, after killing on the job, and which involves a strong Virtual Reality component, is sketched in enough detail to be believable and to be in sync with expected developments in current technology.
Second, the author's way with words which redeems the plot and makes it worth the 7 odd dollars one pays for the book. The byplay between Eve and Roarke is interesting - especially since Eve does not deviate from character merely because she is attracted on a personal level, she is not shown to compromise the job, and when it comes to taking the heat from the powers that be, she doesnt flinch from that either. Strength in a woman is attractively packaged here.
The author manages to keep both her characters believable (even if the streak of sentimentality in Roarke is a little out of sync with the rest of him), more importantly she manages to keep them likeable, without making them degenerate into the "diabetic" zone. All the secondary characters in the book are also well etched - making this overall a readable experience.
Given that this is the first of a series, it would be very interesting to see how the author deals with sequels - of maintaining the balance between rehashing material and plot lines in past books - without losing either the repeat reader or estranging the first timer.
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on 23 January 2006
This book definitely wont disappoint. I read the 16th book Portrait in Death and was hooked so much I neednt to go to the beginning to see how it all began.
Eve and Roake make an excelent team and I cant wait to see how their relationship will develop ... Eve is a no-nonsense type of women very quick and smart.
The development of the characters within the book have got me wanting more.
This is such an exciting book I couldnt put it down and actually read it in a day !
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I've been hearing great things about J.D. Robb's In Death series for years now - in fact I think it was about 4 years ago that I actually bought my copy of Naked in Death! - but no matter how many friends have recommended it to me I kept putting off starting it. Mainly because it's such an intimidating series, let's face it the series is going from strength to strength with book 43 publishing later this year and that number doesn't even take into account the novellas and short stories! So it wasn't so much that I was worried that I wouldn't like this book but that I was terrified that I would, I mean who really has time to commit to a series of that length? But mainly due to some persistent nagging (thanks for that Aly!) I FINALLY bit the bullet and dove head first into this world and boy I'm glad I did. I just had so much fun with these characters and I'm excited that I get to spend so much more time getting to know them.

I'm not really sure if it's even worth writing a review of this book since pretty much everyone I know seems to have already read it and there are certainly no shortage of other reviews out there but I feel like I probably should though just in case you're one of those people who, like me, have been feeling intimidated by the series and wondering if it's really worth all the fuss it gets. I want to say categorically, based just on the first book, that yes, YES it is worth grabbing a copy of Naked in Death and I hope you end up enjoying it as much as I did!

Even though this book was first published just over 20 years ago it doesn't feel dated thanks to the futuristic setting J.D. Robb has created, the series starts in 2058 so it's not so far into the future that it feels alien but it's just far enough that the author is able to include some interesting technology and make her own rules regarding current laws etc. The setting is well done and we were given enough information to catch my attention without it feeling overwhelming. The focus of this story is definitely the mystery and I though that side was very well handled, it kept me completely hooked and I enjoyed seeing how Eve worked the crime scenes and slowly pieced everything together.

Eve is a tough, no nonsense cop who loves her job and wants to help people, she doesn't remember much about her childhood thanks to repressed memories but readers get a hint of the things she has been through in the form of flashbacks that she suffers. I'm sure there is a lot more left to learn but seeing the vulnerable side of her was quite heartbreaking and it makes me sick to think of the things that she's been through. Eve doesn't want sympathy though, she just wants to focus on the future and doing her job to the best of her ability. It seems like she has a tendency to use her work as a shield against her emotions and she can come across as a little cold at times but that quickly starts to change when she meets Roarke and he starts to get under her skin.

Roarke is a character I've heard so much about so I was really excited to meet him. He's a billionaire businessman with a bit of a shady past and it's hard to tell whether he's 100% on the right side of the law even now. He obviously has a code of honour and there are lines that he won't cross but I suspect that all bets are off when the people he cares about are in trouble. When Eve crosses paths with him it's because he's a suspect in her murder investigation and she's left feeling very conflicted by the attraction she feels towards him, she can't decide if he's really innocent or whether her hormones are leading her astray but at least she is aware of the way her feelings could be affecting her decision making. Roarke is the kind of character who really should raise loads of red flags, he's very possessive and definitely shows more than a few stalker tendencies that I would find REALLY off putting in a real life situation but somehow J.D. Robb pulls it off and she had me falling head over heels for him in spite of the warning signs. So much about him is still a mystery and I can't wait to dig deeper into his past and find out what makes him tick.

As we get to know him it becomes clear that Roarke is just as messed up as Eve and they understand each other on a level that people who don't have their experiences would never quite be able to achieve. As a couple they just work so although things to progress between them very quickly it didn't feel unbelievable. I do wish the author had taken more time to get them to this point of their relationship, considering the length of the series I think we could have had that delicious will they / won't they pull between them for at least a couple of books, but even though things have moved quickly they still don't know each other that well and I'm sure we're going to enjoy seeing them open up and share more of their secrets. In fact, I'd rather have them become a couple in the first book than have to deal with yet another dreaded love triangle so I'm not going to complain about the romance even a little bit!

Naked in Death is a fantastic start to this series and it's definitely left me eager to spend more time with these characters. I think my bank balance will suffer when I rush out and buy the rest of the series but I'm looking forward to having so many books to binge on!
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This is the first of the Eve Dallas series, a NY police procedural with a difference. Set in the future, it is nevertheless, a future we can easily recognise. Yet, when Dallas is called to investigate the brutal murder of a prostitute, who is also the granddaughter of a senior Senator, the method of killing seems like something from the history books. Death was caused by a handgun, now a thing of the past, and both method and motive seem decidedly twentieth century. It is soon clear that Dallas has a serial killer to deal with and one who seems interested in her personally. With both the Senator and the police department looking for a quick resolution to the crimes, plus leaks appearing that seem to threaten the case, Dallas is under pressure. What is more, she is undeniably both fighting her own professional standards and disapproval when she becomes involved with one of the suspects - the handsome, incredibly wealthy and successful businessman, Roarke.

Eve Dallas is an extremely strong and interesting character. Abandoned as a young girl, with only flashbacks of a childhood she prefers not to face, she was renamed by social workers and lives for her work. Dallas is single minded and an excellent police officer, who does not let people get close to her easily. This book works both as a detective novel and a romance, with an unusual setting - mostly though, it is just a lot of fun.
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on 29 December 2015
Loved, loved loved this book. Strong very likable characters. I did not want this book to end. I wish i had the ability to express in words just how fantastic this book is. I have already got the next and no doubt J.D. Robb will be my only reading material until i have caught up on every single book!! WoW!!
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on 9 December 2015
Not sure what to expect? Think Castle set in a Fifth Element-istic future.

He's the rich playboy and main suspect. She's the Homicide Detective. Murder, Mystery Suspense & Flying cars.

This book will hook you, luckily there's loads more in this series to read! :)
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on 25 September 2014
I read a lot but somehow JD Robb had passed me by until recently a friend mentioned the series of books with the intriguing twist of being set fifty years hence. I read this one as my first foray and enjoyed the story, the characters and the setting. It isn't great literature but that is definitely not the point, it is great entertainment. The story was well told with a good, slightly predictable, plot line. The picture painted of life in my great grandchildren's life time is a slightly worrying one but no doubt my great grandmother would have been horrified by our existence. I shall read more of the series which seem almost endless.
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on 10 February 2012
I'm rating this at three stars, not because the book is bad but because I want to strangle whoever formatted it for the kindle. It contains an unacceptable amount of typos, but the most annoying thing is that every single paragraph is separated by a huge white line which makes you read it like a series of random, separate statements. That I enjoyed it despite that is a measure of how well it was written. Seriously, I'd be willing to re-type the whole thing myself if it meant I could then read it properly without getting distracted by how the text is formatted. And yes, I did play around with font size and line spacing - didn't help.
So just to be clear - loved the book. Loved the combination of romance and murder mystery. The characters are believable, and I couldn't guess who had actually done it right up to the end. Love the futuristic setting too. So in short: five stars for the book, one star for the formatting, makes a average of three.
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on 30 August 2006
Nora Roberts has long been one of my favorite romance authors. I especially enjoy her Irish trilogies. Having recently read her new novel, Angels Fall, I finally decided to go back and read some of her books written under the pseudonym of J. D. Robb. A friend recommended this series, so I jumped into the first in her "death" series.

NAKED IN DEATH was really good; I couldn't put it down. This series is not true romance; it's more of a romantic mystery, which only adds to the intrigue for me. What makes it so different is that it takes place in the year 2058 and there are many innovative new concepts, such as "off-planet travel," to name just one. I leave the rest for you to discover and enjoy.

Of course, her main character, Lieutenant Eve Dallas, is a strong, independent woman ... just the way I like my heroines. And her Irish hero (what else?), a billionaire named Roarke, is more than a match for Eve. They make a fascinating, intriguing couple.

I don't know how Nora manages to come up with "winners" each and every time she writes a book, but she does. What a remarkable talent and a remarkable author! I look forward to reading all the books in this series as well as her entire body of works.
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