May 4, 2024

Naked In Death by J.D. Robb (In Death #1)


Here is the novel that started it all- the first book in J.D. Robb's number-one New York Times-bestselling In Death series, featuring New York homicide detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke.

It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing: passion.

When a senator's daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she'd been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washington politics and society. Further complicating matters is Eve's growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome... and the leading suspect in the investigation.

Naked In Death is the first installment in the long-running In Death series by J.D. Robb (pseudonym for Nora Roberts). I may be a little late to the party just starting the series now. But, better late than never - right?!

It was a bit jarring to start the novel and realize there's a bit of sci-fi tossed in. It takes place in 2058 (which somehow doesn't even feel that far away now) , but the scientific advancements are a bit further than what I expect for then - but who knows! Since the book was published in 1995, there are a lot of references to years that we have already lived through (I.e - 2016). The inaccuracies are pretty funny to read. 

Anyhow, Naked In Death ended up being a great introduction to our protagonist Eve Dallas (not to be confused with Eve Duncan - the Iris Johansen series . . . I mixed up the name in my head a lot while reading). She's a badass cop which is my favorite type of main character in a book series. Love a strong female lead! We also get to meet Roarke - the dark, mysterious, powerful man that grabs Eve's interest. As with any book, it takes a little bit to get to know them and decide how you feel about them as characters. But, by the end, I was ready to pick up the second book to read more of their story. 

The storyline of this first novel didn't hold back any punches. We learn that in this future world, prostitution (which I will refer to going forward as the more acceptable phrase now: sex work) is legalized. But, sex workers are being murdered and the videos of these gruesome crimes are being send to Eve specifically. Not only is that horrific enough, but the first victim is the daughter of a Senator and the granddaughter of one of the most powerful men in the country. 

The story only becomes more twisted and messed up from there as Eve desperately tries to solve the murders before there are too many more victims. All while trying to run away from her own past demons. 

This book took me on a wild ride and introduced me to some new favorite characters. To make it even better, the ending was very satisfying instead of a huge cliffhanger. I can't wait to start book 2. 

5/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: "It wasn't pretty. Death rarely was a peaceful, religious experience to Eve's mind. It was the nasty end, indifferent to saint and sinner. But this was shocking, like a stage deliberately set to offend."

"With all our technology, with the amazing advances that have been made in genetics, we are still unable to control human virtues and flaws. Perhaps we are too human to permit the tampering. Passions are necessary to the human spirit." 

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