Tuesday, 8 December 2009

CBR Book 9: "Naked in Death" by J.D. Robb

Publisher: Piatkus Books
Page count: 336 pages
Date begun: December 5th, 2009
Date finished: December 5th, 2009

Naked in Death is the first in an ongoing series of so far 30 books (and some novellas and short stories) by J.D. Robb, a pseudonym for the already ridiculously prolific romance novelist Nora Roberts. The books are futuristic police procedurals with a core of romance at the centre. Lt. Eve Dallas is a driven and dedicated homicide detective who is called in when a young and beautiful licenced companion (read: prostitute - in the 2050s, prostitution is legalized and licenced) is brutally murdered. Her superiors are keen 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 may be dealing with a serial killer. Her main suspect is the gorgeous, obscenely wealthy and extremely powerful Roarke, a self-made bazillionaire, and a friend of the murdered young woman's family. Normally, Eve has no problems staying focused on a case and utterly professional, but every time she and Roarke meet, sparks fly, and she is having trouble convincing herself that Roarke is bad news and should be best left alone.

I may be spoiling an important part of the book here - but anyone who bothers to find out about the series, will soon learn that Roarke is of course not the killer, and that he and Eve become one hell of an awesome couple, despite the many difficulties in their path, not the least of which is Eve's troubled past.

Reading Roberts/Robb's In Death books is a bit like watching an episode of Castle, if Castle was a bazillionare businessman instead of a crime writer, Beckett had an even more messed up past, and they were actually dating, instead of just flirting all the time. The actual mystery is not always the most interesting part (in 2 of the 3 books I've read so far, I've figured out who the killer quite some time before it is revealed), it's the way the mystery is solved, and the interplay of the characters and what they learn about each other along the way.

Stay tuned for my reviews of books 2 and 3 (yes, I'm a bit hooked on these at the moment).

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