IN DEATH—THE STORY SO FAR
Spoiler Alert! Contains key plot points from the In Death series. Please see the full books list for a quick series reference.
The In Death series begins in the year 2058 (with Naked in Death, July 1995), after an outbreak of warfare a few decades earlier known as the Urban Wars wreaked havoc across the globe and led to widespread destruction and death. After the wars, cities focused on renewal and revitalization. A series of resorts and vacation spots, such as Vegas II, exist off-planet in space, which is also where the majority of prison populations exist. On-planet, streets are filled with cars on the ground and in the air, able to switch between hovering and driving. Multiple high-tech gadgets exist in this era, like the AutoChef, which cooks meals and brews coffee, and ‘links, which are types of videophones used as a means of communication, but can also transfer data and hold information, almost like a circa 2010 PDA or smart phone.
Lieutenant Eve Dallas works as a homicide detective for the NYPSD (New York Police and Security Department). In the first book of the series, Naked in Death, Eve is a loner when she first meets Roarke, an enigmatic Irish billionaire and a suspect in her most recent case. Although it jeopardizes her case and her career, she falls for him and Roarke becomes her first and only love. They get engaged at the end of Glory in Death, the second book, after Roarke replicates Eve’s former apartment in his house and she moves in. Eve continues to grapple with their relationship and her growing dependence on him during the first two books. The couple is married shortly after the end of book three, Immortal in Death.
It is Eve’s childhood that continues to torment her: she was abused and repeatedly molested by her father, a seasoned criminal, and her apathetic mother was a drug addict and prostitute. At age eight, Eve was found in an alley in Dallas, Texas, covered in blood and with no memory of who she was or what happened. She was given the name Eve and put into foster care. Eve’s foster mother was no saint in the ten years that she had Eve under her roof, and she resurfaces in Memory in Death (book twenty-three), to blackmail Roarke to keep Eve’s childhood out of the headlines. Because of her ability to solve the more difficult and high-profile cases, Eve had recently become a media darling.
Through nightmare flashbacks, Eve comes to learn what happened to her before her childhood memory loss and has the worst of these in Immortal in Death (book three) when she realizes she stabbed her father to death while he was attacking her. Eve begins to piece together the fragments of her childhood from these flashbacks, and more than once, it involves a connection to a current case, like in Judgment in Death (book eleven), where the perpetrator was a business associate of her father’s, and from whom her father stole money. Once Eve marries Roarke, the nightmares become less wracking because he is one of the few people in her life to give her unconditional love and she feels safe with him. Throughout their relationship, their previous demons become less haunting as they build a life of love and trust, the first real family either has ever known.
Though Eve has solved homicides of every conceivable nature, she doesn’t solve every case immediately, or sometimes at all. A recent case came back to haunt Eve in Creation in Death (book twenty-five), when a serial killer who she never caught, nicknamed The Groom, returned to claim Eve as his final kill. But because of her own horrific childhood, the cases Eve finds most difficult are those centered on missing and exploited children and she often becomes deeply entrenched in the lives of the victims, seeking justice with an obsessive intensity.
Eve is an honest cop, though her passion for the job leads her to sometimes make emotional decisions that come back to haunt her. In fact, much of Eve’s strength comes from her flaws. She has been investigated by Internal Affairs, even having her badge taken away in Conspiracy in Death (book eight) when she is suspected of killing another cop. In Ceremony in Death (book five), Eve takes on a case behind the back of her former partner and mentor Captain Feeney, and puts strain on their relationship.
Many of Eve’s cases also have a personal impact on her and Roarke, especially given both of their fathers have extensive criminal pasts. In Divided in Death (book nineteen), Roarke confirms that his father was in Dallas doing business with Eve’s father right before she killed him in self-defense, connecting the two even then. In Judgment in Death (book eleven), a former business associate of Roarke’s is seeking retaliation by attempting to kill Eve. In many ways, this couple was destined to be together.
As Eve’s trust grows, she allows others in, and even begins to depend on them, forming a tight circle of confidantes, colleagues, and friends, who are all recurring characters in the series.
Naked In Death (reprint)
On Sale Dec. 9, 2014
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Every week at Turn the Page we receive calls and emails asking about hardcover editions of J.D. Robb's earlier titles, specifically books 1-17, Naked in Death (1995) through Imitation in Death (2003).