Thursday, February 19, 2009

Portrait in Death by J D Robb

After a tip from a reporter, Eve Dallas finds the body of a young woman in a Delancey street dumpster. Just hours before, the news station had mysteriously received a portfolio of professional portraits of the woman. The photos seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary for any pretty young woman starting a modeling career. Except that she wasn't a model. And that these photos were taken after she had been murdered. Now Dallas is on the trail of a killer who's a perfectionist and an artist. He carefully observes and records his victim's every move. And he has a mission: to own every beautiful young woman's innocence, to capture her youth and vitality - in one fateful shot...

I am so tempted to start this review by making just one statement - Nora Roberts writing as J D Robb is an absolutely exceptional author!

With this book we are now 15 or 16 instalments (or 18 including short stories/novellas) into the series at which point you would think that we would know our main characters in particular really well, but in this book, we see Roarke redefined as he finds out something from his past which shakes him to his core, and we see Eve really struggling to balance between being a wife and being a cop. For the first time really we see Eve have to put her husband before her work and look after Roarke. We have seen Roarke do this consistently, but it is significantly rarer for Eve to be the one in this role.

This book took me through a whole range of emotions. I laughed out loud at the interaction between the characters, particularly between the antagonistic relationship between Summerset and Eve. They snipe at each other, but the thing that ties them together is Roarke, and when he needs them they know that they can rely on each other to take care of him. I also continue to laugh at Peabody and McNab and the fact that Eve really doesn't want to know anything about their ongoing relationship!

I also cried quite a few times in this book (always awkward on the train). When Eve has to talk to the family members of the victims you know that for all her hard arsed cop routine, her heart is breaking. I also cried loads in a scene involving Roarke and the journey he undertook during this book. Can't say anymore because it is a huge spoiler but oh my goodness - totally moving!

Notice I haven't said anything about the mystery yet? That's not because it wasn't interesting, but only because to a certain degree it was overshadowed by the interactions between the characters.

One of the best In Death novels yet. Whilst I do highly recommend this novel, and it could be read alone, I think that just to see how far the characters have come it is best to start at the beginning of the series with Naked in Death.

Rating: 4.5/5


  1. I have several of the novels in this series but I don't think I have the first one and that's probably where I should start. I've heard a lot of good things about them but I'm not a big fan of "Nora Roberts" (I guess that's her real name, huh?)

  2. @Lynn Irwin Stewart - I hope you don't mind if butt in here. I definitely think you should start at the beginning with this series. After the first 3 (or so) books I don't think it matters if you jump around, but it's best to start at the beginning to fully understand Eve and her relationship with Roarke. JMHO.

    Also, I'm not a huge fan of NR, either. Her novels are very hit or miss for me. But I've loved every single JDR book I've read.

    I heart this series. It just keeps getting better, don't you think? This one is particularly good.

  3. Thanks, Holly -- I need to take stock of the ones I already have and update my list so I'll know which ones I need. I've heard a lot of people say Roarke is a wonderful character!

  4. I read the first book in this series not too long ago but I haven't managed to pick up any of the others yet despite that fact that I truly loved it.

  5. Ladytink, as you can tell I really enjoy the books in this series!

    Lynn, Roarke is indeed a memorable character!

    Holly, thanks for jumping in! It definitely does seem to be getting better.

  6. I am a huge JD Robb fan. I guess I'm kinda a Nora Roberts fan too if you want to be picky. Anyway, I love the, "In Death" books and I second your recommendation.

  7. I really need to get around to reading this series.

    Oh, you are reading Moon Called! That's exciting!

  8. Krissi, I generally enjoy Nora Roberts as well, but if I was forced to choose, I think I would have to pick her J D Robb writing as my favourite!

    Kailana, yes, yes you do! And Moon Called is good so far.

  9. I loved this book for all of the reasons that you did as well. This is one of my favorite series and a comfort read when I need a good book.

  10. It is useful to try everything in practice anyway and I like that here it's always possible to find something new. :)

  11. This is my first visit here, but I will be back soon, because I really like the way you are writing, it is so simple and honest