"Innocent in death" was not one of my favourite books in J. D. Robb's "In death" series, and I strongly regret having bought the hardback edition. Was I too blunt expressing my disappointment? Please bear with me, as I am not feeling very pleased with my purchase right now...
Truth to be told, I love almost all the books in the "In death" series, and I think that Lt. Eve Dallas is an excellent character, well complemented by her friends and her husband Roarke. What is more, J. D. Robb manages to include interesting whodunits in the plot of her books, making the crimes and their solution a central part of the story.
If that is the case, what didn't work this time? Well, to start with, the solution of the crime and the events that led to it were far from convincing, and I couldn't help but think "that is it'?" at the end of the book. Moreover, the relationship between Eve and Roarke suffered a big blow, thanks to the return of one of his old girlfriends, and his inability to just listen to Eve's worries. Even though Robb shows quite well the way in which her personal troubles make it more difficult for Eve to concentrate on her job, she makes it too easy for Roarke at the end. I wish something happens in the next book that puts him in Eve's position, as he didn't suffer nearly enough in this case. Of course, he didn't really do anything wrong, but he lacked empathy, and we aren't accustomed to that from Roarke.
On the whole, I think that you will be enjoy some parts of this book, but not all of it. From my point of view, "Innocent in death" is worth reading, but you shouldn't buy the hardback edition. That was my mistake...
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"Innocent in Death" was probably the best of the four "In Death" books I've read - lots of soapy drama involving Roarke and Magdalena - but I am finding Eve Dallas harder and harder to like. In this edition, she showed vulnerability and I thought, "Maybe she just isn't a jerk with a badge"; then she went and did something I found reprehensible and who knows whether I'll read another in the series.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Relax, people...it's all good.Feb. 20 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
Reader speculation about the marital discord between Eve and Roarke had me imagining all sorts of things about this book, but most of it was unfounded, and Eve and Roarke work through their troubles in the way we've come to expect them to: they talk it out, bare their souls, reassure one another, see the other's viewpoint, beat up a few droids, manhandle each other, and have wild monkey sex. Man, I love these guys.
But back to the story...
When grade-school teacher Craig Foster is found dead in his classroom from apparent poisoning, Eve is hard-pressed to determine a suspect. Fellow teachers, parents, caregivers, and students are all on her short-list, but no one is jumping out at her as a probable lead. The murder seems senseless and without a motive; the man seems as innocent as they come. Into the mix, on a personal front, arrives Magdelena Percell, an old flame of Roarke's. During their first meeting, Eve sees something on Roarke's face as he catches sight of Maggie that unnerves her, for it's a look that Eve's only ever seen directed at her. Maggie comes on strong, calling Roarke "lover" and making loaded references to their long-ago liaison. When they talk about it later that night, Roarke assures Eve that she's no reason to be jealous or concerned. The next morning, however, she overhears him making lunch plans with Maggie. Meanwhile, the case is progressing slowly until another teacher is found dead on school grounds, and the suspect list narrows. Putting the pieces together, Eve focuses on an unlikely suspect and her alarming suspicions are not well received by her commander or Dr. Mira.
This is a more personal story than some that have come before, so the secondary characters don't play as big a role as in past books. But still there are some satisfying scenes with Mira, Peabody, Mavis, Whitney and -- especially -- Summerset, who proves once and for all just how solidly fixed he is in Eve's corner. (It's great to see how much these two have come to care about each other, despite all their recreational sniping and insults. Despite their obvious differences, they're unified by their absolute devotion to Roarke.)
When I finished reading this book I was struck again by how well-crafted this series is. I love how the crime parallels with Eve's personal life and how the title reflects both sides of the story. I love how Eve and Roarke stay true to their characters as they deal with this new potential threat to their marriage. They don't squabble like children. They don't have temper tantrums and call each other names or behave stupidly in ways that will cause irreparable damage. Eve's feelings -- more fear than jealousy -- are perfectly understandable within the context of the story as it is laid out. Even Roarke's uncharacteristic obtuseness seems totally plausible in this case. And the resolution is equally characteristic of these two strong-willed, physical personalities.
Another great installment in a great series.
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
.Wow.Feb. 20 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
As always with any Nora Robert or JD Robb book, I finished this in one sitting! I just couldn't let go. I even went to the bathroom with it! (sorry for sharing)
I think out of all the books in the series this is my favorite. The emotional turmoil Eve went through because of that blonde tarts reappearance in Roarke's life really had me going! I just wanted to reach in and strangle her and smack some sense into Roarke. What I love about their relationship is that it's very well developed. Like what the other reviewers say there's none of the petty fights and stupid misunderstanding that are blown way out of proportion! Every motion in the relationship is well-developed and believable (a choreography that is executed beautifully). Even though, I wish Eve would have drop kicked the bimbo a lot sooner--she did what we all were begging for in the end! I just loved it!
As for the mystery, the turmoil between Eve and Roarke almost took precedence but I just love the twist and turns the book took me through! The end was not shocking, if you catch it quickly you already know who the killer is--but your in so much denial that you keep fighting the truth! It was in itself a very shocking ending!
A must read! Bravo!
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
An Emotional Roller CoasterFeb. 24 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
This is book # 28 in the In Death Series.
Right from page one J.D.Robb has the reader captivated as she spins her newest tale. She walks us through the victims last moments of life and then sets the graphic stage of his death. Each time I read an In Death book I am impressed at how well her words can create such vivid images in my head. It is so easy to get wrapped up and all consumed by one of her books. I don't know how she does it.
Eve Dallas, Lt. of the NYPSD, and her partner, Det. Delia Peabody are investigating the murder of a young teacher at a pricey private school. The staff and students are in shock and Eve can not find one motive for killing this man.
This book flowed a little differently to me than the previous books. Usually you have the homicide investigation as the center of the story and then the personal storylines either run side by side with the investigation or they play second fiddle. In Innocent In Death the personal issues between Eve and Roarke took center stage for me. For the first time in their relationship a woman from Roarke's past is really causing problems between the two of them. J.D. Robb takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions, both Eve and Roarke's; you suffer with both of them.
It's hard to say anything about this book without giving away vital information. The homicide investigation takes some interesting twists and turns and it shocks and surprises. Summerset and Eve form one of their rare alliances in this book, and Eve shows a softer side of herself.
This would definitely rate as one of the top In Death books, so far. I can't remember feeling so much while reading one book. Between the gripping mystery and the front row seat to Roarke and Eve's marriage, it is impossible to be bored.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Difficult to read.Feb. 21 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
Alright: you're not here, looking at the Innocent in Death page, if you haven't already read several (if not all) of the previous books in this series.
To get a few things out of the way, the book was certainly up to par - it's funny, not as funny as other books, but clever, and the murder mystery has a fantastic choice in murderer. Side characters are minimal, due to the overwhelming amount of Eve and Roarke ANGST... bringing me to the point.
As a huge fan, this book was extremely painful to read. Not because it was bad, but because Eve emotionally suffers a great deal. Murder mystery aside, the most important part of the novel revolves around Eve and her pain in dealing with one of Roarke's previous lovers, one he didn't leave (because, horribly enough, *she* left him), the woman's clear desire to win Roarke back, and Roarke's own obliviousness about it.
It's a testament to Roberts, who isn't always this good, that when Eve suffers, oh, the reader suffers. There's a particular line where Eve's unease is described as "there was still that small, cold place inside her where the heat hadn't quite reached". Well, reading this book is exactly like that: every mistake Roarke makes, every move the other woman successfully completes, every bit of emotion that Eve bleeds - it's very, very painful, and moreso if you're a fan of Eve and Roarke.
In my opinion, Roarke didn't suffer nearly enough, which is why this book gets four stars instead of five, because I was still left with a distinctly bitter taste in my mouth at the end. Not. Fair. He suffers perhaps one-tenth of what Eve did (and mostly a couple evenings of paranoia), and relationships aside, he really needed pain, if only to make me feel better.
My only guess as to why he doesn't suffer *nearly* enough Roberts has said that she writes the In Death books three at a time - in one big character arc - and since the next book, Creation in Death, has the killer stalking Eve, that should be where Roarke finally suffers. And after this book, he'd better.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
New York 2060 Is Awesome AgainFeb. 26 2007
Kara J. Jorges
- Published on Amazon.com
After Robb's last book fell a little flat, this was a welcome foray back into the world of New York Police & Security Department's Lieutenant Eve Dallas. Eve tags the murder of Craig Foster, a private school history teacher with no enemies. Even Foster's students loved him. Foster was poisoned with ricin in his hot chocolate, and his body discovered by two of his 10-year-old students. Eve's investigation into the faculty and staff of Sarah Child Academy is turning up a hotbed of tawdry sex, but no murder suspects.
Meanwhile, things at home have taken an unexpected turn. One evening while Eve and Roarke are entertaining clients of his at dinner, one of Roarke's old flames shows up, and she's not like the others. Magdalena Percell is a blonde bombshell who once held a piece of Roarke's heart, and Roarke is not only oblivious to her attempts to lure him buck; he's also clueless as to the effect Magdalena's sudden appearance is having on his wife. Magdalena has shaken Eve to her core, but Roarke takes her reaction as petty jealousy and a lack of trust in him.
What JD Robb, nee Nora Roberts, has spent years crafting is the ability to understand and convey facets of human emotion, and she does an excellent job of taking Eve through her crisis. Eve doesn't just get what's bothering her off the bat, it has to eat away at her and wear itself so plainly on the outside that her friends can see it and ask her about it. Only through some discussion with her pals and several hours of private contemplation is she able to lay it out in her mind, and then have it out with Roarke. Things from his angle are also handled expertly, from his reminiscing about what was with Maggie, to being sure that he had changed and knowing that Eve is the only woman for him. What he can't quite grasp is the sudden rift between him and Eve, which he mistakenly labels as jealousy.
As Eve navigates the murky waters of marriage, her investigation into Craig Foster's murder is going nowhere. Every angle she explores is a dead end, and any suspects are so farfetched she can't make it stick. Until she starts exploring a shocking idea, and discovers a stone cold killer of monstrous proportions.
I had the killer pegged right off in this one, but the clues were ignored for so long I started to doubt myself. But, just when I started thinking it was somebody else, a few more clues popped up and I was back on track, which kept me reading until way past my bedtime.
This is another page-turning murder mystery set in futuristic New York, but there is also real emotional dept as the author explores an almost nebulous region of marital territory with aplomb. Additionally, Eve opens up yet another portion of herself as she falls into an unexpected situation with another woman, and leans on her friends for support. A success in more ways than one as it treads some very fine lines, this is a real page-turner.