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Survivor In Death [Hardcover]

J Robb
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2005 In Death
The newest in the number-one New York Times-bestselling In Death series featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke. Nora Roberts writing as J. D. Robb returns to the New York City of 2059-where Dallas will struggle to solve the murder of a seemingly ordinary family and to protect one small, terrified survivor.

The members of the Swisher family were murdered in their beds with brutal, military precision. The state-of-the-art security was breached, and the killers used night-vision equipment to find their way through the cozy, middle-class house. Clearly, Dallas is dealing with pros. It seems the only mistake they made was to overlook the nine-year-old girl cowering in the darkened kitchen.

Now Nixie Swisher is an orphan-and the sole eyewitness to a seemingly inexplicable crime. Kids are not Dallas's strong suit. But Nixie needs a safe place to stay, and Dallas needs to solve this case. With her partner, Peabody, back on the job-and her husband, Roarke, providing the kind of help that only he can give-Lieutenant Eve Dallas is running after shadows, and dead-set on finding out who's behind them.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In the 20th fine volume of Roberts's futuristic mystery franchise, police lieutenant Eve Dallas is called in when lawyer Grant Swisher and his family are massacred with eerie skillfulness on the Upper West Side. The only survivor is 10-year-old Nixie, who evades—and witnesses—the killers as she creeps down to the kitchen for a midnight snack. Despite the painful memories of her own childhood that Nixie's presence calls up, Eve decides to hide the girl in the high-tech mansion she shares with her husband, billionaire businessman Roarke. With help from Roarke; her faithful sidekick, Peabody; and others, Eve discovers the existence of a shadowy former military operative with a grudge against Swisher—the lawyer helped the operative's battered wife divorce him right before she disappeared. The relatively early disclosure of the villain's identity and the dearth of other viable suspects dulls the suspense in the first half of the book, but tension escalates toward an absorbing denouement as a trap Eve sets for her target ends up with Nixie as its unintentional bait. Throughout, the series' colorful supporting cast and Eve's prickly personality—smartly showcased in her power struggles with everything from space-age vending machines to her own past—remain as vividly appealing as ever.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"'This is sheer entertainment, a souped-up version of Agatha Christie for the new millennium' Maxim Jakubowski, The Guardian" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Survivors.... Jan. 9 2007
By M. B. Alcat TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Survivor in death" is the 23rd book in the "In death" series. If you already are a fan of the series, I am pretty sure you will like it a lot, as it has a good plot, fast-paced action, and continues with the development of the characters you already probably love. On the other hand, if you are new to the series, I would advise you to read it in order, instead of jumping ahead. Trust me, you will enjoy all the books more in that way.

That having been said, what is up in this new book?. A family has been murdered during the night, and there is only one survivor, a very scared young girl, Nixie. Lieutenant Eve Dallas is primary at the scene, and she will do her best to catch the murderers. The problem is, there is no evident reason to kill the family, nothing that stands out as suspicious in the lives of Nixie's parents. But surely, they must have done something to provoke the wrath of whomever killed them in their beds, despite their high-tech security system.

Dallas decides to take Nixie to her house, overcoming the objections of the social worker in the case, and due to the fact that the little girl doesn't want to part with her. There is a problem, though. Eve is more scared of children than of criminals, and both her and Roarke are more or less out of their depth in their dealings with Nixie. Thanksfully, they have Summerset (the "frog-faced demon from hell", according to Eve), who takes care of Nixie while the case heats ups and the murderers of her family go on killing, with an ultimate target in mind: Nixie.

In "Survivor in death" you will meet again (if briefly) old characters of the series, as well as the regular "cast" (Eve, Roarke, Peabody, Feeney, Mavis, Summerset, Trueheart, Baxter, etc...).
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5.0 out of 5 stars "in Death" series by J. D. Robb Dec 12 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this series of books by J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts). As soon as I finish one of the books in this series, I order more in order to follow these characters and their interesting lives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great! Oct. 21 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Love all the "Death" books! Wish she wrote more then 2 a year. I have read most of the twice.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful series by a wonderful author! Aug. 25 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really like all Nora's J.D. Robb books. I particularly like how we learn more and more about the pasts of Eve and Roarke as we progress through the series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  177 reviews
31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maturing themes Sept. 16 2005
By J. Hastings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Before I read this book, I read the reviews here on Amazon and was thoroughly confused about what to expect. Some saw it as a complex police procedural with maturing relationships and a lessening of the explicit rehash of Eve's & Roarke's traumatic childhoods. Others thought the details of the crimesolving were neglected and cast Eve as increasingly and somewhat randomly witchy.

Well, I'm going to vote with the former group:

* Eve and Roarke retain their passion, yet are depicted with an increasing amount of trust and a decreasing need for conflict which often was simply a painful stage set for a lusty truce. The characters are shown giving each other a growing amount of credit and respect; still, acerbic and affectionately humorous debates abound.

* Plot and police work were good enough for me. I mostly read murder mysteries, when I'm not reading technical manuals, but I'm not in law enforcement, so I'm a connoisseur without having insider knowledge. The books wouldn't work without some semblance of police methodology, but really, we all read these for the characters, and especially for the witty dialogue between and among these interesting characters, don't we? :)

* Contrary to the comments of some, Eve actually seemed more mellow in Survivor, as did Roarke, both without losing their edge. For those who find Eve's conversations mean, cold, etc., I recommend listening to the conversation between good friends who are also smart, articulate, and in the habit of entertaining themselves and others with verbal play. Yes, she seems like a serious witch to Summerset, who, in return, chides her annoyingly. Their relationship is a bit of a caricature (for *our* entertainment) and that's how *they* play. In this book, as in previous ones, they also make allowances and back off when someone they share is in need.

*Peabody and McNab continue to emerge as alternative and complementary versions of Eve and Roarke. Looking forward to seeing how that develops; Peabody is very much her own person and McNab is an entertaining foil.

*Finally, as a devoted mother of 2, former teacher and, on the whole, person who appreciates many of the fine reasons for reproducing and the excellent qualities of individual children - no, most definitely, Eve and Roarke do not need to be awarded offspring. As in real life, something would most definitely have to give. In real life, that can be positive, or at least not negative. But hey, this is entertainment. I don't need my heros and entertainers to reflect my own personal self. We *love* Eve and Roarke expressly because they are *not* like us, no? Let's not beat up the author for refusing to morph them into Middle America.

*Oh, and by the way, I found Eve's conversations with the surviving child constructive and honest, unlike some who read this good story.
45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Addition to The Series, but Eve is a Bit Unlikeable Feb. 3 2005
By Nicholas' Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The first thing that's important to know about this book is that it is best read as part of the on-going "In Death" series. If you do choose to read it out of order, you'll likely not enjoy it very much.

If, on the other hand, you're someone who has read all the other books in the series, I think you'll enjoy Survivor. It's definitely one of the more intense and emotional installments, although not as good as Divided in Death or Portrait in Death.

The case is riveting from the start, but as in all the other books, the murder mystery pales in comparison to the emotional interaction between Eve and Roarke. This particular mystery starts very strong, but by the end, it's a bit of a mess and you'll probably be scratching your head in confusion. The first chapter hooks the reader, though, and you might find yourself in tears when you read about little Nixie's plight.

The one thing preventing me from giving this book 5 stars is the characterization of Eve. Now, I do think Eve reacts in-character to Nixie: she's brash, emotionally distant, and difficult. She also feels that she could best serve the child by finding out who killed her parents. I didn't expect or want Eve to be cuddly with Nixie or cooing over her. That wouldn't have been the Eve I know. But sometimes I think Roberts goes a bit too far with Eve's grouchy, foul moods. In several places in this novel, Eve is downright unlikeable, even cruel. She's obnoxious with Summerset in one scene where he humbles himself enough to apologize and even as Nixie clearly grows to love Eve, Eve can only express her fondness by noting that Nixie did a "dumbass" thing in risking her life.

Roberts repeatedly balances Eve's rough edges with reminders of her terrible childhood. As awful as that childhood was, I feel like the death of Nixie's parents was not the type of crime that would affect Eve any differently than it did the other characters. Roarke, Peabody, and Summerset were also deeply upset, and Roarke and Summerset in particular have experienced things in their own pasts that made them particularly pained by what occured. And yet Eve is the only one whose harsh behavior is excused because of what she went through as a child. I want Eve to be strong, and I like that she's not a typical heroine, but this book felt like a big step back in terms of Eve's growth. Her coldness to Nixie was ultimately as unbelievable as extreme warmth and fuzziness would have been. Roarke needed to confront her, and let her know that her work is important and vital, but sometimes she needs to give people like Nixie her time, not just her dedication as a cop.

The book has some great scenes, including Roarke remembering his past while spending time with Nixie, and Summerset caring for the child. In fact, I fell more in love with Roarke than ever, which made it even more frustrating that Eve was so irritating. There are also two wonderful love scenes, including one involving a flower that heightens sensation, and a long-awaited (at least by this reader) discussion between Eve and Roarke about the possibility of starting a family.

But overall, the end never fulfilled the emotional promise of the initial chapters.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Outstanding July 1 2005
By Wendy Kaplan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have ready every "In Death" book in the series, and I have to say that "Survivor in Death" ranks in my mind as one of the very very best. It had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning to the very last page, and I was sorry when it ended.

Nora Roberts, a.k.a. J.D. Robb, really hits her stride in this story of a nice, upper-middle-class family that is brutally murdered, one by one, in their beds. The murderers, brutal assassins, even get the housekeeper and a sleepover guest--but inadvertently leave behind a 9-year-old survivor, spunky Nixie Swisher, who witnessed the murders while hiding.

Nixie, who seems like a young Eve (the futuristic hard-edged New York cop who stars in this series), is taken under Eve and Roarke's collective wing while Eve doggedly stays on the scent of the killers. Nixie is a delightful character; I couldn't help but wish that Eve and Roarke would adopt her, and I won't do a spoiler by saying if they do. Suffice to say that I hope she appears in future books.

This outing is much more focused on the cop work, and much less on Eve and Roarke's collective childhood traumas, which is a welcome rest. There is enough to let us know they're still dealing, but the story itself is fast-paced, suspenseful and satisfying. On to the next!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner in the In Death series Feb. 17 2005
By Anne Melvin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have either read or listened to on CD all of the previous books in the In Death series and I look with eager anticipation to new ones coming up. As others have outlined the plot, I will give my impressions of the CD. Susan Ericksen does a great job narrating the series. The characters are endearing, predictable but with good evidence of development and growth. The plot in this series was excellent, the pacing excellent as well. There is suspense sprinkled with humor. The author is sensitive and can bring you to tears in one moment and have you laughing out loud the next.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A touching story Feb. 10 2005
By Valerie Matteson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have read all of the "In Death" books and enjoyed them all for what they are -- great fun and entertainment and suspense and surprises. This book had a particular surprise and showed some growth in Eve's character. When you figure how she and Roarke have only been married two years, which to me seems very short as I have been married 28 years, the development and understanding they are beginning to show towards each other is great. I look forward to more books and for the birth of Mavis' child which will surely impact Eve more than anything.
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