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on July 8, 2017
I'm a J.D. Robb aholic and she never fails to satisfy my addiction.
I love the characters. Roark is every woman fantasy.
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on April 22, 2003
"Portrait In Death" is the first J.D. Robb novel I have read. It wasn't until I finished the book that I found there is a long series of "...In Death" books. There doesn't seem to be any significance, however, to my having started out at the end of the list.
There is a decent amount of suspense in this book and it kept my interest to the end. This story takes place over 50 years from now. The year is 2059 and Robb appropriately incorporates innovations we will probably have in our lives 50 years hence.
There are many appliances in this story that respond to voice command, computers that talk in pleasant conversational voices, droids to act as servants, and other futuristic concepts. If you have already read some of this series this won't be news to you but it was new to me and I liked it.
As you can imagine, many futuristic computerized devices are used in helping to solve this murder mystery. Seeing advanced versions of equipment we already have, and that works, is interesting. Not once did anyone have to re-boot a computer.
Robb takes a "side trip" from the mystery and while it does serve to fill in some history related to the characters, I didn't especially like being taken away from the main story. The side trip was like a story within a story. Roarke, for example, had a personal event to deal with which was really its own story.
Like many mysteries, this one was good to read while exercising on the treadmill.
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on April 28, 2003
Every time I think I'm finally maxed out on the "In Death" series, J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts, comes through with another blockbuster that renews my interest all over again.
"Portrait in Death" comes along at exactly the right time--for almost the first time, the mystery/murder takes a back seat to Roarke and Dallas' personal life, with a twist the reader has simply not expected. Don't think you're going to have yet another trip into Eve's nightmares, or another scary walk down the underside of Dublin's seamy alleyways. I won't be a spoiler and say what it is, but I'll give you a hint--luscious Roarke shows yet another side to his already impossibly sexy and desirable personality.
Enough said on THAT...moving on to the mystery, it's a spooky look at a very sick mind. Somebody has been murdering young, beautiful students in order to pose them in artistic photographs--and simultaneously absorb their "light." Eve and her faithful sidekick Peabody (just perfect in this outing, as is MacNab) have to stop him before he strikes--or in this case, snaps--again.
Get the book and find out what happens next. A genuine five-star effort for Nora!!
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on May 19, 2003
Once again another great addition to the In Death Series. I have to disagree with a reviewer, I found this book truly outstanding. I really did, I think it is the best in the series thus far. The entire book was very surprising, excellent scenario!
Normally you figure it out toward the end the "who dune it" but this time round I didn't have a clue.
More of Roarke and Dallas's personal stories were revealed, but this time the shoe was on the other foot. There is a secret Roarke discovered. You learned a new side to him as he also learned this side. You also saw a side to Eve as she put her work case second and her husband first. I can't tell you what it is this would spoil it but to do all this learning the end up in Ireland.
Then a bright young college student is murdered and thrown in a recycler like so much trash, Lieutenant Eve Dallas is, determined to stand for the dead and find the killer. But perhaps most disturbing about this particular case, is that prior to the discovery of the body, a package of photos of the murdered girl were sent to Eve's friend, Nadine Furst, a well-known TV reporter. It's clear that the killer photographed the victim for some time before the death, without her knowledge, and it's also clear that in the picture, the girl is already dead. The killer wants Nadine's help in showing his work. Then the second victim in found and once again it revolves around their picture the killer had taken. Portrait in Death blasted off with a bold and imaginative concept on an obsession of immortality, and light, but its depth grew when Robb emphasized on the action and characters. The storyline was so compelling, it really made this a page turning thriller.
All the characters who are loved were also back in this entry. There is still humor between Eve and Peabody's dialog. Still humor in Eve and Sumorset, even more in this story as he had a fall and delayed his holiday. One talent Robb has is the building of characters.
This is a must read for all the In Death readers out there. If you are new to the series, start at the beginning with Naked in death and just go down the line. It will not take long either and they get addicting. I know I can't wait for the new one to come out in fall. I really do enjoy this series and I really do feel this was the best of them so far.
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on February 27, 2003
Well, I purchased this today, and as I was eagerly awaiting another good Eve Dallas story (and a bit afraid of some repetition), I wasn't disappointed - much. Roarke is, amazingly enough, *not* an expert consultant civilian in this, and instead, during the course of this novel, we are given the chance to see Eve really work alone a great deal, while still getting some decent scenes on their relationship. Balancing Roarke's side are some absolutely stunning revelations about his past that left me absolutely ... well, stunned. ^^ Will undoubtedly leave other faithful readers equally stunned. NYPSD blaster stunned.
As for the mystery - not exactly hard to follow, but the unusually high amount of new characters was a little head-spinning for me. But interesting ^.^ A lot of the constant-and-somewhat-minor characters in the previous books show up for something in here, which was also nice, if also a little random. At any rate, I enjoyed this one a great deal (really good character moments, for Roarke especially), and it was, as suits the In Death series, a pretty entertaining book. And hey - there's a fascinating (and short) preview of Imitation in Death, which I wasn't expecting since the previous three or so haven't had sneak reads. :) Fun all around.
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on June 6, 2003
What attracted me most about this book, the 16th by the highly talented J.D Robb (Nora Roberts), was not the plot: a sadistic murderer kills innocent and young people in their twenties and takes photographs of them in posed shots after their deaths. In this area, Robb does a great job as usual in following Eve through the steps in her investigation. Her attention to details is still there, along with Eve's witty and amusing quips and twitchy eye. if you are a regular In Death reader, you will know, as I did, who the murderer is before Eve does. (Makes you feel all triumphant and gleeful inside.)
What attracted me was the character development and the relationship between our favourite couple, Eve and Roarke. In this book, Roarke's real history is uncovered and we learn that his real mother was not the abuser he thought her to be but a young, innocent girl murdered by Roarke's father.
Their roles are now reversed. Roarke is the vulnerable one, lashing out at Eve and feeling his world is turned upside down while Eve is the protector, the caring wife (or life-partner, as Eve would insist) becoming the rock in his life. There is a lovely scene where Roarke is in Ireland, wishing for Eve while rubbing the button from her suit that he carries around, knowing that she is the stable one in his life and that he needs her.
Their married life is still as spicy as ever and with the introduction of Roarke's new family, there is now another interesting angle to explore in upcoming books, along with the McNab/Peabody angle, Charles/Louise angle, Jamie angle and Mavis being pregnant/Leonardo angle. Do not forget Eve's past that has not been fully explored yet. Guaranteed to fill up pages effortlessly.
Here's to Imitation in Death coming soon!
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on February 27, 2003
Hints of Spoilers (Caution)
By far this has got to be one of my favorite book of the series. Nora Roberts is a wonderful writer, but as the series dragged on, there too many characters introduced and Dallas's neurotic "snits" became tedius and childish.
One of the reasons I loved this book so much was the role reversals of the characters. Summerset acts like Eve, Eve matures as a wife and acts like Roarke, and Roarke--well he's kind of locked in his own world of pain that we have never seen before.
In addition, Nora Roberts trimmed down her cast so that the story didn't bog down with all their side stories. I've been getting tired of the Peabody-McNabb, Louisa-LC, Mavis-Leonardo, Mira, and Trina side stories. This time the murder plot and Roarke dealing with the past were the central points in the book. It was great. I cried several times through the book about Roarke's situation and whenever Eve had to deal with grieving parents. The murder mystery was great too, I didn't know who the killer was until the end.
The way Nora Roberts described the turmoil and emotions in this far surpassed her previous books. She dealt with the relationship of Roarke and Eve in such a way that it feels like a real marriage of emotions, and not some 2 dimensional rich guy whose perfect and always protecting his neurotic wife. I also liked the teaming of Eve and Summerset. It was wonderful to see them mature enough to team up against something they had in common. SPOILER SPOILER: The nature of Patrick Roarke's death and Summerset's involvement was a surprise. I guess somehow subconsciously it seemed right. I'm curious about Roarke's knowledge or suspicions of this. If Eve suspected, then Roarke should have too. Eve was such a great character in this book. For once she wasn't just locked into this one mold of determination to find the killer. She was aware about her wifely duties and shuffled her work life to deal with her personal life. I also enjoyed the introduction of Hastings as well. He kind of a carbon copy of other characters that have been introduced here and there in the series, where the character is cranky and tempermental, but has a great raport with either Roarke or Eve.
I'm looking forward to seeing future interactions with Roarke's blood relations now. Roarke's first name will have to remain a mystery though. I'm assuming his mother would definetly name him on the birth certificate.
I would highly recommend this book. This ranks as my favorite book of the series, above Naked In Death and Glory In Death.
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on September 9, 2003
If our count is correct, this is the 16th Homicide Lt. Eve Dallas murder mystery by the prolific Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb. While it sticks pretty close to the form of the other entries in the series -- including the futuristic setting in the year 2059; fellow cop associates Peabody, McNab, Feeney, Trueheart; and husband and billionaire Roarke -- the writing just seems to be reaching new levels, if our reader reaction (and a few tears along the way) is any indication. In addition to the serial killer Eve is hot to track down, in a side story, Roarke learns the true identity and story behind his real mother back in Ireland and the horrible fate she met at a young age. The scenes in which he re-visited Eire were moving and poignant, creating a welcome contrast to the young people being offed in Gotham City by apparently a photographer (i.e., "imager", maybe already a better title!?") who, while not brutal, is probably mad.
No need to reveal more of the fine story -- the plot is entertaining til the end even though we have the insider's view and knowledge as we admire Eve's steady but slick dissection of clues. That we can conjure up some of the same sympathy Eve does toward the killer once he's caught says something about both our leading lady and the human condition. As usual, Robb's stories are satisfying, but we feel the writing skills gain more edge and emotion as we proceed. Not bad for some 16 books into a series, many others of which have long since gone stale. We were lucky to unearth a hardback copy of "Portrait" and hope that the future novels in the set will follow suit -- enjoy!
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on April 9, 2003
As usual J.D. Robb has done a superb job. Eve Dallas, NYPD, is ever bit the cop woman. She is rough, but gentle quite a contradiction.Only J.D. Robb could pull that act off. Learning to balance the life of a cop who stands in for the dead and the life as a wife to the wealthy, steely, but oh so good-looking Roarke is quite a juggling act. There again, only with J. D.Robb could this be done. The book,"Portrait In Death" holds the reader spell bound and wanting more. J. D. not only holds her audience captive and spell bound but alwo delievers a story that is well researched. I have the entire Death series and this book is just as fantastic as the first. Eve and Roarke have come along way!These characters along with all the others in the book are so real and alive. When you finish the book it is with sadness that you must leave these characters that have indeed become your family and friends. As an avid reader and a teacher, my hat is off th you, J.D. Robb. Please hurry with more death series books. I can't wait to get back to my friends!
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on February 27, 2003
All of the books in the "...In Death" series are a combination of futuristic murder mystery and serial romance. The murder mystery set in the summer of 2059 and pits Lieutenant Eve Dallas against a serial killer who targets and professionally photographs young people...after they are dead. The serial romance is characterized by a major role reversal; the usually ultra-controlled Roarke is unbalanced by Summerset's injury and new information regarding his birth mother which places Eve in the unusual roles of caregiver and peacemaker. While each book in the "...In Death" series can stand alone as a murder mystery (and this is a good one), to truly enjoy the stories the entire series needs be read in order. The characters are what makes me buy each book as soon as it comes out and after sixteen books there is quite a cast of characters, all of whom are interesting and have complex histories. In each book, Ms. Robb (Nora Roberts) tries to supply enough information so that a reader can understand why the characters react the way they do, but if Portrait in Death was a reader's first "...In Death" book I don't think he/she would read another.
In summary, a very good story, but not for the new reader.
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