I’ve been reading these books since I was 16, when I discovered that J.D. Robb was a pen name for Nora Roberts. If you’ve been following my reviews, you know that I love me some Nora. So finding out that she had an entire series that I hadn’t read, and that said series was about a homicide detective in the New York City of the future, felt like winning a literary lottery. The series was less than half of its current size when I found it, around 20 books, but that would’ve seemed like too large a commitment to tackle had they been written by any other author. However, they were written by my ultimate comfort author, so I was super excited to dive in.
Twelve years later, I’m all caught up, and I am always eaten up with anticipation whenever a new novel in the series is released. Reading an In Death book feels like catching up with old friends, and I love finding out what’s happened in their lives since I saw them last. Watching Eve and Roarke’s relationship move from cop and person of interest to friendship into dating and moving in together and finally deciding to get married was wonderful, but what I love most is watching their marriage deepen it roots and grow stronger. I love how Eve has opened herself up to friendships and has unwittingly build a makeshift family for herself. Peabody and Nadine, McNab and Feeney, Mira and Mr. Mira, Mavis and Leonardo and Bella, Morris and all the cops in the pen, have become Eve’s family, and feel like part of mine by extension. Even Summerset, with his surly distain for Eve on the surface, loves her fiercely beneath the ice, and she loves him beneath the sarcasm and sass she levels at him. I’ve grown to love these people so much, and to understand them. The depth of relationships Nora built with this series is really special.
But the relationships aren’t the only area in which Nora excels with this series. After 45 books, you would think that the procedural aspect of the novels would get stale. Thankfully, that has never been the case with these. Every case feels unique from its predecessors, every killer’s motivations and methods different, every victim a person with their own faces and flaws and virtues. This victim, Larinda Mars, was pretty scant in the virtue department, unless tireless dedication to ruining the lives of others can count as a virtue. Eve’s struggle with trying to find justice with someone she came to despise more with each secret she unearthed with relatable, and applaudable as she stuck to her morals and found justice for the unjust.
I’m always fascinated by the inner workings of Eve’s mind. With some mystery novels, it seems as though the main character stumbles onto answers or draws conclusions far too easily. Not so with Eve Dallas. The woman works her herself ragged. You can feel the dedication fighting against the exhaustion that starts hounding her mid-case. And she does her best thinking aloud, bouncing ideas off of her husband or her partner or whoever else happens to be handy. Because of this, we get to see the ins and outs of her thought processes, and every conclusion she comes to makes total sense instead of seeming to come out of this air as in other procedural novels. Also, her constant confusion over common idioms and her reasoning behind said confusion is always hilarious, especially since her arguments are completely logical and tend to both amuse and flabbergast Roarke.
This was a fun and successful installment in the longest series I have ever committed to reading. While there is obviously much more to appreciate if you start at the beginning, these books are written in a way that invites new readers to pick up any installment and plunge into the depths of the series once they’re hooked. I’ll read every installment as it’s published until Nora either wraps up the series or is no longer able to write them, either of which will make for a sad day indeed. There’s just no other series quite like it.