I’ve started many series over the years. Most of them I followed religiously for a long time before losing interest for one reason or another. This has not happened with the In Death books, and I can’t see that changing any time soon either. There are numerous reasons why I love this series and continue to be addicted to it:
- I like the mysteries in these books. Mrs. Roberts has a vivid and at times scary imagination and her crimes are often shocking. The investigation is always fascinating and thrilling and the finale never fails to take my breath away.
- I enjoy the setting—New York about thirty odd years from today. I recognise the place and yet enough has changed, advanced, to make it obvious the story is set in the future. Having said that, now that we are actually getting closer to the timeframe in which this series is set I have to acknowledge that the author may have been somewhat optimistic when she decided how far we would have advanced by then.
- I love how these books always manage to feel both familiar and original at the same time. Picking up a new In Death book is like revisiting a favourite place, recognisable and comfortable. And yet, the stories and characters always feel fresh and never, ever, repetitive.
- I’ve come to adore the recurring characters in these books. I look forward to meeting them again, finding out how their lives are progressing and spending some time in their company.
- And Eve and Roarke have to be one of the ultimate romantic couples ever written. 42 books into a series featuring one main couple and I’m yet to get bored or fed up with them. Sure there are moments when I want to slap either of them for misjudging a situation or each other, but that’s just because I get so very caught up in their story. For me, Eve and Roarke are as alive as it is possible to be for fictional characters. And my love for this couple brings me to my final reason.
- I love the humour in the dialogue. I’ll give two examples:
“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
“Why?” They’re idle when you’re sleeping—does he set up shop then? Are we all supposed to stay awake using our hands so the devil doesn’t make stuff? What if you broke your hand? Is he doing his workshop thing while you’re waiting to have it fixed?”
Roarke contemplated the pale gold ceiling. “Such a simple, if moralistic, phrase now thoroughly destroyed.”
“Thanks,” she said as she rose.
“I didn’t do anything.”
“You were Satan’s mouthpiece.”
“That is the same thing.”
In fact, that is what JD Robb (Nora Roberts) does so very well—portray characters, emotions and dialogue that feel real. I’ll always find myself with tears in my eyes at least once or twice when reading one of her books just as I regularly laugh out loud. If anything, Brotherhood in Death was a more emotional read than previous In Death books have been. The case Eve Dallas has to investigate is ugly and brings back memories of her own traumatic childhood. I don’t want to say more about it than you can find in the blurb except to say that what you read there is only the tip of the iceberg. The crimes in this book were such that I could almost excuse the murderers and had no sympathy for their victims. And that made this a harder, more heart wrenching, book to read. It also means this story will stay with me for some time to come.
I have to take my hat off and salute J.D. Robb. She found the perfect balance between an enchanting, consistently exciting romance and a thrilling, at times heartbreaking mystery. I laughed, I cried, I got angry and grinned—in other words, I loved this book.