Sunday, November 06, 2016

Bookish Thoughts: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb (Audio)

She woke in the dark. ~ Opening of Naked in Death


Naked in Death by J.D. Robb, Narrated by Susan Eriksen
Berkley, 1995 (Brillance Audio, 2008)
Crime Fiction (Romance); 10 hrs, 17 minutes

Goodreads Summary: 
In a world of danger and deception, she walks the line--between seductive passion and scandalous murder. Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she's seen it all--and knows her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire--and a suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about--except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.

The first time I read Naked in Death, I didn't care for it. In fact, I had some pretty unflattering things to say about it. The future world setting was written too vague for my liking and it was heavier in romance than I preferred at the time. In recent years, as I have begun reading more romance and not minding it as much when it does have a heavy hand in my crime fiction novels, I thought maybe I should give J.D. Robb another try, especially after receiving a copy as a Christmas gift from a fellow book blogger. Everyone who reads the series just about loves it. Maybe my biases got in the way. This time, I decided to listen to the audio version, and, I must say . . . I fared much better.

Susan Eriksen's narration of Naked in Death pulled me in pretty quickly. I found her voice relaxing, and it was easy to be drawn into the world of Eve Dallas and not want to leave. Susan does an excellent job taking on the various voices of the characters, including the slight Irish lilt of Roarke's accent.

I vaguely remember the details from my first reading of the book. Who did what and why came back to me as soon as the character was introduced. Still, this second time around, I did not have the same impression as I did before--that it was heavy in romance, although that element was certainly there. It was not nearly as heavy as had been my original impression. I also wasn't as bothered with the vagueness of the time period, although I wouldn't have minded more world building. Perhaps that comes in later books.

The mystery itself is intriguing, with a strong sense of suspense as Eve tries to figure out who is behind the murders before the next one takes place. Politics, sex and power loom large as possible motives. Eve is a complex woman, dedicated to her work, maybe too much so. She's built her entire identity around her job as a detective, trusting very few. It is no wonder given her backstory, which is both horrific and sad. Another major player in the novel is Roarke, a wealthy man who has a mysterious air about him. He appreciates the finer things in life and is very private. He is a man who is used to getting what he wants, and right now, he wants Eve.

I have a lot of respect for Nora Roberts, at least from what I have heard of and from her over the years. As a result, I really want to like her work--and am so relieved to be able to say I do now. This is definitely an example of how the enjoyment of a book can depend on when in a person's life that book is read. Perhaps listening to the book this time around made a difference too. It certainly didn't hurt. 


To learn more about J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts), and her work, please visit the author's website and Facebook.


© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

22 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you gave this another shot! I wasn't a huge fan of the first book, though I liked it OK and I know the narration helped me get into it. But the second book? It hooked me and I haven't let go yet. I recently just finished an In Death binge (there's so many of them you can have quite a few binges) and I'm now at book 14. I've been reading all the shorts too, I don't want to miss anything :) Hope it goes the same for you!

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    1. Berls - I was looking at all the books in the series, and will definitely not run out anytime soon. :-) I am glad to hear you enjoy the series.

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  2. I'm glad a reread worked for you but I'm not sure I'd like the future world.

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    1. Kathy - It's very subtle, Kathy. The science fiction, aspect, I mean. At least it has been in the first two books so far.

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  3. I think I may have read this book years and years ago and remember not enjoying it. But at the time my genres were a lot more restrictive. I've been wondering if I should give them another chance and it sounds like I should! Have you tried her book Three Fates under the Nora Roberts name? You might enjoy that one.

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    1. Katherine - Giving it another try worked for me, but I know that probably wouldn't be the case for other books I didn't like the first go aaround. Maybe try a book later in the series . . . I haven't tried her Three Fates under her Nora Roberts name. I will have to give that a try! Thanks for the recommendation.

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  4. I always loved the future world, but I didn't enjoy the romance part of it. I kind of just skimmed that part because I like the series. I haven't read one in a long time and keep meaning to get back into it. It's a good series.

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    1. Ginny - The mystery part is definitely what holds my attention the most. :-)

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  5. I have a good friend who never misses a book by Robb. I tried the series once, but can't remember a thing about it. Glad this one worked for you!

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    1. Jenclair - I rarely give books second chances, but I'm glad I did with this one. I think timing had a lot to do with it as well.

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  6. Glad the audio was a hit. I love this series and read the newest book when it comes out and have been listening to the series on audio as well.

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    1. Nise' - I really like the narrator. I don't know if she does all the books, but I hope so!

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  7. I read the first book a couple of years ago because at least half the bloggers I follow love this series. I was bummed out that I wasn't totally in love with it also, so I didn't continue.

    I don't do audio books, but maybe instead of rereading this one, I should just skip ahead to book 2 or 3 and see if I have a better opinion. I know everyone should read what they personally enjoy, but I do wish I was caught up in Outlander, JD Robb, & other super-popular series so I'd have something to fangirl about with the others. Oh, well :)

    Ha, I just noticed the quote on top of your blog: "No two persons ever read the same book"- Edmund Wilson.... how true!

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    1. Rita - People have told me the first book wasn't the best, so maybe you would have better luck skipping ahead. I know what you mean about wishing you were as caught up in certain popular series as others. Outlander is huge, but not one I've ever gotten into myself.

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  8. Yay! So glad you went back to this. This is one of my all time favorite series. I think the reason why she doesn't emphasize the futuristic world is because that's secondary to the characters and the story. Also, maybe going to stereotypes, women can be turned off by sci-fi and Roberts definitely caters to a female audience. These are just my suppositions though. Can't wait to see what you think about the rest of the series.

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    1. Trisha - I noticed that the urban wars occurred around 2016 in her world . . . I enjoyed the second one too and hope to get to the third soon-ish. I'm glad I gave it another try.

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  9. 'She walks the line--between seductive passion and scandalous murder' - Oh I love this combination of the somehow seductive glamour and threat. Great stuff, I'm glad you enjoyed this book.

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    1. Tracy - That is a tantalizing line, isn't it? :-)

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  10. Ok, you have totally made me want to revisit this series. I've only read Naked in Death and didn't care for it too much. But I've always wondered about this series because so many people love it. It's like what am I missing. Maybe I should give it another try!

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    1. Iliana - Maybe start with a later book in the series if you decide to try it again? It seemed like fate I try it again, the way the book kept coming back into my life. Good thing I liked it this time around. :-)

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  11. I know what you mean, timing is everything when reading. I used to read Nora Roberts alot and I have always wanted to pick her up again because I enjoyed her work. I read this one many years ago.
    Happy weekend!

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    1. Naida - Timing really can make a difference. I've had it happen too many times not to believe it.

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