Review of “Naked in Death” (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb

Robb, J.D. Naked in Death. New York: Berkley, 1995. ISBN-13: 978-0-425-14829-7. Print List Price: $7.99.

4.5 stars

When this book was selected as the September Old School Read for the OSRBC, I was hesitant, due to my general lack of interest in the contemporary and futuristic subgenres, unless there is another aspect to draw me in. But due to my interest in police procedurals like Law and Order: SVU and with mystery and suspense plots in general, I gave it a shot. And despite a few flaws, this book is absolutely wonderful.

The plot is fast-paced, with nonstop action, and with every twist and turn, I kept turning pages, eager to find out who was behind the murders. And I watched with morbid fascination as the culprit was revealed, and while the meeting of politics with scandal is not an original plotline by any means, Robb’s writing allows for a suspension of disbelief until the truth is revealed.

I love that Eve has a personal stake in the case, due to her own tragic past, and she has to fight with her conscience at one point about what to do with one of the perpetrators. And while we did not get a lot of development into who Roarke is in this one, I do look forward to him, Eve, and their relationship being developed more in the following books.

The only major flaw is the dated nature of some aspects of the worldbuilding. While for the most part, Robb does very well in establishing a world that exists in the near future (~2060), the speculations she made about the world’s progress, particularly mentioning dates like 2005 and 2016, feel a little out of place, considering it was published in 1995. But it does not affect the overall quality of the work, which is exemplary otherwise.


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