Friday, April 24, 2009

Survivor in Death

This installment in the futuristic Eve Dallas series opens with a harrowing scene in which an entire family is murdered in their beds - all except for the 9-year-old daughter, who just happened to wake up in the middle of the night with a craving for a fizzy orange drink. Nixie is a resourceful child and calls 911. When Dallas arrives on the scene, she discovers the little girl, covered in blood, in shock, hiding in the shower.

The killers will be after Nixie when they find out she survived, and when she freaks at the thought of being taken away by Child Protective Services, Eve brings her home with her instead. Eve has a tangled mystery to unravel in order to find out who could possibly want to murder an entire family, by all accounts a normal, law-abiding, loving family with no apparent enemies.

Unlike most of the books in this series, this one is not an open mystery - we do not alternate viewpoints with the killers, and I enjoyed that change. I prefer to follow along with the investigation and draw my own conclusions as new information surfaces. Nixie's devastating loss is not glossed over by any stretch of the imagination - her suffering and trauma are clear and present in every page of the book. These murders are not just a puzzle to solve - they pack an emotional wallop. Eve's own abusive childhood has defined who she is, how she views the world, and fuels her determination to catch the killers in order to give the bereaved child the minimum comfort that justice has to offer. The book deals with the emotional impact of the crime as much as with the solving of that crime, and all our favorite characters make an appearance.

Each of these books is a stand-alone mystery, but I find that reading the series in order lends more emotional depth to the stories. The crimes that Eve and Peabody solve have consequences on everyone involved that extend into other books - things do not return to square one upon the conclusion of the story. While I enjoy the mystery element, I have grown to care about the characters, and I am every bit as interested in the drama of their lives as I am in the crimes to be solved. I believe that is why, twenty books into the series, I'm still looking forward to reading the next one.

Books in the Eve Dallas series:
1. Naked in Death
2.
Glory in Death
3. Immortal in Death
4. Rapture in Death
5. Ceremony in Death
6. Vengeance in Death
7. Holiday in Death
8. Conspiracy in Death
9. Loyalty in Death
10. Witness in Death
11. Judgment in Death
12. Betrayal in Death
13. Seduction in Death
14. Reunion in Death
15. Purity
in Death
16. Portrait
in Death
17. Imitation
in Death
18. Divided
in Death
19. Visions in Death
20. Survivor
in Death
21.
Origin in Death
22. Memory in Death
23. Born in Death
24. Innocent in Death
25. Creation in Death
26. Strangers in Death
26. Salvation in Death


Survivor in Death (#20 in the Eve Dallas series) by J.D. Robb (Brilliance Audio, 2005)

Also reviewed at:
Banter Basement: "I have read it before and I still couldn't put it down."
Revisiting the Moon's Library: "Really good read for characters, but mystery was eh for me. There have been better."

9 comments:

  1. I still haven't made it to book 2 yet! I will, I will, I will ....

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  2. I have been stalled on this series for it seems like forever now! I really must remedy that soon!

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  3. Nicola - It isa bit daunting to see that there are so many in the series. I find that lots of time can pass between reading them, but I can always pick right up again.

    Kailana - I am taking forever to go through this series, mainly because I used to "save" them for a time when I knew I'd need a gripping read - taking a plane, something like that. But now that I've discovered the audio versions and how great they are, I have a feeling I'll be whipping through the rest of the series!

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  4. So many books and they are all still so fantastic! Always an enjoyable read, I love Eve and Roark and Peabody. I looove Peabody - I want to play her in the movie! I would make a great Peabody. ;)

    I think there are generally 2 a year, yes? And I got cranky when the went from releasing them in pb to hard cover - then went BACK to pb and are now hard cover again! Make up your mind, publisher!!

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  5. Cat - So, if you're Peabody, who gets to play McNab?

    I have no idea how she manages to write so many books!

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  6. Thanks! I needed this kick in the butt to pick up Glory in Death :)

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  7. Ladytink - Great! I'll be looking forward to hearing what you think of it.

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  8. I haven't read Nora Roberts in awhile and I haven't read any in this series. I've heard good things about these, elsewhere, too. I'll have to check them out. I just love a series when you get attached to the characters.

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  9. Nicole - Aside from one or two that I read years ago, these are the only books by Nora Roberts that I've read. I'd consider branching out to some of her other books - but I still have so far to go in this series. Maybe when I'm caught up! I'd be interested to hear what you think, having read some of her other books first.

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