Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eternity, Salvation and Ritual In Death

Title: Eternity In Death (Dead Of Night anthology)
Title: Salvation In Death
Title: Ritual In Death (Suite 606 anthology)

Author: J.D. Robb

Published: 2008

Thoughts: It occurs to me that I measure each In Death installment by its level of Eve/Roarke conflict. Lots of conflict equals a riveting, tension-filled read. Little to no conflict equals a casual, but interesting read. I’m betting most of you feel the same way.

There was very little Eve/Roarke conflict in any of these three titles. Yes, there was the matter of crossing police investigation perimeters in Ritual In Death—but that was more a short-fused pissing contest between them than a deep-seated conflict of interest. There were also externally triggered trips down bad memory lane for both of them—Roarke over the girl he didn’t save and Eve over her father. As we have seen both types of stress in their lives, repeatedly, neither appeared a threat. More like opportunities to feel the love between them.

So take away any and all threats to their marriage and you’re left with a police procedural that plays out among long-time friends and colleagues. Plenty of humor, human drama (observed rather than experienced) and action. In the novellas, Robb weaves in the paranormal—always entertaining in the face of Eve’s practicality—and in Salvation, she introduces a priest that I think will become one of her regular cast members.

As for the cases, they were all interesting. Particularly the case(s) in Salvation In Death. Quite a few twists and turns in that one, and none that led me to the perpetrator before Eve got there.

All in all, relaxing and entertaining reads.

So what stood out?

Feeling the love. That’s what resonated most. In all three books, there is an underlying comfort in the knowledge that they have, in each other, a haven. There is the mental relief and emotional girder that haven provides. And well, there is just plain room to breathe and deal when you have that at your back. Being in a bit of a lull myself—a real-life one, void of serious financial, marital and other assorted stress; on an even keel you could say—I was able to relate. I appreciated the appeal of both the solidness and gooeyness of their love.

And somehow, Robb keeps this fresh. Maybe it’s in the reminders of their independent, solitary pasts, or those moments—still—where each can be startled, totally awe-struck by their love for the other. I swear Robb could do this for another 25 installments and I’d fall every time.

Consider me a lifetime member.


  1. Lots of conflict equals a riveting, tension-filled read. Little to no conflict equals a casual, but interesting read. I’m betting most of you feel the same way.

    Exactly. My favorites are always the ones where there is some kind of conflict between Eve and Roarke.

    I'm glad to know these worked for you, even if there wasn't that internal conflict. I'm pretty excited to read all of them. I decided to hold off on reading them for now, because I wanted to get some other obligation reading out of the way first. But now...well, I might just bump them up.

    Thanks! Er..I think.

  2. It's funny Holly. I was JUST saying how I want my reads dark and gritty right now...and then I caught up on these three and enjoyed them despite their relative 'lightness'. Robb is probably an exception to every reading rule or preference I have, LOL. Like you though, I LOVE the stormier ones...between Eve and Roarke. Gets the heart rate up because we're so vested in these characters, eh?

  3. I have never read this author. Thanks for the info.
    Just Bloghopping

  4. I'm still way down on the totem pole for J.D. Robb books. I'm reading Holiday In Death right. I have a long way to go :)
    I have loved each and every one so far.


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