18. “Immortal in death” by Nora Roberts (writing as J.D. Robb)

Publisher: Piatkus Books, 2010 (first published in 1996)
Page count: 432 pages

“Immortal in death” is the third installation in the “In death”-series about Lt. Eve Dallas. Spoiler alert! In this book Eve is preparing her for forthcoming wedding to Roarke. While this should be a happy event, Eve has very conflicting emotions because she feels that she is damaged goods after suffering years of physical and sexual abuse by her father. Eve suppressed her traumatic background for years; indeed, she had complete memory loss of her childhood, and the name Eve Dallas was given to her by the child protection services who found her abandoned in a ditch in Dallas when she was 8. But after meeting Roarke and allowing herself to feel love and intimacy for the first time in her life, Eve is terrorised by nightmares of her father’s brutality and incest.

Adding to this stress, Eve’s best friend Mavis is discovered, covered in blood, next to the body of Pandora, a celebrity model. Mavis and Pandora had been fighting in public over Leonardo, an up-and-coming, destitute designer who needed Pandora to attract attention to his next clothes collection but no longer wanted to date her as he had fallen in love wih Mavis, and so it is now up to Eve to clear her friend of the murder charges.

This is yet another great book about Eve and Roarke, though having read three of the “In death”-books in a row one can’t help but detect a certain element of formulaic plot devises and repetitive descriptions. That said, “Immortal in death” is very interesting because we learn a lot more about Eve’s troubled past, and it is great that Nora Roberts lets her protagonists marry so early in the series rather than drawing it out interminably like Janet Evanovich’s books about Stephanie Plum.


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