Desert Isle Keeper Review

Immortal In Death
(This DIK review was written by a reader)

J.D. Robb
1996, Futuristic Romantic Suspense
Berkley, $7.99, 320 pages, Amazon ASIN 0425153789
Part of a series

Grade: A
Sensuality: Warm

The In Death series by Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb is a gritty, powerful, continuing story that pulls the reader into the harsh reality of the near future. Although the future brings many technical and scientific advances, the baser nature of man does not change. Mankind lusts after power, possessions and in this book, after eternal youth and beauty.

In Immortal in Death, New York Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas is not only fighting the latest in the endless array of cases she must deal with but also her own feelings regarding her relationship with Roarke, the Irish ultrabazillionaire who owns her heart, much to her chagrin. Eve is not yet comfortable with her love for Roarke and his for her but she is slowly coming to realize that she has found her heart's match in him. Eve's reluctant shopping trip to find herself a wedding dress is what starts off this story.

Eve’s best friend, Mavis Freestone, a flashy singer she rescued from a life of crime, finds herself accused of murder when Pandora, the most famous supermodel on and off the planet, is found dead after a very public confrontation with Mavis over upcoming designer Leonardo. Eve knows in her heart that her friend is not responsible for Pandora's murder, but she must play by the rules, which Roarke understands, even if his dour butler, Summerset, does not.

Pandora was murdered by a dose of a new drug that promises everlasting beauty to those who use it, as well as greater sexual potency and stamina. A killer combination indeed, for who can resist the lure of eternal perfection? That the side effect of the drug is a strong addiction, as well as enhanced violent behavior is only a minor detail to those whose jobs it is to look perfect for the rest of society.

Through Eve’s investigation we get a deeper glimpse into the world of future high fashion, a world filled with air kisses and staged fights for the sake of alibis. Two potential suspects, Jerry and Justin, could easily be one of today’s publicity-hungry celebrity couples, because Roberts has created a world that, for all its innovations, is very easily recognizable. Greed and vanity are constants through civilization, be it today or sixty years in the future.

During Eve's investigation to find the murderer and to clear Mavis's name, we learn more and more about her. Eve, as usual, takes physical and emotional blows without outward flinching. She is steadfast and determined to clear Mavis. More about Eve's past and the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father is revealed. Eve lives more in Roark's world and finds it and its demands on her, endlessly irritating, but knows that she would gladly put up with anything for the sake of the man himself.

This is a captivating series. I have read all of the In Death books and am eagerly awaiting Loyalty in Death, to be released in the fall of 1999. In each book in the series, Ms. Roberts does a brilliant job in showing us ever more facets of Eve and Roarke and every minor character, such as Mavis’ adored Leonardo, has a purpose and fits the puzzle.

As always, there are social issues underpinning every book. We know that in Eve's world of New York sixty years in the future, there is hardly anything that is natural anymore. No real coffee, no real butter, no real meat, all because we humans have ruined our planet and its resources. In this case it is the quest for beauty that gets center stage, for as much as we are shocked to find that people would take dangerous drugs to keep beautiful, how much do we go through to fulfill society’s standards?

-- Mary Claire Hennessey

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