When I bought the first book in the In Death series, I didn’t know that there were already 37 books published at the time. I think I groaned in agony when I found out because I was pretty much hooked by the 3rd book and I just knew that I wasn’t going to stop until I read all 37. I kept telling myself that there was no need to rush, that I should keep a schedule of buying at most two books a month and go through the series in a leisurely pace.
Yeah, we all know that there was never a chance in hell of that happening. I finished all 37 in 3 months, and even then it took a lot of discipline and willpower to not buy all the books in one go. As I mentioned in my blog post, its the character development and the progression of the relationship between Lieutenant Eve Dallas and mysterious billionaire Roarke that really drives you to buy the next instalment, and the next one after that and the next next one after that (you get the picture).
Its hard to come up with just ten favourites because they were all pretty good. But these are some of the noteworthy ones that I’ve compiled for your pleasure dear readers.
Naked In Death
Ah, where it all began. This wouldn’t be a top ten list without this book, the beginning of everything Eve and Roarke. In this book, we not only get a mystery, we also get politics, deceit, corruption, conspiracy and that all-important first meeting between our two protagonists (at a funeral, no less!). We get hints of Eve’s backstory and we’ll know from the get-go that this is not going to be an easy character to live with. Few books will ever come close to how good this one was, it really set the bar high for the rest of them.
Glory In Death
Book number two and even more character developments. I always say that a book is good if I find my palms tingling while I read it. My palms definitely tingled on this one. I found myself wanting to punch Eve for being so damn stubborn and for being so closed off that she can’t appreciate what she has. At the same time, you really feel for her because it could not have been easy opening up to someone and risk being hurt again. Also, spoiler alert, Roarke proposes at the end of this book.
Innocent In Death
Ah, the case of the ex. It always sucks to be reminded that the person you married, no matter how devoted he seems to be, had a past and that past involved strong feelings for other people. In this book, Eve and Roarke had to deal with pretty serious issues and though I always knew they’d work it out, this was the first book that really truly gave me a scare. Apart from their personal life, the mystery aspect of this book was truly horrific in the sense that you don’t want to believe what your mind and instincts are telling you to be true. Really great book!
New York To Dallas
This. This is where it all comes to a head. As I said, Eve’s traumatic past gradually unfolds as the series progress and we learn more about her origins and her parents. All roads lead to Dallas and when a case brings Eve to where it all started for her, her past comes hurtling back and only Roarke can keep her from falling off the edge. This book is proof positive that you should not read any books in this series as a standalone because it would be hard to appreciate the developments, and harder to still to feel the emotional impact, if you haven’t read the previous books. I think its safe to say that after this book, though know that Eve will always have to live with her past, she has at least come to some form of resolution and made peace with it.
Portrait In Death
Most books are really Eve-centred but there were a few that focused on Roarke’s backstory. His childhood was more or less as messed up as Eve’s, they both had shitty parents but in this book we learn about his mother and a family he never knew existed. I think this book really drove their relationship forward in so many ways and we see that as much as Eve needs Roarke to keep the demons at bay, he needs her just as much. That scene where Eve follows him to Ireland was one of the many priceless moments in their marriage. I said it before and I’ll say it again: whilst I had my reservations about JD Robb having them marry so early on in the books, its really great to see what goes on after the happily-ever-after, to see how much work it takes to keep the marriage healthy.
Treachery In Death
There is so much going on with the characters themselves that we forget that the police department plays a central role in this series. And if there’s ever a book that represents these unsung heroes, this would be it. I really love books where Eve gets the validation that she so richly deserves, and when she realises how much her men respect her and everything she represents. She’s a good cop and there’s nothing more that needs to be said apart from that.
Promises In Death
Like Treachery, this book pays tribute to the other members of the police department. They take care of their own, and if its one of their own who gets victimised they will close ranks and work together to bring down the perpetrator. Also, these book had me craving for “spaghetti” like nobody’s business. Some lighthearted marital moments with Roarke provided contrast to what is essentially a very dark instalment in this series.
Conspiracy In Death
This was one of my early favourites. As I said, Eve Dallas is all about the job. She is the badge because the badge gave her back a piece of herself at a time when she had nothing else going for her. So when they took away her badge, she was left really vulnerable. She really had to look deep within herself and see who she was when she wasn’t Lieutenant Eve Dallas and she came to realise that the badge was just a symbol. She is who she is even without it and it made the moment when she got it back all the more sweeter.
Witness In Death and Origin In Death
These last two I picked because they’re proof that you don’t need a character’s backstory to enjoy a good mystery, sometimes the reward is just in the mysteries themselves. These two were some of the most disturbing crimes I’ve ever read and had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. I often forget that these books are set in an imagined future where anything is possible but Origin In Death in particular really brought home the fact that these are not ordinary times that these characters are living in.
All in all, I’d say almost all the books are worth reading. If you want to buy them, I would suggest buying them on Kindle rather than paperback because they’re a lot cheaper. Or maybe go to your local charity shop like Oxfam, they usually have a few random books for £1 each that could supplement the collection you’re building.
The latest book in this series, Secrets In Death, is out now. Check it out here.
Happy reading, bookworms!