Wednesday, June 11, 2014

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: "Portrait in Death" by JD Robb

Portrait in Death (In Death, #16)
Portrait in Death by JD Robb; Narrated by Susan Ericksen
For Ages 18+ (Language, Violence, Sensuality)
Romantic Suspense

Berkeley -- Published in 2003
Audiobook, 14 hours and 2 minutes
Read in June 2014
Purchased from Audible

THEMES
Murder Mystery, Alpha Hero, Kick-Ass Heroine, Secondary Romance

SUMMARY
After a tip from a reporter, Eve Dallas finds the body of a young woman in a Delancey street dumpster. Just hours before, the news station had mysteriously received a portfolio of professional portraits of the woman. The photos seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary for any pretty young woman starting a modeling career. Except that she wasn't a model. And that these photos were taken after she had been murdered. Now Dallas is on the trail of a killer who's a perfectionist and an artist. He carefully observes and records his victim's every move. And he has a mission: to own every beautiful young woman's innocence, to capture her youth and vitality—in one fateful shot.


FIRST LINE
"We begin to die with our first breath."

MY THOUGHTS
I'm continuing through my epic glom of the In Death series and have been shocked that, while I've read/listened to five installments in a single month, my enjoyment of the characters and the storylines has not waned at all.  Portrait in Death is book sixteen and has one of the most emotional cases I've found in the series.  Here are some important points that I think readers need to know about this book:

1. This case was interesting for me in that I figured out the perpetrator early on (I was so proud of myself!), but I still felt like I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Eve to figure it out.  The fact that the victims were young, vibrant people who were cut down in the prime of their life really hit me.  I found the hunt for the motive was the most intriguing and, by the end, the most disturbing aspect of the whole plotline.

2. After quite a few books focused on Eve's childhood trauma (which is valid to discuss), it was great to see Roarke's past take centerstage.  Our favorite sexy Irish billionaire discovers that things may not be as clear as he thought regarding his parents and where he came from.  His discovery caused him to become moody and even verbally hostile to Eve which, while hard to read for me, helped shape him as a real person rather than just a perfect persona.

3. I liked that Roarke's personal issues forced him and Eve to re-evaluate what they mean to each other.  Eve is even forced to make a choice in this book about whether to work on the case or help her husband which she would never would have done in the early books int he series.  Despite the bumps that they dealt with in this book, I think Eve and Roarke came out as an even stronger and realistic couple.  This quote says it all for me:
"Marriage isn't for the weak or lazy. It's work, and it should be. What would be the point otherwise?"
4. Peabody and McNab take another big step in their relationship that I won't spoil for fans of this couple.  I just love the way that they interact with one another and how they love to tease Eve with stories about their bedtime fun.

5. It was great to see Baxter and Trueheart make another appearance and I think I'm starting to see a pattern where these two guys will become a more regular part of Eve's team.  They are always entertaining, but both of them had stand-out moments at the end.

6. The whole book starts out with Sommerset injuring himself right before leaving on vacation and his subsequent recovery made for some of the funniest scenes.  Readers also get a few poignant moments with Eve and Sommerset where they discuss their relationships with Roarke.  These two will never be the best of friends, but they seem to develop a respect for one another and what they both mean to Roarke.

7. Down & Dirty Club owner Crack (who has helped Eve with some of the more unsavory parts of detective work) makes a minor, but important appearance that really grabbed my heart.

8.  I've said before, but I'll say it again and again: Susan Ericksen just gets JD Robb's characters and performs the hell out of this story.  While I'm sure I would enjoy reading the print versions of these books, the audio version just makes it feel like I'm listening to a play or a TV show.  She is one of the best in the business by far.

4.5 STARS

STEAM LEVEL
Fever -- Definitely graphic, but still emotional descriptions.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"What's that? Is that chocolate? Real chocolate?"
"What?" Panicked, Eve shoved the hand behind her back. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm working here."
"I can smell it." To prove it, Peabody sniffed the air like a wolf. "That's not chocolate substitute, that's not soy. That's real goods."
"Maybe. And it's mine."
"Just let me have a little—" Peabody's gasp was shocked and heartfelt as Eve stuffed the remaining chunk in her mouth. "Oh, Dallas." She swallowed hard. "That was very childish."
"Uh-uh. And delicious," Eve added with her mouth full. "What've you got?"
"I don't have chocolate breath, that's for damn sure." At Eve's arch look, she pokered up. "While others, who will remain nameless, were stuffing their face with candy, I diligently pursued an angle in the investigation that I believe might be of some interest to the incredibly selfish candy-hog primary."
"It was dark chocolate."
"You're a mean person and will probably go to hell."
"I can live with that."


BOOKS IN THE SERIES
There are too many to show here, but I'm providing a link to the Goodreads listing and the listing from JD Robb's website.

CHALLENGES READ FOR


1 comment:

  1. I sooooo need to try these books out. I do really like Nora Roberts. And oh my gosh, I love that quote! It sounds very much like Nora Roberts. too! Glad you keep loving these books, even after binging a bit. :)

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