Dark in Death
Eve Dallas Book 46
by J. D. Robb
St. Martin's Paperbacks
July 31, 2018
Available in: Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, e-Book, Large Print (reprint)
It was a stab in the dark.
On a chilly February night, during a screening of Psycho in midtown, someone sunk an ice pick into the back of Chanel Rylan’s neck, then disappeared quietly into the crowds of drunks and tourists in Times Square. To Chanel’s best friend, who had just slipped out of the theater for a moment to take a call, it felt as unreal as the ancient black-and-white movie up on the screen. But Chanel’s blood ran red, and her death was anything but fictional.
Then, as Eve Dallas puzzles over a homicide that seems carefully planned and yet oddly personal, she receives a tip from an unexpected source: an author of police thrillers who recognizes the crime—from the pages of her own book. Dallas doesn’t think it’s coincidence, since a recent strangulation of a sex worker resembles a scene from her writing as well. Cops look for patterns of behavior: similar weapons, similar MOs. But this killer seems to find inspiration in someone else’s imagination, and if the theory holds, this may be only the second of a long-running series.
The good news is that Eve and her billionaire husband Roarke have an excuse to curl up in front of the fireplace with their cat, Galahad, reading mystery stories for research. The bad news is that time is running out before the next victim plays an unwitting role in a murderer’s deranged private drama—and only Eve can put a stop to a creative impulse gone horribly, destructively wrong.
From the author of Echoes in Death, this is the latest of the edgy, phenomenally popular police procedurals that Publishers Weekly calls “inventive, entertaining, and clever.”
Originally published January 2018 in hardcover and eBook.
In the spring of 1995, J.D. Robb's first book, Naked in Death, appeared on bookshelves with very little fanfare. Robb introduced readers to New York City in the near future, 2058 to be exact, as seen through the eyes of Eve Dallas, a detective with the New York City Police and Safety Department. The Gothic Journal hailed Robb's work as "a unique blend of hard-core police drama, science fiction and passionate romance" while The Paperback Forum called it "a fantastic new detective series."
The popularity of that first book built up through the release of the subsequent Eve Dallas books, Glory In Death, Immortal In Death, Rapture In Death, Ceremony In Death, Vengeance in Death, Holiday In Death, Conspiracy in Death, Readers were taken with Eve Dallas' integrity, strength and heart and her burgeoning relationship with the mysterious Roarke.
It's been a fairly open secret that J.D. Robb is the pseudonym of the more familiar New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts. But Ms. Roberts, and her publisher, Berkley, were content to let the Robb books build slowly with very little tie-in to the Nora Roberts' style of romantic suspense.
The pragmatic reason for creating J.D. Robb was the astounding pace at which Nora Roberts produces books. With nearly 100 published books to her credit by 1995, she had built up a surplus of titles to be released by her publishers, Berkley and Silhouette, and still was creating more. Reluctant to publish romantic suspense books akin to what she was already writing under a pseudonym, Ms. Roberts was convinced that readers would enjoy romantic suspense with a difference. Thus J.D. Robb was born. The initials were taken from Ms. Roberts' sons, Jason and Dan, while Robb was a shortened form of Roberts.
"I wanted to try something a little different. I love writing romance and suspense but also wanted a twist," explains Ms. Roberts. "The near future setting provided this and allowed me to more or less create a world. What would it be like in 2058? I could decide. And I could illustrate my own feeling that while the toys may change, people remain basically the same. They still love and hate and covet; they still have courage and cowardice. They're still human."
The In Death books have afforded Ms. Roberts an opportunity to explore a relationship beyond the ending of the first book. Her trilogies and family stories have been hugely popular with fans.
"One of the things I wanted to do was develop those characters over many books rather than tying it all up in one," she says. "I wanted to explore these people and peel the layers off book by book. Eve and Roarke have given me the opportunity to explore a marriage, as well. Each book resolved the particular crime or mystery that drives it, but the character development, the growth and the changes, the tone of the relationships go more slowly. I'm enjoying that tremendously."
The experiment has succeeded beyond expectations with the J.D. Robb books regularly hitting the New York Times bestseller list. Now, it's freely acknowledged that J.D. Robb and Nora Roberts are one and the same. The Robb books will appear every six months, much to the delight of Ms. Roberts' fans who are vocal in their demands for more of Eve Dallas and Roarke.
Nora Roberts - in any guise - will continue to delight that audience with her inimitable combination of romance and suspense in this century or the next.