|Portrait in Death
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From Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb, comes a thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series...Lieutenant Eve Dallas faces a serial killer who offers his victims eternal youth by taking their life... 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...
- Great Entry in This Series!
Every time I think I'm finally maxed out on the "In Death" series, J.D. Robb, aka Nora Roberts, comes through with another blockbuster that renews my interest all over again.
"Portrait in Death" comes along at exactly the right time--for almost the first time, the mystery/murder takes a back seat to Roarke and Dallas' personal life, with a twist the reader has simply not expected. Don't think you're going to have yet another trip into Eve's nightmares, or another scary walk down the underside of Dublin's seamy alleyways. I won't be a spoiler and say what it is, but I'll give you a hint--luscious Roarke shows yet another side to his already impossibly sexy and desirable personality.
Enough said on THAT...moving on to the mystery, it's a spooky look at a very sick mind. Somebody has been murdering young, beautiful students in order to pose them in artistic photographs--and simultaneously absorb their "light." Eve and her faithful sidekick Peabody (just perfect in this outing, as is MacNab) have to stop him before he strikes--or in this case, snaps--again.
Get the book and find out what happens next. A genuine five-star effort for Nora!!...more info
- What does Roarke really know about his past?
This is the latest offering in the Death series by J.D. Robb. If this is your introduction to the series I really suggest that you go back and start at the beginning. There is not as much mystery in this one as some of the others.
Much of this story revolves around Roarke?|s past as well as Dallas?|s dealing with their marriage when the tough gets going. There is quite a few sections that deal with what Roarke has thought was his parentage. I won?|t spoil it anymore.
Also in this one Summerset and Gallahad have an encounter in the start that will leave Dallas with more to deal with that she had hoped for during the month. Not to mention that Peabody seems to be trying to make her eye twitch more than normal yo
In this story the murder is sending Nadine photos of the dead before they are found and telling her where to find them. Dallas along with Peabody, Feeney, McNab, Baxter and Trueheart take on this killer....more info
- Portraight of a death
I would say that this book was very good. It had real suspense, that kept you wanting to read. The killer was a very detailed sick minded man. The descriptions of people and places in this book were very good. I liked how this setting was placed in the year 2059. It showed the advancement of technololgy, which may or may not happen. I thought this book was a very good, book that kept you on the edge of your seat all of the way through....more info
- How does she do it?
I've read a lot of series fiction and I have never seen one just continue to go from strength to strength like the In Death series. J. D. Robb/Nora Roberts is truly something else as a creative mind and a writer who can turn them out yet keep them fresh as spring daisies.
The dialog in her books is first rate. I actually find myself smiling, laughing out loud and yes, wiping away a tear when reading this author. This isn't just mindless page turning, she pulls you into this world and makes you love these characters as much as she obviously does. Roarke and Dallas have one of the strongest love stories, truly the REAL THING, yet it doesn't get cloying or yucky, just moving and real right down to the bare bones. I think Roberts is a genius, a rare one indeed.
And if you want a real treat, try one of the audiobooks. Susan Ericksen brings these characters alive, giving each an authentic voice with a genius of her own. Sure she has great material to work with, but she is remarkable in her talent for voices and character.
- KEPT ME IN SUSPENSE TILL THE END!!!!!!
All I can say is FANTASTIC!!!!!! I am never bored with J.D. Robb. Once again she has written a storyline that kept me guessing and guessing. I am happy to see Nadine Furst in the fore front of the story. While searching for a serial killer, who photographs his victims; Roarke has problems of his own and refuses to discuss the situation with Eve. ...more info
- FANTASTIC READ!!!!!! Worth every penny.
Portrait in Death by J.D. Robb is worth every penny I payed for it. I started out reading these books and now have both my husband and son hooked on them also..:) We fight over who gets to read it first.
I hope every time I buy another JD Robb that it will be as good as the last one. Well, this book doesn't dissapoint. In fact it is one of my favorites so far. There was more about Eve and Roarke's relationship, which I enjoyed alot. She has also made Eve seem more human than ever in this book as Eve struggles to help Roarke through a tough time as he finds out the women he though was his mother, wasn't. More laugh's also with Eve's interactions with Summerset, Peabody and McNab. You'll love it....more info
- A can't-put-down sort of book!
A great addition to the in-Death series...you won't be able to put it down.
Roarke discovers a piece of his past and, for a change, it's Eve who's picking up the pieces for him even as she tries to solve a murder that soon changes into a series of murders. Add to that, Summerset's "trip" and you have an emotional story that will warm up a winter evening!...more info
- J D Robb
I am hooked on the Eve Dallas series by J D Robb. I absorbed the book....more info
- Best of the Series
I've read a few in the series -- I quickly got tired of Eve being so cold and rude to everyone and they all forgive her because they understand she has such a soft heart. I don't think that excuses her brutal personality. Roarke also is more than a little whimpy around her, to be such a towering example of masculinity. This one book was a little easier to accept, but I don't think I'll be finishing the series. Too much of the same, over and over again....more info
- The Best So Far!!
Once again another great addition to the In Death Series. I have to disagree with a reviewer, I found this book truly outstanding. I really did, I think it is the best in the series thus far. The entire book was very surprising, excellent scenario!
Normally you figure it out toward the end the "who dune it" but this time round I didn't have a clue.
More of Roarke and Dallas's personal stories were revealed, but this time the shoe was on the other foot. There is a secret Roarke discovered. You learned a new side to him as he also learned this side. You also saw a side to Eve as she put her work case second and her husband first. I can't tell you what it is this would spoil it but to do all this learning the end up in Ireland.
Then a bright young college student is murdered and thrown in a recycler like so much trash, Lieutenant Eve Dallas is, determined to stand for the dead and find the killer. But perhaps most disturbing about this particular case, is that prior to the discovery of the body, a package of photos of the murdered girl were sent to Eve's friend, Nadine Furst, a well-known TV reporter. It's clear that the killer photographed the victim for some time before the death, without her knowledge, and it's also clear that in the picture, the girl is already dead. The killer wants Nadine's help in showing his work. Then the second victim in found and once again it revolves around their picture the killer had taken. Portrait in Death blasted off with a bold and imaginative concept on an obsession of immortality, and light, but its depth grew when Robb emphasized on the action and characters. The storyline was so compelling, it really made this a page turning thriller.
All the characters who are loved were also back in this entry. There is still humor between Eve and Peabody's dialog. Still humor in Eve and Sumorset, even more in this story as he had a fall and delayed his holiday. One talent Robb has is the building of characters.
This is a must read for all the In Death readers out there. If you are new to the series, start at the beginning with Naked in death and just go down the line. It will not take long either and they get addicting. I know I can't wait for the new one to come out in fall. I really do enjoy this series and I really do feel this was the best of them so far....more info
Nora Roberts Rocks! Lt. Eve Dallas makes the best protagonist and it's like a ongoing series so there is always a new story!...more info
- Great addition to a great series!
This new addition to the "In Death" series is one of the best. Same great murder mystery formula, but Nora Roberts expands Rourke's character in this book with a new story line that kept you reading well into the night. Hard to talk about without giving away the story lines, but defiantly a great read....more info
Nora Roberts Rocks! Lt. Eve Dallas makes the best protagonist and it's like a ongoing series so there is always a new story!...more info
- Super fast fun.
New York in the year 2059 has its fair share of creative killers. The latest deviant that homicide Lieutenant Eve Dallas must chase down appears to be getting more out of his work than the thrill of the kill or perverse sexual satisfaction. What is it that is making him pose the bodies post mortem for stylish, almost beautiful portrait shots? Eve can see that her quarry is meticulous, careful and quite the sociopath. What is driving his need to record his taking of a life?
On the home front Eve faces another challenge in that final frontier of personal, unknown territories - her marriage. Never on firm ground in her only adult relationship to date (and this, is also questionable) Eve is flummoxed when her normally affectionate and sexually charged husband is blowing her off without reason, doing his own thing and not including her in his life. Roarke has found out that his mother did not, in fact, dump him when he was a very young child. The harridan that was there for the early years was not, in fact, his mother at all.
Performing up to expectation, author Nora Roberts a.k.a. J.D. Robb delivers a screechingly fast read starring her two dynamos of the future, the super snarly Eve and the ravishing Roarke. Not at all shabby at populating her novels with an array of eccentric, interesting characters, Robb particularly excels in this department with "Portrait in Death", the 16th entry in her bestselling "in Death" series. A little realism finally creeps in, and it's a timely inclusion. Roarke is not perfect all the time and even super cop Eve can have insecurities out of the workplace. The hunt is well depicted and leaves the reader satisfied on all counts. Yes, you get your love scenes as always. If you're not already on the "in Death" wagon, "Portrait in Death" is an excellent example of just how much fun you are missing out on....more info
- consistent quality
I keep waiting for this series to do the inevitable slump, but nope, not yet :-) Portrait in Death is just as fantastic as the previous In Death novels from this author. Kept me guessing to the end. Fantastic characterisation. And I loved seeing more of Roarke, of course....more info
- better than I remembered--4.5 stars
I nearly didn't re-read this one. I'd started it a couple of weeks ago, then stopped when I realized I hadn't re-read Purity in Death yet. I wasn't looking forward to picking this one up again because all I remembered of it was that I didn't think the killer's plan made sense.
But I picked it up and resumed reading anyway.
I'd forgotten all the good stuff in this book. I didn't forget that it happened--I just forgot that it was in this book. The big thing is, of course, that Roarke finds out that his mother wasn't the cruel, heartless Meg Roarke who abandoned him, but rather a sweet and loving young woman who was killed by his father when she tried to leave. Roarke does not handle the information well, and locks himself in his home office (violating his edict of no locked doors from Judgment in Death), refusing to talk to either Eve or Summerset.
Before that, however, Summerset was supposed to be going on vacation, but he falls down the stairs, tripped by the cat, and breaks his leg. It's almost as rough on Roarke as it is on Summerset, because Summerset is his surrogate father. So when Roarke's emotions get in the way, it's up to Eve to smooth things over with the nurse Roarke hired so Summerset can recuperate at home. Roarke and Summerset's feelings for each other are the clearest we've seen them, even more so than in Vengeance. It's especially clear in the private conversations between Eve and Summerset.
The mystery plot starts with a young woman's body being discovered in a dumpster, and a statement sent to reporter Nadine Furst saying that he's captured her "light," with accompanying photographs. The whole gang gets called in on this one, even including Baxter and his new trainee, Trueheart. Some of the clues lead Eve to temperamental photographer Hastings, who's the source of much of the comic relief. I hope we see him again eventually.
The mystery itself was better than I'd remembered, but my attention was mostly on Roarke's revelation and its effect on him and on his relationships. His reactions were very realistic, and fit well with the character we've gotten to know over the past 18 books. This is something he can't fix, he can't buy or steal, and he can't go back in time and change anything. It made him much more human than previous books did.
The personal crisis not only changes Roarke's understanding of his past, it also prompts growth in their marriage. The realistic portrayal of marriage as a work in progress rather than as a static state or an end result is one of my favorite things about this series, and this book excels at it.
The conclusion of the mystery was tense and emotional. My only complaint was that part of the killer's motivation wasn't explained. Seems like a little thing, but it left me with an unsatisfied feeling that was the only thing I'd remembered specifically from this book, so it's worth mentioning....more info
All the elements in this book is overplayed. This is the first book I've seen in the series and it will be the last. The conversations made me want to gag. It got to a point where I couldn't read beyond a few more paragraphs, and indeed I only read up to page 62. The storyline was not very interesting either....more info
- great series, once more
This series had been getting dull in the last few outings, but it's back on track again. Thankfully for all the fans of Eve and Roarke Roberts is focusing on their relationship as well as crafting a fine police procedural. I appreciate all the futuristic touches that appear in this series, but let's face it the most compelling aspect is still the give and take between the main characters, so I'm really glad that Roberts is concentrating on Eve and Roarke rather than Peabody. If like me you were giving up on this series read this one and enjoy....more info
- superb romantic police procedural
The summer of 2059 in New York City is brutally hot but Eve Dallas, a lieutenant in the New York Police and Security Department, is ecstatically happy. Her butler Summerset is taking a three-week vacation, which is expected to feel like a bit of R&R to Eve. Her joy quickly dissipates when Roarke's friend and majordomo trips over the cat and breaks his leg and shatters his shoulder. Her day gets even worse when she's called out on a brutal homicide and the victim is an innocent angelic girl who does not have an enemy in the world.
Eve's husband Roarke learns news about his family and is distracted enough to withdraw from his wife and friend. Much to Eve's surprise she misses her husband's help especially when a second victim is found and it is obviously the work of the same perpetrator. Just before a third homicide occurs, Roarke goes to Ireland to get some answers and Eve follows him. When they return, they work together to bring the killer to justice. However, before they can find him, he grabs one of their own.
J.D. Robb has written her usual superb romantic police procedural but PORTRAIT IN DEATH varies from the other works in the series in two important ways. Roarke is given news that devastates his usual high level of confidence making him vulnerable. Eve finally has the hang of being a wife and gives him the emotional support he needs though at the cost of the investigation. The who-done-it is exciting of course though the culprit is someone to be pitied (as long as the victims are not from your family).
Harriet Klausner...more info
- Portrait of a death
I think that Potrait in Death by Nora Robberts, is a very good book. It has a very relateable plot to some daily life. The book never leaves any detail out of the day out. The murders are very relistic to how some people really are these days. It shows are seseptible to other people we as humans are. The fact that the time is 2059 will give some people in insite to a possibility of the future. I think that this book by Nora Robberts always left you wanting to know what was going to happen next. I beleive Potrait in Death was a very good book....more info
- A KEEPER!
I loved this new addition to the "in Death" series! I was especially delighted to see new aspects to the Dallas-Roarke relationship. I enjoyed (as usual) the love-hate relationship between Eve and Summerset, glimpses of Mavis (MORE! MORE!), Peabody and MacNab, etc. I can't even imagine, however, what it would be like to read this book first!! Please, if you haven't read the other "in Death" books, buy them now and read them (or at least some of them) before you read this one. Your experience will be so much richer and fuller if you do....more info
- A Dip Into the Truth
I have to say, without a doubt, the best part about Portrait is finding out more about our favorite husband, Roarke. The insights into his past were entertaining and just on the edge of frustrating because we want to know more, more more! The case had a nice twist at the end, I was honestly surprised at the killer. In true, J. D. Robb fashion, the story unweaved itself at an easy pace and had plenty of extras to keep you interested further....more info
- J.D Robb's Fans will enjoy spending more time "In Death"
"Portait in Death" is the lastest offering by J.D. Robb and this is one of her better books. Unlike of book in this series, Ms. Robb spending most of her time focusing on Eve and Roarke. It was really great to see more of Roarke's background. It gave readers a better understanding of his character and its also allow the character to develop. I'm sorry that I waited so long to read "Portait in Death" because it is great!...more info
- Good in development, paces nicely
What attracted me most about this book, the 16th by the highly talented J.D Robb (Nora Roberts), was not the plot: a sadistic murderer kills innocent and young people in their twenties and takes photographs of them in posed shots after their deaths. In this area, Robb does a great job as usual in following Eve through the steps in her investigation. Her attention to details is still there, along with Eve's witty and amusing quips and twitchy eye. if you are a regular In Death reader, you will know, as I did, who the murderer is before Eve does. (Makes you feel all triumphant and gleeful inside.)
What attracted me was the character development and the relationship between our favourite couple, Eve and Roarke. In this book, Roarke's real history is uncovered and we learn that his real mother was not the abuser he thought her to be but a young, innocent girl murdered by Roarke's father.
Their roles are now reversed. Roarke is the vulnerable one, lashing out at Eve and feeling his world is turned upside down while Eve is the protector, the caring wife (or life-partner, as Eve would insist) becoming the rock in his life. There is a lovely scene where Roarke is in Ireland, wishing for Eve while rubbing the button from her suit that he carries around, knowing that she is the stable one in his life and that he needs her.
Their married life is still as spicy as ever and with the introduction of Roarke's new family, there is now another interesting angle to explore in upcoming books, along with the McNab/Peabody angle, Charles/Louise angle, Jamie angle and Mavis being pregnant/Leonardo angle. Do not forget Eve's past that has not been fully explored yet. Guaranteed to fill up pages effortlessly.
Here's to Imitation in Death coming soon!...more info
- I love this series!
I love this series and all the different characters. The lady who reads this book does an outstanding job....more info
- The Past will return...
In this installment of the In Death series, J.D. Robb really gives us a treat! Due to an unforeseen incident, Summerset and Eve actually have to tolerate each other and trust in each other. While the majority of the series has dealt with Eve's past, this one gives us a glimpse into Roarke's. The way he handles it, and the way Eve deals with the way he handles it, is a nice switch for both of them. The ultimate confrontation is very well written, and the reader is left as tired and emotionally wrought as they are.
It would help to read the whole series, as the characters deepen with each installement. There is a new character for us to love to hate, and a sad visit with an old friend. Peabody and McNab continue to make Eve nauseous and Nadine is still a pain in the neck.
A very good read and anxious for the next one!...more info
- Eve and Roarke at their best
Another fantastic addition to a marvellous series. Lieutenant Eve Dallas is investigating the death of students, those who seem to almost glow with an extra quality of 'light' - innocence, happiness, intelligence, and such ephemeral qualities. The killer carefully poses each at death and takes photographs that seem to highlight this quality in their natures, exhibiting his own skill at the lens (and hence the title of the book). Eve is a little off her stride, because Roarke is bothered by the discovery of something about his past, something he feels is fundamental to his own circumstances and nature. Something he's not ready to share, not even with Eve. And Eve has to deal with the fact that, as his wife and life partner, she really wants him to share. She's now truly part of a couple, and doesn't want to be shut out. Now it is Eve standing outside Roarke's internal doors, asking to be let in, and he that seems to have difficulty admitting her.
I am pleased that in this book Roarke and Eve are the central focus, even more than the mystery of who is the serial killer. Eve is becoming more and more comfortable with the various connections she makes, openly admitting to being Nadine Furst's friend without any prompting! And we meet all of our old friends, some taking more pages than others (McNab, Dr Mira, Baxter & Trueheart are definitely backstage here, but still able to carry off significant roles in the action, especially the latter two).
Regular readers of the series I'm sure will enjoy the book as much as I do. Eve is developing, as is her relationships with Roarke in particular, but also with her widening circle of friends and acquaintances. Roarke grows here too, which is a different element to bring into the book. As usual the writing is superb and the vision of the not so distant future is intriguing. I find with Robb/erts that it is these little, deft touches, sprinkling world-building context into the tale with such as skilful hand that highlights what a talented writer she is....more info
- Is the magic gone?
The last 2 books of this series have been disappointing. I was looking forward to reading the interaction between Eve, Summerset and Roarke, but it did not deliver. In earlier books, the characters were written in such a vivid and impacting way; in this book, I found the charaters' interaction to be predictable and unengaging. The storyline did not hold my attention. I actually skipped ahead and did not read all of the murder story. I read the few pages for the next story - another murder with a mutiliated woman. Is anyone else getting tired of reading about this subject?...more info
- VERY CHARACTER DRIVEN
I love how this series is character driven, but it is true that the series is steadily losing the substance that first drew me in.
In this installment, I had difficulty coming to care about any of the characters, but inevitably I became a prisoner in the world of Eve Dallas. She's like an old friend that you just keep coming to visit. You might not like everything about her, but she's so real you just feel like you're a part of the story. It is not scene, structure or substance that takes you on the thrill ride in this story. It is the characters. At this point, you've come to know them. If you're still reading at this point in the series, you're reading about family members. Imaginary family members to be sure, but family nonetheless.
I just can't imagine one of JD Robb's books not being great. She captured my attention long ago and I still keep looking for more of her stuff to read. I just love the people in these books. I hope she never gives them up....more info
- Very good, but not excellent ...
"Portrait in death" is the 18th book in J.D. Robb's futuristic "In death" series. If you haven't read the previous books in the series, please start by the first one, "Naked in death", and continue reading them in order. If you do that, I promise you that you will enjoy the series much more.
Now, and regarding this book, did I like it? The answer is simple, yes. Do I think I did the right thing purchasing it? Again, yes, because it is entertaining and certainly a keeper. The plot was good, and Eve and Roarke are, as always, a wonderful couple. There is a good whoddunnit, and we discover a mystery that has to do with Roarke's family, a secret that shakes Roarke so much that he closes up to Eve and puts their relationship in danger.
Despite all that, I do not think that this book was outstanding when compared to the other books in the series. Anyway, for those who are fans of J.D.Robb , "Portrait in death" will be a welcome addition to your library. It brings quite a strange role reversal: in this opportunity is Eve who takes care of Roarke while he tries to come to terms with some revelations regarding his past (more specifically his mother). There is also a good crime story, about a killer who chooses his victims due to their beauty, follows them and murders them, never forgetting to photograph them just after he slays them, believing that by doing that he will own their beauty and innocence forever.
So, if you have already read some of J.D. Robb's books I recommend you to buy "Portrait in death" too, because you are highly likely to enjoy it. I know I did :)
Belen Alcat...more info
- Author seems to be getting better with each new Eve Dallas!
If our count is correct, this is the 16th Homicide Lt. Eve Dallas murder mystery by the prolific Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb. While it sticks pretty close to the form of the other entries in the series -- including the futuristic setting in the year 2059; fellow cop associates Peabody, McNab, Feeney, Trueheart; and husband and billionaire Roarke -- the writing just seems to be reaching new levels, if our reader reaction (and a few tears along the way) is any indication. In addition to the serial killer Eve is hot to track down, in a side story, Roarke learns the true identity and story behind his real mother back in Ireland and the horrible fate she met at a young age. The scenes in which he re-visited Eire were moving and poignant, creating a welcome contrast to the young people being offed in Gotham City by apparently a photographer (i.e., "imager", maybe already a better title!?") who, while not brutal, is probably mad.
No need to reveal more of the fine story -- the plot is entertaining til the end even though we have the insider's view and knowledge as we admire Eve's steady but slick dissection of clues. That we can conjure up some of the same sympathy Eve does toward the killer once he's caught says something about both our leading lady and the human condition. As usual, Robb's stories are satisfying, but we feel the writing skills gain more edge and emotion as we proceed. Not bad for some 16 books into a series, many others of which have long since gone stale. We were lucky to unearth a hardback copy of "Portrait" and hope that the future novels in the set will follow suit -- enjoy!...more info
- My favorite in series so far
It must be Roarke's descent from being God-like, I loved this book. I love the series, but sometimes, just sometimes, Roarke and Dallas are just too, I don't know, perfect isn't the word, because they aren't perfect. Just too much. Both my favorites (Vengeance and Portrait) in the series relate to Roarke and his past. Felt like Nadine could've been a major player in the story but kind of abandoned. Love Peabody - Dallas interaction in this one!...more info
- whats new
while this book was excellent and i definately would recommend it to others i gave it a 4 instead of a three for learning more and more about roarks past and my favorite scene was when eve took care of him.
i missed the more spontaneous interaction with some of the characters and felt nadine wasnt given enough. i loved how crack has developed though....more info
- I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!
I have had the privelege of reading all the books in this series, but "Potrait in Death" to me is by far the best one. As a writer J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts has never disappointed me. In this book she finally allows Eve to play more of the concern spouse when usually its Roarke. Speaking of Mr. Roarke, who is usually my favorite character in the other books, in this book his character blew me away. I was glad that J.D. Robb let me glimpse another side of Roarke. All the secondary characters were great as usually, especially Summerset, who I have come to like more now than before. The book was great and I can't wait for the next on to come out. Thanks J.D. Robb, for giving me a series of books that I never get tired of reading again and again!!!!!!...more info
- Eve Dallas fans will enjoy this book
If you're a fan of the Eve Dallas series, you'll really enjoy this book. If you haven't kept up with the series, however, you will probably notice gaps in the story. The murder mystery was fascinating as always. And a surprise from Roarke's past and the path he took because of it were both interesting and moving. Very well written....more info
- My Favorite of the Series!
This series just keeps getting better and better. I found myself skipping around the murder mystery (which was compelling) to read ahead on Roarke's discovery and how he dealt with it. I'm glad I went back and read the parts I skipped, because I couldn't put it down. If you haven't read Naked In Death, start there. The secondary characters all play a vital role in Eve's life and it's much less confusing (and colorful!) if you start with book one....more info