Eve Dallas

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Eve Dallas is the main character of the In Death novels, a futuristic (circa 2058 AD) romance-mystery series by J.D. Robb, pseudonym for author Nora Roberts.

Character of Eve Dallas[edit]

Eve was found in an alley in Dallas, Texas. She was estimated to be eight years old. She had a broken arm, was covered in old blood, and had no memory. Unable to remember anything at all, her social worker named her and put Eve into a foster home, the beginning of Eve's life in the system. After reaching the age of majority, she has a big desire to move to New York City where she hopes to become a police officer. The dates of all her promotions are not specific, but it is mentioned that she became a detective, second grade in early 2051, and eventually, by the start of the series, is lieutenant in the Homicide squad.

Throughout the series, her memories return, mostly through a series of nightmares, revealing a history of incestual rape and patricide with her father, Richard Troy. It is revealed that he was raising her to prostitute her to child molesters. Her mother, Stella, was a prostitute and a drug addict and was occasionally beaten and raped by Troy, but hated her daughter. Eve finds out more about Stella in book 34, New York to Dallas.

It was implied that since Eve had lost her memory, she had forgotten her name, as well, but it is eventually revealed in Reunion in Death that the reason Eve cannot remember her name is because her parents never gave her one. The fact that no one in Dallas could track down her ID indicates one of two things: that either Homeland Security interfered and deleted her data,[1] or that her parents never had her registered in the first place. For all intents and purposes, Eve did not exist in any records before she was eight years old.

After her relationship and subsequent marriage to Roarke, Eve is a much happier and, to some extent, calmer person; she is more willing to work with and depend on other people. They celebrate their one-year anniversary in Reunion in Death, in July 2059. Eve's relationship with Roarke is central to the series and her character (see below).

Eve's official residence is 222 Central Park West, New York, N.Y., with Roarke.

Physical Characteristics[edit]

Eve is typically described as having whiskey-colored eyes and tawny hair, (which is usually poorly cut since she cuts it herself) and being tall and slim, with a distinctive dent in her chin. Her measurements are specifically revealed in Immortal in Death.

  • Height: 5 feet, 9 inches
  • Age: approximately thirty years old in Naked in Death
  • Weight: 120 pounds
  • Waist: 26.2 inches

The latter two likely fluctuate throughout the series (it is mentioned in Holiday in Death that Eve has lost a lot of weight from injuries sustained in Vengeance in Death), but no numbers are given thereafter.

It has been noted repeatedly during the series that Eve does not have large breasts, which is in line with Eve's weight. In fact, in Naked in Death, Eve is not wearing a bra when she first has sex with Roarke and throughout the series, is not mentioned to wear one very often — even during scenes describing her dressing, presumably because she does not need one. In Promises in Death, it is mentioned that she prefers to wear sports bras. In regard to her face, Trina, Mavis's friend, occasionally does make-up for Eve, and has commented several times that Eve has very good bone structure. In Origin in Death, Eve's aide/partner, Peabody, comments that Eve's nose is 'chiseled' while they are in a body-sculpting clinic (and considering if she, Peabody, might do well to have a similarly 'chiseled' nose).


Eve is a fiercely dedicated cop; she initially has very few friendships and remarks that she can "count on her hands" how many people there are who really mean something to her. Roarke says to her in Memory in Death that for someone who intrinsically doesn't like people, there's no one more determined to find them justice.

She comments once (to Roarke) that she was never sick upon seeing a body at a scene (if she was sick, it was later), as she feels that there has to be someone who can handle it.

Eve prefers to do things on her own, as it has fewer complications that way, both in her personal and professional lives. For instance, Eve sleeps with Roarke — a suspect in her murder case — an act that jeopardizes her job. However, she does not tell Roarke, even when he calls and asks her if anything has happened. As for her job, she chose to be a police officer because that way she could have definite control over her own life, something she didn't have until she was eighteen. She initially has, and still does have, difficulty in opening up to and depending on people. For example, she doesn't tell Peabody that she was repeatedly raped by her father and that she killed him in self-defense until Visions in Death. For another example, prior to Roarke, she had no serious romances. In fact, her relationship with Don Webster implies that she had rare one-night stands as opposed to relationships.

Given Eve's past — her memories indicate that her father started raping her when she was around five or six — she is extremely sickened by experiences with rape victims and has more difficulty with these cases. Due to this, she desires to save children and greatly regrets their deaths; at the same time, she has trouble in dealing with live children. They generally confuse her and she desires to stay as far away from them as possible.

Her darker past aside, however, Eve is rough, often brusque in manner, tends to use a great deal of sarcasm, adores chocolate and coffee, and can be very considerate. She wasn't particularly good in school, but nonetheless is very clever and has excellent intuition.


The series is set in the late 2050s in New York, following a period of urban warfare sometime in the preceding decades that caused tremendous damage to cities and human populations across the world. Whites appear to be a minority in Eve's futuristic society; many citizens seem to be of mixed race, although none in Eve's close circle. Other planets have been discovered, and humans have built man-made worlds where they travel for holidays, and where the most dangerous prisoners are confined. Androids or "droids" are commonly used as mechanical servants or extra office labor. Food is often prepared (in situations where elegance is not required) by machines called "Auto Chefs." Many foodstuffs, including meats not for high-end or luxury tables, are created from vegetable products and other similar substitutes; some items, such as real coffee and chocolate, have become almost priceless due to their scarcity in the average market.

Relationship with Roarke[edit]

Eve's relationship with Roarke is integral to her character; she wants to depend on him, but as she remarks to herself in Immortal in Death, she is afraid of using him. However, as the books progress she learns to rely on his strengths and understand that she is not using him. (Roarke is a consultant several times). She loves her husband very much although she hates referring to him as her husband in public, as she originally felt that police officers should stay unattached. (Her primary example for this is Commander Whitney, whose wife terrifies Eve.)

However, there is no one that Dallas loves more in the world, and vice versa. He is the only man she ever spent the entire night with; he is also the only man she has ever loved romantically and he is the first person she has confessed to about the abuse she suffered from her father. In Innocent in Death, when a serious ex-girlfriend of Roarke's is back in town, Summerset makes the astute observation that despite her superficial flaws, 'You would do anything, no matter what the personal risk, to keep him from harm.' The same is true for him. Dallas suffers from nightmares, but they are usually not as frequent or as bad when Roarke is in bed with her; throughout the books, he goes on few business trips in order to stay with her as much as possible. When he is away on business Eve will either use one of his shirts as pyjamas or avoid sleeping in their large bed without him there.

Summerset comments to Roarke in Memory in Death that previous to Eve, Roarke would spend Christmas in exotic locations such as Fiji or Saint Moritz, but never at home. Roarke says of that time, "I was alone because there was no one who mattered enough to keep me here." Of her, he says, "But I needed her. The one thing, the only thing that could make this place home."[2] Their need for each other is mutual, and they have proven several times that they would do anything for each other.

As far as every day life goes, Roarke enjoys buying copious amounts of jewelry, clothing, and expensive food — particularly real coffee, which is very expensive in the era of the books — for Eve, as he is quite conscious of the fact that before him, no one except her few friends really gave her anything at all. (After their first meeting (Naked in Death), Roarke sends her a little present. Mavis is there and thinks its jewelry; when she sees it is coffee, she says, "I don't care what the damn stuff costs a pound, Dallas. A woman wants glitter." Eve's response is "Not this woman. The son of a bitch knew just how to get to me. In more ways than one.")

To have her move in, Roarke semi-replicates her apartment in a suite in their home as her new office, adjoining his, and her friends are his as well.

Roarke is one of the richest men on or off the planet, if not the richest; he owns one third of the planet and its satellites. However, Dallas isn't entirely comfortable with the great amounts of cash he has. She's used some of it to her advantage (most memorably in bribing Louise Dimatto to help her and in acquiring sports tickets for the medical examiner and forensics for quicker results), but for the most part doesn't like the fact that people refer to her as "Mrs. Roarke" or assume that her husband's money must be part of the reason she married him. She does, however, appreciate the coffee.

In the end, they are a perfect match, two people who have grown to be a very steady couple throughout the series. While they face their challenges like any couple, they work through them and love each other very much. Not to mention that their private moments in the bedroom (and other parts of the house/hotels) are very sultry.

External links[edit]

  • Dallas Eve Dallas fanlisting


  1. ^ Robb, J.D. (2004). Divided in Death. New York: G.P. Putnum & Sons. p. 355. ISBN 978-0-399-15154-5. 
  2. ^ Memory in Death, Putnam hardcover pg 281.