Naked in Death

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Naked in Death
Cover of Naked in Death
Author J.D. Robb
Country United States
Language English
Series in Death series
Genre Detective fiction
Publisher Penguin Group
Publication date
July 28, 1995
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
e-Book (Kindle)
Audio Book (CD)
Pages 314 (Paperback)[1]
294 (Hardcover)[2]
ISBN 978-0-425-14829-7
Followed by Glory in Death

Naked in Death (1995) is the first book of the In Death series by J. D. Robb, preceding Glory in Death. This book originally had a cover flat produced for it with the name "D. J. MacGregor", but was changed later.[3]

Plot introduction[edit]

New York Police and Security Department detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas's main suspect in the death of a high-profile prostitute is the enigmatic Irish businessman, Roarke, in 2058.[4]

Plot summary[edit]

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is just barely thirty years old in the NYPSD (New York Police and Security Department) Homicide division in January, 2058. Eve is suffering from bad dreams over the death of a young girl that she couldn't prevent. Eve killed the girl's father, who was the one who killed the girl, and is now awaiting Testing, a psychological and physical evaluation all police officers must undergo after utilizing maximum force (killing). Eve dreads Testing; however, it is delayed when she is called to a case: the murder of a senator's granddaughter, who was working as a licensed companion - the 2058 version of a prostitute. The murder weapon is an antique gun, a Smith & Wesson Model 10, and the other detective is her former partner, Captain Ryan Feeney, of the Electronics Detection Division (EDD).

This being 2058, prostitution is legal, but guns are not and only available to licensed collectors. The victim, Sharon DeBlass, had an evening appointment with Roarke, of Roarke Industries and one of the richest men on earth. He is also known for being an antique gun collector and a very proficient shot.

Her first image of Roarke is his ID photo, but their first meeting is at Sharon DeBlass's funeral in the capital. Eve is observing Roarke from five pews back when he abruptly looks back and makes eye contact, which they hold until the ceremony ends. When they're outside, he's surprised to find she's a cop, internally observing that he normally avoids cops (due to his criminal background). They fly back to New York together.

During the limo ride to the airport, a gray fabric button falls off Eve's suit without her knowing; Roarke picks up the button. It later becomes evident that Roarke apparently keeps it in his pocket at all times.

Later that night, Eve's best friend, Mavis Freestone comes over to her apartment. It's revealed here that Eve has very few friends, but she treasures Mavis very much. They met when Eve was an unranked police officer and arrested Mavis - several times - for grifting and other small cons. Mavis is currently working as a singer in a club.

Throughout this case, there is pressure on the investigation from the victim's grandfather, Senator DeBlass of the Conservative Party. He is spearheading a "Morality Bill" that will again outlaw prostitution and legalize firearms.

Eve goes to Roarke's house for the first time, where she meets Summerset as well. She is at the house to take Roarke's S&W into evidence, and hopes to trap him into incriminating himself. He surprises her with dinner, turning it into their first date. After she collects the gun, they end up kissing. She leaves when summoned to the second in what is now a series of murders.

After going to the crime scene, Eve goes directly to Roarke's office (the next day) and demands to know his whereabouts at the time of the murder; he does not have an alibi. They argue, Eve is conflicted by the fact that she feels that the murderer is not him but unable to prove definitively one way or another, and he's furious that she even suspects him. He breaks into her apartment that night and is waiting for her when she comes home. She and Roarke argue briefly before she admits to him that she's been suffering severe guilt over the death of the little girl that she couldn't prevent, and he comforts her.

All the leads that Eve follows point to Roarke, in murder weapon, lack of alibi, and an appointment with the first victim, but she doesn't believe it's him. She is then abruptly thrown into Testing after all, where Dr. Charlotte Mira is introduced. After the examination and interview with the doctor, Eve goes to Mavis's club to get drunk.

Roarke appears, drags Eve out of the club, and takes her back to his home, where he takes her to his target range where she shoots the weapons used in the murders. They then consummate their relationship; when she tries to leave directly after, as she has in all her previous relationships, he prevents her, and instead they spend the entire night together. Eve is very confused as to what they're doing together, and much more unsure than Roarke, who is a little disturbed but accepting of their relationship. He then leaves for on a secret trip to the Olympus Resort, an off-planet space resort that he's building.

Eve returns to headquarters only to find that the Chief of Police, Simpson, her commander, Jack Whitney, and Feeney all know that she's compromised the case and slept with Roarke. She's then ordered to lie in the press conference and say that DeBlass has not been linked with the other murders. She returns to her apartment and receives a transmission from Roarke, but chooses not to inform him of her wavering credibility due to their relationship.

Eve is informed of a third victim, and Eve takes the woman's cat, since the victim's daughter was too grief-stricken to take care of it. The murder weapon is registered to and was apparently purchased by Roarke at an auction the previous year; Eve alone knows that Roarke was off-planet at the time of the murder. Nevertheless, she is forced to inform him to return to NYC for an interview; his curt response leads her to believe (not incorrectly) that their relationship is over.

They have a very bitter interview until proof comes in that the weapon isn't actually his, confirming Eve's suspicions that this is a set-up. Roarke, not knowing Eve's suspicions, is furious at her, but Feeney intervenes and informs Roarke that Eve was in danger of losing her job because of him. Roarke, apologetic but still angry, breaks again into her apartment that night and the two make up. In the morning, she's pleased and horrified to find that he stayed the whole night, whereupon he informs her that he thinks he's in love with her, horrifying her further.

Eve shows her first willingness to occasionally break rules by using Roarke's resources to illegally hack into the finances of the police chief, whereupon she finds that he's received enormous donations from DeBlass and also has millions of unreported dollars in overseas accounts. She feeds the information to Nadine Furst, effectively ridding herself of the interfering and criminal Simpson.

Information finally comes in via Charles Monroe that there was one last appointment in Sharon DeBlass's book: her grandfather. Eve uncovers an incestual affair, which corresponds to the senator's childhood molestation of both Sharon and her aunt. She flies with Roarke to Washington D.C. and arrests the senator on the Senate floor for all three murders. Roarke informs her that he's now positive that he's in love with her. On the plane flight back, she throws up, and admits to him that her father raped her repeatedly as a child and that she doesn't remember anything beyond being found at age eight in Dallas.

Despite the evidence, however, Eve feels that the second and third murders were committed by someone else; she comes home to find Senator DeBlass's assistant, Rockman, in her apartment, with her to be the fourth victim. The cat distracts him and Eve, though shot by Rockman's Colt revolver, punches him into unconsciousness. Roarke leaves the apartment with her in his arms as she is in a minor state of shock, and she tells him that she's named the cat after Galahad (as the cat saved her) and that she'd like it if Roarke stayed around.

Characters in "Naked in Death"[edit]

This book introduces the following characters.

Release details[edit]

Berkley mass market, July 1995, ISBN 0-425-14829-7
BrillianceAudio (Abridged), Dec 2000, ISBN 1-58788-195-0
Thorndike Press large print, March 2000, ISBN 0-7862-2415-0
Nova Audio (Abridged), Jan 2001, ISBN 1-58788-080-6
e-book, Berkley, Feb 2002, ISBN 0-7865-2232-1
Adobe Reader e-book, Berkley, Feb 2002, ISBN 0-7865-2233-X
Putnam hardcover, March 2004, ISBN 0-399-15157-5


  1. ^ (Mass Market Paperback)
  2. ^ (Hardcover)
  3. ^ The Official Nora Roberts Companion, 179.
  4. ^ Official Nora Roberts Companion