J. D. Robb - Promises in Death

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Promises in Death - The Murder of a Cop Had Ties to Eve and Roarke

Mar 1, 2009 (Updated Mar 15, 2012)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Another entertaining book in the series.

Cons:Some characters not used much.

The Bottom Line: Promises in Death is another wonderful book in the In Death series by J.D. Robb.  Fans of the series should enjoy it.


I had heard good things about the In Death series by J.D. Robb for a while before I finally started to get the books.  I was hooked once I got Naked in Death and kept picking up the books.  I have all of them and continue to buy the new ones as they are released.  I just read Promises in Death, the twenty-eighth book in the series.

The In Death series is a romantic suspense series set about fifty years in the future in New York City.  The main character for the series, Eve Dallas, is a homicide detective on the police force.  Each book has featured a different investigation that Eve was working on.  The books have also taken the time to share things connected to her personal life, like her relationship with her wealthy husband Roarke and her friendships with the other returning characters.  Just over two years have passed since the series started.  Some different futuristic things have been mentioned in each book.  I've always enjoyed the futuristic elements in the books.  While each book has had a different main plot, there have been many continuing subplots, so some things would make more sense if the books are read in order.

A police officer, Amaryllis Coltraine, was murdered in her apartment building in a way that made it seem like she knew her killer.  The case was harder for Eve and Delia Peabody because Amaryllis had been dating Li Morris, the chief medical examiner.  Eve started to investigate and she faced some resistance from the squad that Amaryllis worked with because they felt they should be handling the case - even though they weren't a homicide squad.  Once she started looking into Amaryllis's past in Atlanta, Eve discovered a connection to herself and Roarke.

The first few pages of Promises in Death were sort of from Amaryllis's point of view when she encountered her killer.  Most of that part was focused on sharing Amaryllis's thoughts about other things, which did show that she was a bit distracted when she was leaving her apartment.  There were only a couple of paragraphs dealing with the attack, so it wasn't very detailed and still left questions to be answered later in the book.  Robb has done this in some of the previous books as well.  Most of what was shared about her came out during the course of Eve's investigation.  Amaryllis had briefly turned up in a few of the previous books without much attention being given to her.  

Promises in Death was focused on the investigation into Amaryllis's murder.  The case was more personal for Eve and Delia because Amaryllis was a cop, but more so because of her relationship with Morris.  Everyone that knew him thought a lot of him and was taking the investigation more seriously.  Amaryllis worked out of a different station and was part of a smaller squad that only had a few other officers.  A few of them were very resentful that Eve was the one in charge of the case and took every opportunity to get some jabs in.  Those other officers weren't even homicide detectives, yet they felt they would do a better job on the investigation.  Several things that Eve ultimately learned raised more questions.  One thing did end up connecting back to Eve and Roarke.  That connection was mentioned in the blurb about the book, so I knew it was coming at some point.  When it did come out, it was a bit different than I had thought it would be and it ended up working for the plot.  It isn't anything new for something in a case to end up being connected to Roarke or Eve in some way.

I felt that the mystery in Promises in Death was developed well.  I did keep wondering how certain things would ultimately work out.  After the investigation started, I had a suspicion that one of a few people would end up being involved someway and I was right about that even though I hadn't figured out why the person was involved.  The way everything worked out did make sense.  There really weren't any suspenseful moments in the book like there have been in some of the previous books.  That didn't bother me since I still thought the plot was interesting.  There wasn't as much violence or foul language in this one either.  

Eve and Roarke met during the first book in the series, so their entire relationship has been shared during the series.  At the time of Promises in Death, they had been married for almost two years.  They actually did have a conversation about doing something for their anniversary early in the book with Eve being the one to actually bring the subject up first.  Of course her idea was a bit different from Roarke's, but the fact that she was even willing to bring it up shows how much she has changed over the course of the series.  I've enjoyed that all the books have dealt with their relationship in some way.  It has been entertaining to see how they have adjusted to being married.  There were a few descriptive sex scenes between them that could be too explicit for some readers.  

A subplot in Promises in Death dealt with Eve throwing a bridal shower for her friend Louise, another of the minor returning characters.  Louise and Charles had been together for a while and only recently gotten engaged.  Eve was happy for them, but clueless about how to plan a bridal shower.  Delia and Mavis actually did the planning and preparing so that Eve would just have to show up and she was still panicked about that.  This aspect of the book was minor, but it was entertaining to see that some things still flustered Eve.  

Eve and Roarke have been the main characters in every book of the series, so they are very developed characters by now.  Eve has been in more of each book than Roarke, so he is slightly less developed than she is.  They both had issues they had to deal with that sometimes still pop up.  They are very likable characters and I love that they have been featured in so many books.  In addition to Eve and Roarke, the books have a large cast of returning supporting characters.  Summerset, Roarke's butler who was also like a father to him, has been in almost every book.  Eve and Summerset still bicker and insult each other, but little things show that they have actually come to like each other.  Summerset seems stern at times, but he also has a softer side which came out when he talked to Galahad the cat or Mavis.  It also came out when he was worried about Roarke and even Eve at times.

Eve's best friend Mavis popped up a few times, along with her young baby.  Mavis was a bit wild, but also happily married.  It was clear that she adored her daughter.  It was entertaining to see that Eve still was nervous about being around the baby.  Mavis's husband Leonardo also turned up briefly.  I liked that Mavis was around a bit more and even did something rather important at one point. 

Louise was a doctor who had become friends with Eve during an investigation.  Dr. Mira, the psychiatrist who worked of the police force, was in a few scenes, including during the bridal shower.  She helped during the investigations by coming up with profiles for the suspects.  Her husband made a short appearance without doing much.  Nadine, the reporter that Eve would give interviews to, was only briefly around as well.  She basically just talked to Eve once and that was it.  She played a bigger part in some of the previous books.

Delia Peabody was around for much of the book since she was Eve's partner.  Delia started out as Eve's aide, so the two women have been working together for a while.  They also developed a friendship.  Ian McNab, a detective who worked in the EDD, lived with Delia and frequently worked on Eve's investigations.  Nothing about his relationship with Delia came up during this book.  Feeney was the detective in charge of the EDD.  He had trained Eve before she became a detective and he was basically like a father to her.  Some other cops turned up without having too much to do.  Eve and Delia talked to a lot of people during their investigation who were new characters and were rather flat overall.

Nora Roberts was already a popular author when she decided to start the In Death series.  Since the series was going to be so different from her other books, she decided to use the name J.D. Robb for the books.  I have read every book in the series as well as many of the books she has written under her own name.  I've enjoyed all her books that I've read.  Both groups of books have likable, developed characters and featuring interesting plots.  The In Death books tend to have stronger mysteries and be more violent while the Roberts books usually have weaker mysteries and more time focused on relationships.  One of the books, Remember When, had two parts.  The first part was in current times and the second half, which concluded a mystery that connected the two parts, took place in Eve's time.  I really liked how that was done.  Eve's part of Remember When took place between Imitation in Death and Divided in Death.

Promises in Death was another very entertaining book in the In Death series.  Fans of the series will probably enjoy it.  People that like books by Nora Roberts may also like the series since she also wrote them.

In Death Series
Naked in Death ~ Glory in Death ~ Immortal in Death ~ Rapture in Death ~ Ceremony in Death ~ Vengeance in Death ~ Holiday in Death ~ Midnight in Death (Short Story) ~ Conspiracy in Death ~ Loyalty in Death ~ Witness in Death ~ Judgment in Death ~ Betrayal in Death ~ Interlude in Death (Short Story) ~ Seduction in Death ~ Reunion in Death ~ Purity in Death ~ Portrait in Death ~ Imitation in Death ~ Divided in Death ~ Visions in Death ~ Survivor in Death ~ Origin in Death ~ Memory in Death ~ Haunted in Death (Short Story) ~ Born in Death ~ Innocent in Death ~ Creation in Death ~ Eternity in Death (Short Story) ~ Strangers in Death ~ Salvation in Death ~ Ritual in Death (Short Story) ~ Promises in Death ~ Kindred in Death ~ Missing in Death (Short Story) ~ Fantasy in Death ~ Indulgence in Death ~ Treachery in Death ~ New York to Dallas ~ Celebrity in Death ~

J.D. Robb and Nora Roberts
Remember When


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