Portrait in Death by J.D. Robb
Format: CD audio
Series: #16 in the In Death series
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: 2003
Length: 14 hours, 2 minutes
Read by: Susan Ericksen
The Short Version:
In 2059 New York, Lt. Eve Dallas investigates a serial killer who stages and photographs his victims after they’re dead.
Why I Read It:
This series has been a guilty pleasure of mine going back many years and I decided to give the audio format a try this time.
From the publisher:
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….
I first started reading this series meny years ago and binged through the first dozen or so before falling into a sort of one a year routine for several more years. It’s been a long time since I picked one up though. For some unknown reason I decided to give the audio editions a try and got this one from the library.
Not only was this my first audio from this series it was also my first experience with Susan Ericksen as a narrator. To sum it up, my guilty pleasure series is back in my regular rotation and I doubt I’ll ever pick up a print edition again. I thoroughly enjoyed Ericksen’s narration talents and listening to her was delightful. She managed voice characterizations for a variety of characters both male and female and with a variety of accents and it didn’t feel over-performed. She managed Eve’s straightforwardness, Roarke’s Irish sexiness, Peabody’s earnestness and growing comedic talent as well many others. I found it interesting that after reading the first 15 books in the series in print that Ericksen never had me thinking “Oh that’s not what that character should sound like”.
This series is set in New York in the near future (2059) far enough that flying cars and off planet travel are the norm but not so far that murder victims bodies in dumpsters are a thing of the past. The mystery in this one involves a serial killer who stages and takes portraits of his victims after they’re dead. The murder is preying on young, vibrant college age kids and clearly has no plans of stopping soon unless Eve can stop him.
A side story involves Eve’s too good to be true billionaire husband discovering things about his own past that come as a surprise.
It’s a fun series and wonderful mental getaway type books. Now that I’ve discovered the added fun of Susan Ericksen’s narration I’m sure I’ll be continuing with this series sooner rather than later.
Rating 3.5/5 for the book
Rating 4.5/5 for the narration