Portrait in Death Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Portrait in Death

Berkley, March 2003, 7.99, 368 pp.
ISBN 0425189031

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.
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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

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Portrait in Death

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   near future What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards lover Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Ireland

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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J.D. Robb Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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