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Naked in Death Summary & Study Guide Description
Naked in Death Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:
Naked in Death is the first in the Death series by writer Nora Roberts, writing under the pseudonym J.D. Robb. In this first novel, Eve Dallas investigates the murder of Sharon DeBlass, the daughter of a senator who worked as a licensed prostitute for no reason other than to embarrass her influential family. As Dallas begins the investigation, she discovers clues that this may be the first of six killings planned by the killer. In a rush to catch the killer before five other women die, Dallas finds herself hindered by people who should be most interested in the closing of the case, including the victim's own grandfather. Naked in Death is a futuristic mystery novel that transcends multiple genres, leaving the reader breathless to the final page.
Eve Dallas is told to take on a new case, a high profile murder, even though she should be spending the day in testing. When Dallas arrives at the murder scene, she discovers that the victim is Sharon DeBlass, the granddaughter of Gerald DeBlass, a conservative senator from Virginia. Sharon was a licensed prostitute who was killed with a handgun, a weapon that has been banned for more than twenty years. Not only that, but the killer has left the weapon behind, along with a note warning that Sharon is only the first of six victims the killer has planned.
Dallas begins interviewing neighbors and checking security films, hoping to find someone or something who saw the killer. Unfortunately, most of the neighbors were not home and the security tapes have been altered. Frustrated, Dallas goes home only to find the killer has left a video of the killing inside her home. Dallas watches the video, shocked by the violence inflicted on this young woman, before sending it to her boss.
Dallas attends Sharon's funeral, hoping to catch sight of a potential killer. Instead, Dallas finds herself accepting a ride home with her prime suspect, Roarke. Roarke is a local businessman who not only owns the building in which Sharon lived, but was known to have had dinner with her only a few days before her death. Dallas interviews Roarke and receives reasonable answers to her questions, leaving her doubting his involvement. However, Roarke collects the type of handguns used in the murder. Dallas arranges to meet with Roarke again in order to investigate his collection.
Dallas goes to Roarke's to see his guns and finds herself invited to dinner. After dinner, Dallas looks at the guns and finds that Roarke still has possession of the same type and model of gun that killed Sharon DeBlass. Even as Dallas takes the gun for evidence, she knows it is not the murder weapon and wonders if Roarke is making it accessible because he is innocent or because he is clever. After leaving his home, Dallas is called to the scene of another murder. Dallas goes to the scene and sees that the circumstances are all the same as Sharon DeBlass's murder, including a note telling her this is the second of six. This girl, Lola Starr, is only eighteen and has nothing in common with Sharon DeBlass outside their chosen field of work.
The following day, Dallas returns to interview Sharon's neighbor to try to identify a possible connection between the two women. When she leaves, Dallas stops by Sharon's apartment and finds possessions moved, making her believe that the killer returned to Sharon's apartment to find something he missed. When Dallas returns home, she finds Roarke waiting for her in her apartment. As they talk, Dallas discovers that another package has been left for her. Like the first, this one contains a video of a murder. Dallas views it alone.
Dallas goes to see Senator DeBlass in East Washington and the suggestion is made that she back off the case. When she leaves the office, Dallas is aware that DeBlass's assistant, Derrick Rockman, is following her and her partner, Feeney. Dallas has Feeney lead Rockman back to New York while she goes to visit Sharon's mother, Elizabeth. From Elizabeth, Dallas learns that Sharon had an aversion to sex and that she kept diaries. This seems important to Dallas.
The following day, Dallas is forced to attend the testing she missed when she began the case. Afterward, Dallas asks the psychiatrist a few questions about the killer she is investigating. That night, exhausted and depressed, Dallas goes to a bar where her friend sings. Instead of getting drunk alone, Dallas finds herself dragged unwillingly to Roarke's home. Roarke allows Dallas to shoot some of his guns. Afterward, they spend the night together.
The following day, Dallas is called into a meeting with the Chief of the department. It becomes clear immediately that someone has already tipped the chief off about her relationship with Roarke and he is now using it to force her to comply in a press conference intended to lie to the press about Sharon DeBlass's death. Dallas does as she is told, but afterward makes a deal with a reporter to expose the truth.
Another woman is murdered. This prostitute is named Georgie Castle, an older woman recently divorced who is only working as a prostitute to pay her bills until she can make money with her writing. From her home, Dallas takes a cat who eventually becomes her own when Mrs. Castle's daughter refuses to take him.
Dallas begins searching for Sharon DeBlass's diaries, looking for bank accounts and safe deposit boxes. Dallas finds one, but all she gets from the safe deposit box is a list of names and numbers. On this list is Chief Simpson's name. Dallas becomes convinced that he was being blackmailed by Sharon, but has little proof. Dallas goes to Roarke and uses his computers to search Simpson's financial records. When Dallas finds evidence against Simpson, she sends it to the reporter she made the deal with.
With Simpson out of the way, Dallas begins closing in on the killer. Charles Monroe, Sharon's neighbor, recalls a safe deposit box he helped Sharon open. On her way out to check this box, Dallas gets a call from a woman claiming to have been raped by the same man who raped Sharon. Dallas establishes that this call was made from the home of Sharon's parents. Dallas flies out there with Roarke and learns that Catherine DeBlass was sexually abused by her father and has knowledge that Sharon was also abused. Catherine believes this is motive for murder. At the same time, Feeney retrieves Sharon's diaries, which describe this ongoing relationship in detail.
Dallas arrests DeBlass, but cannot get him to confess. DeBlass is released on bail. When Dallas returns home that day, she finds Rockman in her apartment. Rockman confesses to having witnessed DeBlass's suicide only a few hours earlier. Rockman now intends to rape and murder Dallas, making it appear that there was a different killer, clearing DeBlass's name. Rockman also confesses to cleaning up after DeBlass killed Sharon and then committing the other two murders to cover DeBlass' trail. Dallas manages to get the confession on tape and then overpowers Rockman just as Feeney and Roarke burst through the door.
This section contains 1,201 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)