Eve Dallas

Eve Dallas

Eve Dallas is the main character of the "In Death" series, a futuristic (circa 2058 AD) romance-mystery series by J.D. Robb, pseudonym for NY Times best-selling author Nora Roberts.

Character Basis

Eve was found in an alley in Dallas, Texas, when she was supposedly eight years old. She had a broken arm, was covered in old blood, and had no memory. Unable to remember anything at all, her social worker named her and put Eve into a foster home, the beginning of Eve's life in the system. After reaching the age of majority, she moves to New York City where she becomes a police officer. The dates of all her promotions are not specific, but it is mentioned that she became a detective, second grade in early 2051, and eventually, by the start of the series, is lieutenant in the Homicide squad as a way of dealing with her own psychological issues.

Throughout the series, her memories return, mostly through a series of nightmares, revealing a history of incestual rape and patricide with her father, Richard Troy. It is revealed that he was raising her in order to sell her out to child molesters looking to easily rape a child. Her mother, Stella, was a prostitute and a drug addict and was occasionally beaten and raped by Troy herself, but hated her daughter. If Stella is alive, her whereabouts are unknown.

It was implied that since Eve had lost her memory, she had forgotten her name, as well, but it is eventually revealed in "Reunion in Death" that the reason Eve cannot remember her name is because her parents never gave her one. The fact that no one in Dallas could track down her ID indicates one of two things: that either Homeland Security interfered and deleted her data, or that her parents never had her registered in the first place. For all intents and purposes, Eve did not exist in any records before she was eight years old.

After her relationship and subsequent marriage to Roarke, Eve is a much happier and, to some extent, calmer person; she is more willing to work with and depend on other people. They celebrate their one-year anniversary in "Reunion in Death", in July of 2059. Eve's relationship with Roarke is central to the series and her character (see below).

Eve's official residence is 222 Central Park West, New York, NY with Roarke.

Physical Characteristics

Eve is typically described as having whiskey-colored eyes and tawny hair and being tall and slim, with a distinctive dent in her chin. Her measurements are specifically revealed in "Immortal in Death".

* Height: 5 feet, 9 inches
* Age: appromixately thirty years old in "Naked in Death"
* Weight: 120 pounds
* Waist: 26.2 inches

The latter two likely fluctuate throughout the series (it is mentioned in "Holiday in Death" that Eve has lost a lot of weight from injuries sustained in "Vengeance in Death"), but no numbers are given thereafter.

It has been noted repeatedly during the series that Eve does not have large breasts, which is in line with Eve's weight. In fact, in "Naked in Death", Eve is not wearing a bra when she first has sex with Roarke and throughout the series, is not mentioned to wear one very often—even during scenes describing her dressing, presumably because she does not need one. In regards to her face, Trina, Mavis's friend, occasionally does make-up for Eve, and has commented several times that Eve has very good bone structure. In "Origin in Death", Eve's aide/partner, Peabody, comments that Eve's nose is 'chiseled' while they are in a body-sculpting clinic (and considering if she, Peabody, might do well to have a similarly 'chiseled' nose).


Eve is a fiercely dedicated cop; she initially has very few friendships and remarks that she can "count on her hands" how many people there are who really mean something to her. Roarke says to her in "Memory in Death" that for someone who intrinsically doesn't like people, there's no one more determined to find them justice.

She comments once (to Roarke) that she was never sick upon seeing a body at a scene (if she was sick, it was later), as she feels that there has to be someone who can handle it.

Eve prefers to do things on her own, as it has less complications that way, both in her personal and professional lives. For instance, Eve sleeps with Roarke—a suspect in her murder case—an act that jeopardizes her job. However, she does not tell Roarke, even when he calls and asks her if anything has happened. As for her job, she chose to be a police officer because that way she could have definite control over her own life, something she didn't have until she was eighteen. She initially has, and still does have, difficulty in opening up to and depending on people. For example, she doesn't tell Peabody that she was repeatedly raped by her father and that she killed him in self-defense until "Visions in Death". For another example, prior to Roarke, she had no serious romances. In fact, her relationship with Don Webster implies that she had rare one-night stands as opposed to relationships.

Given Eve's past—her memories indicate that her father started raping her when she was around five or six—she is extremely sickened by experiences with rape victims and has more difficulty with these cases. Due to this, she desires to save children and greatly regrets their deaths; at the same time, she has trouble in dealing with live children. They generally confuse her and she desires to stay as far away from them as possible.

Her darker past aside, however, Eve is rough, often brusque, in manner, tends to a great deal of sarcasm, adores chocolate and coffee, and can be very considerate. She wasn't particularly good in school, but nonetheless is very clever and has excellent intuition.


The series is set in late 2050s New York, following a period of urban warfare sometime in the preceding decades that caused tremendous damage to cities and human populations. Whites are a minority in Eve's futuristic society, where most citizens are of mixed race. Other planets have been discovered and humans have built man-made worlds where they travel for holidays and where the most dangerous prisoners are confined. Androids or "droids" are commonly used as mechanical servants or extra office labor. Food is prepared by machines called "Auto Chefs."

Major Character & Plot Developments

"Naked in Death": Book #1. Lieutenant Eve Dallas, NYPSD, meets Roarke at a funeral, the murder for which he is a suspect. Roarke tells her he loves her near the end of this book, and she tells him that she was raped by her own father as a child and remembers nothing beyond that and being found in Dallas at age eight.

"Glory in Death": Book #2. Introduces Officer Delia Peabody as a temporary assistant to Dallas. Dallas conflicts with Commander Whitney as he is friends with the victim's family, which also contains her prime witnesses. Dallas struggles with her feelings for Roarke, refusing to let go of her apartment and staying there when he is on business trips rather than his home. Eventually, he gives her a diamond (which she wears under her clothing for the rest of the books) and she admits to him that she loves him. In order to help her move into his home easier, he replicates her old apartment in an adjoining suite to his office, giving her a luxurious home office that suits Dallas perfectly. He also cuts off all the remaining illegal businesses he had, knowing they would make Dallas unhappy. He proposes at the very end.

"Immortal in Death": Book #3. Dallas and Roarke are planning their wedding; meanwhile, Mavis is in love with a designer, Leonardo, who designs Eve's wedding gown. Mavis is the prime suspect in the book's title murder. Finally, Dallas remembers the worst of the flashbacks, which show how she got away from her rapist-father: she killed him with a kitchen knife while he was raping her. Dallas and Roarke inform Dr. Mira, who in turns tells Whitney about it, who states that he will not pursue the murder. They marry just after the book ends.

"Rapture in Death": Book #4. Dallas and Roarke come back from their honeymoon; Dallas has Peabody become her permanent assistant. Mavis almost becomes the victim of a man looking for a con, but to make up for it, Roarke puts Mavis's audition tape (which is good on its own) through the appropriate steps, beginning Mavis's leap to stardom as a rock singer.

"Ceremony in Death": Book #5. Dallas is forced to pursue a case behind Feeney's back; he finds out, leading to a huge breakdown of relations. Roarke takes charge and tells Feeney that Dallas thinks of him as a father, as her real father is the one who raped her as a child. Feeney forgives Eve, and Dallas takes the blame for the death of the perpetrator in order to protect the real killer, Jamie Lingstrom, the brother of the first victim.

"Vengeance in Death": Book #6. -Fall 2058- The murders in this book are revenge killings for murders that Roarke committed years ago, which ironically enough were revenge killings in themselves: he killed the men responsible for raping and murdering Marlena, Summerset's only child. Roarke was eighteen at the time of her death and had been taken in by Summerset six years prior. Dallas struggles with the fact that her husband is far from just any criminal—he killed people, but for a reason she agrees with. Her car is also bombed (with her mere feet away) and Roarke experiences the momentary horror of thinking her dead. Dallas also realizes why Summerset doesn't like her: she is nothing like Marlena, and he has always wanted someone like his dead daughter for Roarke. Despite this, she takes a hit meant for Summerset and sustains serious injuries. Detective Ian McNab and Detective David Baxter are introduced. Richard and Elizabeth DeBlass (from "Naked in Death") reappear to adopt a little boy found at one of the crime scenes.

"Holiday in Death": Book #7, December 2058. Dallas and Roarke spend their first Christmas together; Peabody is put in serious danger as she is captured and stripped naked by the killer. Peabody and Charles Monroe start dating, though they're mostly very good friends.

"Midnight in Death": December 25, 2058. "Silent Night" Anthology, Story #1.

"Conspiracy in Death": Book #8. Dallas is held under suspicion for killing a cop that hated her (mostly for being more successful than her), and her badge is taken away from her. Don Webster of Internal Affairs (the cop division that polices other cops) is introduced as a former lover of Eve's. Doctor Louise Dimatto is introduced; Officer Troy Trueheart is introduced.

"Loyalty in Death": Book #9, February 2059. Peabody and McNab consummate their relationship; Dallas and Roarke defeat the perpetrators and disable the bombs in the last terrorist target (the Statue of Liberty) together.

"Witness in Death": Book #10. A man is murdered on stage while Dallas and Roarke are in the audience. Dallas throws together an impromptu seduction for Roarke, mostly because she feels it's nice to do something for him every once in a while. Trueheart is seriously injured.

"Judgment in Death": Book #11. The murderer of this book is a cop turned cop-killer, who was in reality manipulated by a very dangerous criminal who used to have business ties with Roarke before the latter cut them off. Because of this, he intensely hates Roarke, and extends the hatred to Dallas and tries to murder her several times. Dallas and Roarke argue over how to handle the case—her legally, him illegally—and eventually he forces his way into the case, infuriating her. They eventually agree to disagree and capture the criminal with Roarke's plan at Roarke's club, but with her people on staff. Dallas also has a flashback where she remembers that the criminal was once a business associate of her father's, whom her father stole money from before running off. In addition to this, Roarke has a fistfight with one of Eve's previous lovers, Don Webster, over Eve.

"Betrayal in Death": Book #12. McNab, furious and jealous over Peabody's relationship with Charles and ignorant of the fact that they're really just friends, breaks up with her. Roarke discovers that his good friend who shows up coincidentally in the book is actually there to steal from his hotel, but his friend dies saving his life at the end of the book. He has a meaningful conversation with this friend during which he says that they had once listed the one thing in the world they wanted most, and at that time, Roarke hadn't been able to narrow it down to any one thing. However, he has now: Eve. Roarke is also utilized as an expert civilian consultant for the first time.

"Interlude in Death": "Out of this World" anthology, short story #2. Roake goes over an investigator's notes on his father and realizes that his father was in Dallas the same week Dallas killed her father. Dallas remembers that her father was in a good mood that week as he had a deal going; they realize their fathers probably knew each other and likely had business together, although they don't know what.

"Seduction in Death": Book #13. McNab and Peabody get back together; Charles Monroe meets and immediately starts a relationship with Dr. Louise Dimatto. Dallas gets sick with a case of twenty-four hour flu and Summerset gives her the medication, and they have a short discussion over Roarke's constant worry for Eve. Roarke establishes an abuse shelter, Dochas ('hope' in Gaelic), for women and children, and contracts Louise to work there part-time.

"Reunion in Death": Book #14. Dallas and Roarke celebrate their one-year anniversary; the killer is someone that Dallas put away many years ago and came back explicitly to bother her. Peabody's parents visit and a connection is established between Dallas and Peabody's mother, while Peabody's father inadvertently intrudes on Eve's mind pyschically, realizing Dallas was raped. Dallas and Roarke make a trip to Dallas to talk with the killer's stepfather, but while they are there, they visit the hotel where Dallas killed her father. The trip is extremely difficult for them both as she relives the murder fully, but is able to talk about it to Dr. Mira. She also remembers that her father had never named her; additionally, she remembers why her father kept her: he was planning on prostituting her out to child molesters, and she would in fact start working in Dallas.

"Purity in Death": Book #15. Feeney is taken hostage and Dallas is the one who gets him out. Jamie Lingstrom comes back to aid with the case; McNab is temporarily paralyzed; Roarke cheers the deaths of the victims as they were child molesters and rapists, which Dallas disagrees with. Peabody is injured and Dallas cries over it, shocking McNab. Mavis tells Dallas that she's pregnant.

"Portrait in Death": Book #16. Prior to this, Roarke thought that his mother was a disagreeable woman who was abusive and left him as a very small child, but he learns in this book (via a woman who works at his abuse shelter) that his mother was in fact Siobahn Brody, an eighteen-year-old girl who loved him desperately. His father beat her to death and tossed her body in the river, then changed Roarke's birth records to appear as if Roarke was another woman's son and a year older. Roarke regrets deeply that he hadn't killed his father himself (he has no idea who it was), but Dallas tells him that had he done so, he would not have felt any better: a powerful statement, since Dallas has done exactly what he regrets to no benefit. Dallas also has a conversation with Summerset, who broke his leg at the beginning of the book, and she realizes that he is the one who killed Roarke's father in order to protect him. Roarke also visits his mother's twin sister and his extended family, instantly gaining an enormous extended family of farmers who live peacefully in Ireland.

"Imitation in Death": Book #17, September 2059. Dallas has memories of her mother for the first real time (she previously remembered a woman she wasn't sure was her mother, but that memory proves here to be accurate), realizing that she was a prostitute and a drug addict who hated her child and was going along with the prostitution plans that Eve's father was setting up. Eve's mother's name was Stella; her father is referred to as Rick (his name is really Richard). Dallas does not know if Stella is alive or dead, but she does realize that she has inherited her eye color from her mother. She keeps the memory from Roarke, though, afraid it will bring up bad memories of his own mother's tragic death, until late in the book. Dallas also offhandedly comments about her experiences with a provider at the state school she attended when she was ten, who pinched Dallas up and down the arms, leaving bruises. In addition, Peabody finally takes the test to become a detective and comes in at #26 on the pass list; at the end of the book, Dallas and Peabody become partners.

" Remember When": Book #18. A crossover book with Nora Roberts's typical hardcover romance, taking place after the first half ends in the early 2000's. Roarke and Dallas track down the rest of the diamonds stolen in the first half of the book, which Roarke will subsequently legally buy (this purchase is fully revealed in "Memory in Death").

"Divided in Death": Book #19. Roarke discovers to his fury that the Homeland Security Organization (HSO) was keeping audio surveillance on Richard Troy, Eve's father, the week that he was in Dallas, as he was a sort of informant for them. The audio record is missing for the night of the murder, listed as malfunctioning, though more likely because they destroyed it. Roarke discovers that furthermore, they knew Troy was raping the minor in his keeping, but due to the ongoing operation, HSO ordered that no course of action be taken and that they leave Dallas there, whereupon she subsequently killed Troy herself. His sole desire upon discovering this information is to hunt and kill everyone who made and complied with the nonaction order; however, Dallas asks him not to, and he complies because it will break their relationship otherwise. Additionally, the file states that Roarke's father was picked up at the airport by Troy (as discovered in "Interlude in Death"), the circle is fully realized.

"Visions in Death": Book #20. Peabody is brutally injured by the murderer. Mavis and Leonardo inform Dallas and Roarke that they want them to attend birth coaching classes. Dallas tells Peabody of how she was raped by her father as a child.

"Survivor in Death": Book #21. Dallas takes in the sole surviving witness, a nine year-old girl, to the murder of her entire family, reminding Dallas strongly of her own horrific childhood. The child establishes a deep bond to herself, Roarke, and Summerset, before being adopted by Richard and Elizabeth DeBlass (from "Naked in Death").

"Origin in Death": Book #22. An extremely high-profile case (even more so than the others) involving illegal human cloning that technically leads to the next book. Dallas and Roarke also fight their way through the perpetrator's base at the end of the book, though both are badly injured.

"Memory in Death": Book #23. Eve's foster mother sees her on the news about the previous case and comes to NYC to blackmail Roarke for money in exchange for not releasing details of Eve's childhood to the media. Dallas is horrified to see this woman, who created Eve's hatred of cold showers by making her take cold baths and locked her in the dark.

"Haunted in Death": January 2060. "Bump in the Night" anthology, short story #3.

"Born in Death": Book #24. Mavis marries Leonardo in the birthing room, and shortly thereafter gives birth to a baby girl, Bella Eve, nicknamed Belle.

"Innocent in Death": Book #25. Eve is suspicious and hurt by Roarke's meeting an old lover, Magdelana Percell. Percell, who twelve years prior was lovers and partners with Roarke for nearly a year, is in town to break up Eve and Roarke and win him for herself. Her presence and manipulations cause tension between Eve and Roarke for the majority of the novel. Her presence ends when Eve punches her unconscious and orders Summerset to discard her.

"Eternity in Death": "Dead of Night" Anthology, short story #4.

"Creation in Death": Book #26. A serial killer named the Groom returns, intent on having Eve as his last victim. Eve and Roarke work together, but much of the emphasis is on Roarke observing his wife's skills.

"Strangers in Death": Book #27. A double murder with striking resemblance to the idea of the Hitchcock movie "Strangers on a Train" compels Lieutenant Eve Dallas to pull out her A-game as "top bitch cop" once again. The involvement of a familiar LC with one of the killers introduces a small appearance by Charles Monroe and Dr. Louise Dimatto in which their relationship seems to be on rocky ground, but turns out that Charles changes his life around in order to propose to Louise, which she accepts. Eve and Roarke are chosen by Louise and Charles to be matron of honor and best man, respectively.

"Salvation in Death": Book #28. Not yet released. Due November 2008.

Relationship with Roarke

Eve's relationship with Roarke is integral to her character; she wants to depend on him, but as she remarks to herself in "Immortal in Death", she is afraid of using him. However, she gets over that as the books progress (Roarke is a consultant several times), and she loves her husband very much. She hates referring to him as her husband in public, as she originally felt that police officers should stay unattached. (Her primary example for this is Commander Whitney, whose wife terrifies Eve.)

However, there is no one that Dallas loves more in the world, and vice versa. He is the first and only man she ever spent the entire night with; he is also the only man she has ever loved romantically. The same is true for him. Dallas suffers from nightmares, but they are usually not as frequent or as bad when Roarke is in bed with her; throughout the books, he goes on few business trips in order to stay with her as much as possible.

Summerset comments to Roarke in "Memory in Death" that previous to Eve, Roarke would spend Christmas in exotic locations such as Fiji or Saint Moritz, but never at home. Roarke says of that time, "I was alone because there was no one who mattered enough to keep me here." Of her, he says, "But I needed her. The one thing, the only thing that could make this place home." ["Memory in Death, Putnam hardcover pg 281.] Their need for each other is mutual, and they have proven several times that they would do anything for each other.

As far as every day life goes, Roarke enjoys buying copious amounts of jewelry, clothing, and expensive food—particularly real coffee, which is very expensive in the era of the books—for Eve, as he is very conscious of the fact that before him, no one except her few friends really gave her anything at all. In order to have her move in, Roarke semi-replicates her apartment in a suite in their home as her new office, adjoining his, and her friends are his as well.

Roarke is one of the richest men on or off the planet; however, Dallas isn't entirely comfortable with the great amounts of cash he has. She's used some of it to her advantage (most memorably in bribing Louise Dimatto to help her and in acquiring sports tickets to the medical examiner and forensics for quicker results), but for the most part doesn't like the fact that people refer to her as "Mrs. Roarke" or assume that her husband's money must be part of the reason she married him. She does, however, appreciate the coffee.

In the end, they're a perfect match who have grown to be a very steady couple throughout the series, and very happy with it.


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