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Allowing Character Growth


image descriptionOver the years J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) has allowed her In Death characters to change and grow. Even so, some things are expected. Eve Dallas, the main character, is the one who catches details. Delia Peabody, promoted to detective now herself, is the foil for Dallas. That’s what is expected and what works in these novels. Now I’m reading Obsession In Death. I was delighted when I read this as the two are checking security video from the first crime scene in the novel.

“It’s like you saw it before you saw it,” Peabody said.

“Yeah, that doesn’t help her much.” Eve shook it off, zipped through until she saw the door open again. “In and out in what, twenty-seven minutes. Control, that’s control, and that’s purpose. Still carrying the box, still blocking the face.”

“But…Do you see it?”

“I don’t know. What should I see?”

“A jaunty spring to the step. Somebody’s happy, somebody’s feeling really, really good, good enough to strut it out. But still careful, careful enough to block the camera, and all the way out and gone…”

Peabody caught the body language change, not Dallas. The Watson of the two was the more observant at the moment. Peabody may be the sidekick, but Robb doesn’t let her stay there. It’s passages like this that make the reader feel these characters are real. We first met Peabody in a small role as a beat cop in Glory In Death, the second book in the series. Look at her now!

Book Characters


Jar City by Arnaldur IndridasonToday James added a comment to one of my earlier blogs. He has read some of the mystery books by the Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriđason and found my reviews. James comments:

Re: the Erlandur mysteries: Have you noticed that Marion Bream is never referred to as he or she?!

He’s right. I don’t remember noticing that when I read Jar City, but I did when reading Silence of the Grave. Who is this shadowy character and friend of Inspector Erlendur? We get used to having relationships explained to us in books except when they are purposefully withheld for some reason until the end. Usually we then find out because it is part of the plot. But occasionally we get these characters that stay in the background, anonymous.

So who is Marion Bream? How does this character affect Erlandur?