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Friday, July 28, 2006

**** Midnight in Death by J. D. Robb. Futuristic romantic suspense.

Aside: What is the rule about italics and novellas, anyway? Ah, okay. I found this on the
Southern Literary Journal website:
Titles of novellas, if published singly, should be set in italics. If the novella is one of several in a collection, or is in a collection of short stories, use quotation marks.
Which doesn't help a whole lot, as the version I read was in a collection, but it's also available all on its lonesome. Does anybody else really care?

On to the story. It's the 8th in the In Death series, and Nora compensates for the shorter length by leaving out some of the secondary characters, and by having Eve know from the beginning whodunit.

The killer is a psychopath Eve helped put away some years ago, a spiritual heir of Mengele who tortures his victims to death to study their bodies' pain and fear responses. His mission since his escape from prison is both to further his "research" and to get revenge on those responsible for locking him up.

Despite its short length, Midnight in Death is a complete story, and we get some good character insights into the recurring characters. And the killer is a refreshing change from the serial killers who are killing their mothers over and over again.


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One of the advantages of writing in English (as opposed to writing in a serious language, like Latin for example), is that it is generally considered to be a "living" language. Re: the formalities of what to enclose in quotes, what to italicize, etc.. ... I'm sure there are different rules to follow for many things presented in different style manuals. And even one particular style manual will change over the years.

The best advice I've been given, at least imho, is simply to be consistent within your document, and across the larger body of your writing as much as possible.
That makes a lot of sense. Thanks! Mostly, it's just nice to see I'm not the only one who ponders these things. :)
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