There is nothing more compelling in a story than to have a problem for your main character to work on in their real-life before the story whisks them onto new chaos. I just started reading the In Death series by J.D. Robb (AKA Nora Roberts). I now know why people snatch her books off the shelves. Her characters are rich, full, and struggling.
I was hesitant to read the series because I tend to get sucked into a series. Once I start reading, I want to go from #1 till the end, which in this case is #35 and counting. But I am so glad that I picked the series up because now I'm going to sit down and reread them so I can understand how she wrote such a great compelling start to the series.
Words at the ready,