Born in Death (In Death Series #23)

( 114 )

Overview

View our feature on J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas series.

Eve Dallas has a grisly double homicide to solve when two young lovers—both employees of the same prestigious accounting firm—are brutally killed on the same night. It doesn't leave Eve a lot of leftover time to put together a baby shower for her buddy Mavis, but that's supposedly what friends are for.

Now Mavis needs another favor. Tandy Willowby, one of the moms-to-be in Mavis's birthing ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (216) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $2.97   
  • Used (204) from $1.99   
Born in Death (In Death Series #23)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

View our feature on J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas series.

Eve Dallas has a grisly double homicide to solve when two young lovers—both employees of the same prestigious accounting firm—are brutally killed on the same night. It doesn't leave Eve a lot of leftover time to put together a baby shower for her buddy Mavis, but that's supposedly what friends are for.

Now Mavis needs another favor. Tandy Willowby, one of the moms-to-be in Mavis's birthing class, didn't show up for the shower. A recent emigrant from London, Tandy has few friends in New York, and no family—and she was really looking forward to the party. And when Eve enters Tandy's apartment and finds a gift for Mavis's shower wrapped and ready on the table—and a packed bag for the hospital still on the floor next to it—tingling runs up and down her spine.

Normally, such a case would be turned over to Missing Persons. But Mavis wants no one else on the job but Eve—and Eve can't say no. She'll have to track Tandy down while simultaneously unearthing the deals and double-crosses hidden in the files of some of the city's richest and most secretive citizens, in a race against this particularly vicious killer. Luckily, her multimillionaire husband Roarke's expertise comes in handy with the number crunching. But as he mines the crucial data that will break the case wide open, Eve faces an all too real danger in the world of flesh and blood.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In the 23rd -- yes, 23rd! -- installment of J. D. Robb's (a.k.a. Nora Roberts) futuristic crime fiction saga starring New York homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas, the hard-nosed cop is faced with her most terrifying mission to date: hosting a baby shower! ("Bloody and brutal murder is nothing compared to giving birth.")

While investigating a double murder involving employees of a prominent international accounting firm, Dallas is also put in charge of hosting a baby shower for her oldest friend, Mavis Freestone. More comfortable in a morgue than in a baby boutique, Dallas finds planning the shower almost as agonizing as the homicide investigation, which is turning out to be much more complicated than expected. With her independently wealthy husband, Roarke, acting as an expert consultant, she begins to uncover a multimillion-dollar motive that includes money laundering and tax evasion. But when a pregnant acquaintance of Freestone suddenly disappears and a partner in the firm mysteriously dies, the investigation takes a very bizarre turn…

Blending mystery and romance with elements of science fiction, Roberts's genre-transcendent detective series was at the vanguard of the genre-hybrid invasion of the late 1990s. Along with works by authors like Laurell K. Hamilton, Roberts's groundbreaking Eve Dallas saga paved the way for a whole new subgenre -- and created an audience for brilliant new writers like Charlie Huston, Jim Butcher, and Charlaine Harris, to name a few. That's not to say that Roberts's In Death novels are somehow passé; on the contrary, after 23 outings, Dallas, Roarke, and company still have plenty of adventures left in late-21st-century New York City before this franchise starts running out of steam. A testament to Roberts's truly exceptional narrative skills, Born in Death still has the raw vitality of her very first Eve Dallas novel (1995's Naked in Death) and should appeal to down-and-dirty crime fiction lovers as well as fans of her mainstream fiction works (Blue Smoke et al.). Paul Goat Allen
Publishers Weekly
Set in New York City in 2060, bestseller Roberts's latest police thriller under her Robb pseudonym in her Lt. Eve Dallas series (Naked in Death, etc.) offers her usual engaging characters. Dallas's investigation of the brutal murders of Natalie Copperfield, a 26-year-old accountant, and Copperfield's boyfriend becomes entangled with the search for Tandy Willowby, a pregnant friend who mysteriously vanishes shortly before her due date. Dallas discovers that Copperfield had stumbled on some white-collar fraud at her high-profile accounting firm, while Willowby's disappearance may be part of a series of abductions. Predictably, the two cases converge, and the mystery's solution becomes obvious. Newcomers, who may be dismayed at how little things will have changed in more than 50 years, would do better to start with earlier books in this near-future suspense series. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
(See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/06) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Futuristic detective Lt. Eve Dallas (Memory in Death, Jan. 2006, etc.) won't have to face the worst fate imaginable-coaching her old friend Mavis Freestone through childbirth-till she's wrapped up a pair of less harrowing cases. Convinced something's wrong with the books of her firm, accountant Natalie Copperfield has told her fianc‚ Bick Byson, a money manager at SMK. The sad result: Hours after Natalie is tortured and strangled at her apartment, so is Bick, clearly by the same hand. Who's behind the trouble that killed the lovebird whistleblowers? All three partners in the firm, Jacob Sloan, Carl Myers and Robert Kraus, expressing obligatory indignation, offer gold-plated alibis. Founder Sloan spent the evening with his namesake grandson and Jake's girlfriend. His son Randall, Jake's father, was with cosmetics queens Sasha Zinka and Lola Warfield. Myers was with top-drawer bootmakers Karl and Elise Helbringer. And Kraus, a partner for a mere decade, was with pharmaceuticals widow Madeline Bullock, of the Bullock Foundation, and her son Winfield Chase. The alibi witnesses form such a tight interlocking directorate with SMK, Eve muses, that it would be both convenient and logical if the killer came from their ranks. Before she can pursue her hunch, however, she has to deal with two complications: Her boss heats up her domestic life by warning her of the dire consequences should any of SMK's records fall into the hands of Eve's husband, megabucks financier Roarke; and Tandy Willowby, a British friend of Mavis's who's equally heavy with child, doesn't turn up for Mavis's baby shower, an event she'd never miss. Could Tandy's disappearance possibly be connected to the double murder over atSMK?Sex, childbirth, cyborg servants, a dollop of fast-moving mystery and a fraud so complex that Eve will need Roarke to get to the bottom of it. The biggest pleasure, though, is watching Eve, an obvious charm-school dropout, get in suspects' faces. Agent: Amy Berkower/Writers House LLC
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425215685
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/24/2007
  • Series: In Death Series , #23
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 140,317
  • Product dimensions: 6.78 (w) x 4.14 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nora Roberts is the number-one New York Times-bestselling author of more than 150 novels, including High Noon, Angels Fall, Blue Smoke, and Northern Lights. She is also the author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 280 million copies of her books in print.

Biography

Not only has Nora Roberts written more bestsellers than anyone else in the world (according to Publishers Weekly), she’s also created a hybrid genre of her own: the futuristic detective romance. And that’s on top of mastering every subgenre in the romance pie: the family saga, the historical, the suspense novel. But this most prolific and versatile of authors might never have tapped into her native talent if it hadn't been for one fateful snowstorm.

As her fans well know, in 1979 a blizzard trapped Roberts at home for a week with two bored little kids and a dwindling supply of chocolate. To maintain her sanity, Roberts started scribbling a story -- a romance novel like the Harlequin paperbacks she'd recently begun reading. The resulting manuscript was rejected by Harlequin, but that didn't matter to Roberts. She was hooked on writing. Several rejected manuscripts later, her first book was accepted for publication by Silhouette.

For several years, Roberts wrote category romances for Silhouette -- short books written to the publisher's specifications for length, subject matter and style, and marketed as part of a series of similar books. Roberts has said she never found the form restrictive. "If you write in category, you write knowing there's a framework, there are reader expectations," she explained. "If this doesn't suit you, you shouldn't write it. I don't believe for one moment you can write well what you wouldn't read for pleasure."

Roberts never violated the reader's expectations, but she did show a gift for bringing something fresh to the romance formula. Her first book, Irish Thoroughbred (1981), had as its heroine a strong-willed horse groom, in contrast to the fluttering young nurses and secretaries who populated most romances at the time. But Roberts's books didn't make significant waves until 1985, when she published Playing the Odds, which introduced the MacGregor clan. It was the first bestseller of many.

Roberts soon made a name for herself as a writer of spellbinding multigenerational sagas, creating families like the Scottish MacGregors, the Irish Donovans and the Ukrainian Stanislaskis. She also began working on romantic suspense novels, in which the love story unfolds beneath a looming threat of violence or disaster. She grew so prolific that she outstripped her publishers' ability to print and market Nora Roberts books, so she created an alter ego, J.D. Robb. Under the pseudonym, she began writing romantic detective novels set in the future. By then, millions of readers had discovered what Publishers Weekly called her "immeasurable diversity and talent."

Although the style and substance of her books has grown, Roberts remains loyal to the genre that launched her career. As she says, "The romance novel at its core celebrates that rush of emotions you have when you are falling in love, and it's a lovely thing to relive those feelings through a book."

Good To Know

Roberts still lives in the same Maryland house she occupied when she first started writing -- though her carpenter husband has built on some additions. She and her husband also own Turn the Page Bookstore Café in Boonsboro, Maryland. When Roberts isn't busy writing, she likes to drop by the store, which specializes in Civil War titles as well as autographed copies of her own books.

Roberts sued fellow writer Janet Dailey in 1997, accusing her of plagiarizing numerous passages of her work over a period of years. Dailey paid a settlement and publicly apologized, blaming stress and a psychological disorder for her misconduct.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      J. D. Robb; Sarah Hardesty; Jill March; Eleanor Marie Robertson (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Keedysville, Maryland
    1. Date of Birth:
      1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Silver Spring, Maryland

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The ways and means of friendship were murderous. In order to navigate its twisty maze, a friend could be called upon to perform inconvenient, irritating, or downright horrifying acts at any given time.

The worst, the very worst requirement of friendship, in Eve Dallas’s opinion, was sitting through an entire evening of childbirth classes.

What went on there—the sights, the sounds, the assault on all the senses—turned the blood cold.

She was a cop, a Homicide lieutenant with eleven years on the job protecting and defending the hard, merciless streets of New York. There was little she hadn’t seen, touched, smelled, or waded through. Because people, to her mind, would always and could always find more inventive and despicable ways to kill their fellow man, she knew just what torments could be inflicted on the human body.

But bloody and brutal murder was nothing compared to giving birth.

How all those women with their bodies enormous and weirdly deformed by the entity gestating inside them could be so cheerful, so freaking placid about what was happening—and going to happen—to them was beyond her scope.

But there was Mavis Freestone, her oldest friend, with her little pixie body engulfed by the bulge of belly, beaming like a mentally defective while images of live birth played out on the wall screen. And she wasn’t alone. The other women had more or less the same God-struck look on their faces.

Maybe pregnancy stopped certain signals from getting to the brain.

Personally, Eve felt a little bit sick. And when she glanced over at Roarke, the wince on his angel-kissed faced told her he was right there with her. That, at least, was a big red check in the Pro-Marriage column. You got to drag your spouse into your personal nightmares and into that twisty friendship maze right along with you.

Eve let the images blur. She’d rather study a crime scene recording—mass murder, mutilation, severed limbs—than look up some laboring woman’s crotch and watch a head pop out. Roarke had horror vids in his collection that were less gruesome. She could hear Mavis whispering to Leonardo, the entity’s expectant father, but blocked out the words.

When, dear God, when would it be over?

Some setup here, all right, she thought, trying to distract herself by evaluating the birthing center. The whole damn building was a kind of cathedral to conception, gestation, birth, and babies. She’d managed to duck Mavis’s attempt to give her a tour of the entire place by pleading work.

Sometimes a well-placed lie saved friendships, and sanity.

The educational wing was enough. She’d sat through a lecture, several demonstrations that would haunt her dreams for decades, been forced as part of Mavis’s coaching team to assist in a mock birth with the labor droid and squealing droid infant.

And now there was this hideous vid.

Don’t think about it, she warned herself, and went back to studying the room.

Pastel walls covered with pictures of babies or pregnant women in various stages of bliss. All filmy and rapturous. Lots of fresh flowers and thriving green plants arranged artistically. Comfy chairs, supposedly designed to aid the women in hauling their loaded bodies up. And three perky instructors who were available for questions, lectures, demos, and serving healthy refreshments.

Pregnant women, Eve noted, were constantly eating or peeing.

Double doors at the back, one exit in the front, left of the vid screen. Too bad she couldn’t make a run for it.

Eve let herself go into a kind of trance. She was a tall, lanky woman with a choppy cap of brown hair. Her face was angular, and paler than usual, with whiskey-brown eyes currently glazed. The jacket she wore over her weapon harness was deep green and, because her husband had bought it, cashmere.

She was thinking about going home and washing the memory of the last three hours away in a full liter of wine when Mavis grabbed her hand.

“Dallas, look! The baby’s coming!”

“Huh? What?” Those glazed eyes popped wide. “What? Now? Well, Jesus. Breathe, right?”

Laughter erupted around them as Eve lurched to her feet.

“Not this baby.” Giggling, Mavis stroked her basketball belly. “That baby.”

Instinct had Eve glancing in the direction Mavis pointed, and getting a wide-screen blast of the bellowing, wriggling, gunk-covered creature sliding out from between some poor woman’s legs.

“Oh, man. Oh, God.” She sat down, before her own legs went out from under her. No longer caring if it made her a sissy, she groped for Roarke’s hand. When he gripped it, she found it as clammy as her own.

People applauded, actually clapped and cheered when the wailing, slippery-looking form was laid on its mother’s deflated belly, and between her engorged breasts.

“In the name of all that’s holy . . .” Eve muttered to Roarke. “It’s 2060, not 1760. Can’t they find a better way to handle this process?”

“Amen” was all Roarke said. Weakly.

“Isn’t it beautiful? It’s the ult, the extreme ult.” Mavis’s lashes—currently dyed sapphire blue, sparkled with tears. “It’s a little boy. Awww, look how sweet. . . .”

Dimly she heard the lead instructor announce the end of the night’s coaching class7mdash;thank God—and invite people to stay for refreshments or questions.

“Air,” Roarke murmured into her ear. “I’m in desperate need of air.”

“It’s the pregnant women. I think they suck up all the oxygen. Think of something. Get us out of here. I can’t think. My brain won’t work right.”

“Stand with me.” He hooked a hand under her arm, pulled her up.

“Mavis, Eve and I want to take you and Leonardo out for a bite. We can do better than the offerings here.”

Eve could hear the strain in his voice, but imagined anyone who didn’t know him as well as she would only hear that easy, fluid stream of Irish.

There was a lot of chatter going on and women were making a beeline for the food or the bathrooms. Rather than thinking about what was being said or done, Eve focused on Roarke’s face.

If it couldn’t distract a woman, she was too far gone to worry about it.

He might have been a little pale, but the white skin only intensified the wild blue of his eyes. His hair was a black silk frame around a face designed to raise a woman’s heart rate. And that mouth of his. Even in her current state it was tempting to just lean in a little and take a good bite of it.

And the body only added to the fantasy: tall, leanly muscled, and slickly presented in one of his perfectly tailored business suits.

Roarke wasn’t just one of the richest men in the known universe, he also looked the part.

And at the moment, because he was taking her arm and leading her out of that nightmare, he was her ultimate hero. She grabbed her coat on the fly.

“We’re sprung?”

“They wanted to see if a friend of theirs could join us.” He still had Eve’s hand, and was rapidly walking toward the exit. “I told them we’d get the car, bring it around to the front. Save them steps.”

“You’re brilliant. Freaking white knight. If I ever recover from this trauma, I’ll screw your brains out.”

“I hope, eventually, my brain cells regenerate enough to make that possible. My God, Eve. My God.”

“Total tandem here. Did you see how it sort of slithered out when—”

“Don’t.” He pulled her into the elevator, called for their level of the parking garage. “If you love me, don’t take me back there.” He leaned back against the wall. “I’ve always respected women. You know that.”

She rubbed at an itch on the side of her nose. “You’ve nailed plenty of them. But yeah,” she added when he just gave her a bland stare. “You’ve got respect.”

“That respect has now risen to admiration of biblical proportions. How do they do that?”

“We’ve just seen how. In graphic detail. Did you see Mavis?” Eve shook her head as they walked out of the elevator. “Her eyes were all glittery. And it wasn’t fear. She can’t wait to do all that.”

“Leonardo looked a bit green, actually.”

“Yeah, well, he’s got that thing about blood. And there was blood—and other stuff.”

“That’s enough. There’ll be no talk of other stuff.”

Because the late January weather was lousy, he’d driven one of his all-terrains. It was big and black and muscular. When he uncoded the locks, Eve leaned back against the passenger door before he could open it.

“Look here, ace. We gotta face this, you and me.”

“I don’t want to.”

Now she laughed. She’d seen him face death with more aplomb. “What we did in there, that was just a preview. We’re going to be in the room with her when she pushes that thing out. We have to be there, counting to ten, telling her to breathe, or to go to her happy place. Whatever.”

“We could be out of town, or the country. No, we could be called off planet. That would really be best. We’ll be called off planet to save the world from some criminal mastermind.”

“Oh, if only. But you know and I know we’re going to be there. Pretty soon, probably, because that bomb inside her’s just ticking away.”

He sighed, then leaned down to rest his brow to hers. “God pity us, Eve. God pity us.”

“If God had any pity on us, He’d populate the world without the middle man. Middle woman. Let’s go drink. A lot.”

The restaurant was casual, a little noisy, and exactly what the midwife ordered. Mavis sipped some sort of exotic fruit punch that was nearly as sparkly as she was. Her riotous silver curls were tipped in the same sapphire as her lashes. Her eyes were a vivid, unearthly green tonight to match—Eve supposed—the tone of the sweater that fit over her breasts and belly like neon elastic. Numerous loops and squiggles hung from her ears and shot sparks of light as she moved her head. Her sapphire blue pants fit like a second skin.

The love of Mavis’s life sat beside her. Leonardo was built like a redwood, and as he was a fashion designer neither he nor Mavis were ever at a loss for an eye-popping ensemble. He’d gone with a sweater as well, a crazed and intricate geometric pattern of colors against gold. Somehow—Eve could have said—it suited his strong form and burnished copper complexion.

The friend they’d brought along was every bit as knocked-up as Mavis. Maybe even more so, if such things were possible. But in contrast to Mavis’s out-of-orbit style, Tandy Willowby wore a simple black V neck over a white tee. She was a tea-and-roses blonde, with pale blue eyes and a blunt-tipped nose.

During the drive over, Mavis had chattered out introductions, explaining that Tandy was from London, and had only been in New York a few months.

“I’m so glad I saw you tonight. Tandy wasn’t there for class,” Mavis continued as she mowed through the appetizers Roarke had ordered. “She dropped by toward the end to give the midwife the vouchers for the White Stork. It’s this completely mag baby boutique where Tandy works.”

“It’s a lovely shop,” Tandy agreed. “But I didn’t expect to drop by, then get fed and watered.” She offered Roarke a shy smile. “It’s awfully kind of you. Both of you,” she added to Eve. “Mavis and Leonardo have told me so much about you. You must be so excited.”

“About what?” Eve wondered.

“Being part of Mavis’s coaching team.”

“Oh. Oh, yeah. We’re . . .”

“Speechless,” Roarke concluded. “What part of London are you from?”

“Actually, I’m from Devon originally. I moved to London as a teenager, with my father. Now here I am in New York. I must have a bit of the wanderlust. Though I expect I’ll be grounded for a while now.” Dreamily, she stroked a hand over her belly. “And you’re a policewoman. That must be brilliant. Mavis, I don’t think you ever told me how you and Dallas met.”

“She arrested me,” Mavis said between bites.

“You’re having me on. No?”

“I used to work the grift. I was good at it.”

“Not good enough,” Eve commented.

“I want to hear all about it! But now, I have to make my way to the loo. Again.”

“I’ll go with you.” Like Tandy, Mavis levered herself up. “Dallas? Coming with?”

“I’ll pass.”

“I remember—vaguely—what it’s like not to have something planted on my bladder.” Tandy sent the table a smile, then waddled off with Mavis.

“So . . .” Eve turned to Leonardo. “You met Tandy in the class?”

“Orientation,” he confirmed. “Tandy’s due about a week before Mavis. It’s nice of you to let her come along. She’s going through all this without a partner.”

“What happened to the father?” Roarke asked him, and Leonardo shrugged.

“She doesn’t talk about it much. Just says that he wasn’t involved, or interested. If that’s the way it is, he doesn’t deserve her or the baby.” Leonardo’s wide face went tight and hard. “Mavis and I have so much, we want to help her as much as we can.”

Eve’s cynic antennae hummed. “Financially?”

“No. I don’t think she’d take money, even if she needed it. She seems okay there. I meant support, friendship.” He seemed to pale a little. “I’m going to be part of her coaching team. It’ll, ah, it’ll be like a dress rehearsal for Mavis.”

“Scared shitless, aren’t you?”

He glanced in the direction of the restrooms, then back at Eve. “I’m terrified. I could pass out. What if I pass out?”

“Make sure you don’t land on me,” Roarke told him.

“Mavis isn’t nervous. Not even a little bit. And the closer we get, the more my insides . . .” He lifted his big hands, shook them. “I don’t know what I’d do if the two of you weren’t going to be there. Backing me up.”

Oh, hell, Eve thought, and exchanged a glance with Roarke. “Where else would we be?” She signaled the waiter for another glass of wine.

Two hours later, after dropping Leonardo and Mavis home, Roarke drove south and east toward Tandy’s apartment building.

“Really, I can take the tube. Subway. It’s too much trouble, and only a few blocks.”

“If it’s only a few blocks,” Roarke said, “it’s hardly any trouble.”

“How can I argue?” Tandy let out a laugh. “And it’s so nice to sit in a warm car. It’s so bloody cold out there tonight.” She settled back with a sigh. “I feel pampered, and fat as a whale. Mavis and Leonardo, they’re the best. You can’t be around either of them for five minutes and not feel happy. And I see they’re lucky in their friends. Oops.”

Eve’s head spun around so fast it might have flown off her shoulders. “No oops. No oopsing.”

“He’s just bumping around in there a bit. Not to worry. Oh, you know, Mavis is just giddy about the baby shower you’re hosting for her next week. She bubbles over it.”

“Baby shower. Right. Next week.”

“Here we are. Just down the middle of this block. Thank you both so much.” Tandy adjusted her scarf, hauled up a purse the size of a suitcase. “For the lovely food and company, and the luxurious ride. I’ll see you both on Saturday, at the baby shower.”

“Need any help, ah . . .”

“No, no.” Tandy waved Eve off. “Even a whale must fend for itself. And even if I can’t see my feet these days, I remember where they are. Good night now, and thanks again.”

Roarke waited, engine idling, until Tandy had keyed herself into the building. “Seems a nice woman. Stable and sensible.”

“Not like Mavis. Except for the whale factor. Gotta be tough, being knocked up, on your own, and not even in your own country. She seems to be dealing. You know, Roarke, how come just because you’re pals you have to go to coaching classes, witness births, and give baby showers?”

“I don’t have the answer to that question.”

She heaved out a breath. “Neither do I.”

Eve was dreaming of fang-toothed, many-armed babies bouncing out of Mavis to tear around the room, sending the midwife into screaming retreat while Mavis cooed: Aren’t they mag? Aren’t they the ult?

The signal of the bedside ’link had her popping out of the dream. She shuddered once.

“Block video,” she ordered. “Lights on ten percent. Dallas.”

Dispatch, Dallas, Lieutenant Eve. See the officers at 51 Jane Street, apartment 3B. Possible homicide.

“Acknowledged. Contact Peabody, Detective Delia. I’m on my way.”

Acknowledged. Dispatch out.

Eve glanced over, saw Roarke’s laser blue eyes were open and on hers. “Sorry,” she said.

“I’m not the one being pulled out of a warm bed at four in the morning.”

“You’re right about that. People ought to have the courtesy to off each other at reasonable hours.”

She rolled out of bed and into the bathroom for a lightning-quick shower. When she rolled back out, naked and warm from the drying tube, he was sipping a cup of coffee.

“Why are you up?”

“I’m awake,” he said simply. “And look what I’d’ve missed if I’d turned over and gone back to sleep.” He handed her the second cup of coffee he’d programmed.

“Thanks.” She took it with her to the closet where she pulled out clothes. Had to be freaking freezing out there, she mused. And detoured to her dresser to yank out a V neck to go over the shirt, under the jacket.

Twice they’d put off tentative plans to take a couple of days in the tropics. Mavis, plus baby, equalled a pregnant woman wigging out at the thought of part of her coaching team dancing off to sand and surf this close to delivery time.

What could you do?

“Babies don’t come out with teeth, do they?”

“No. I don’t see how . . .” Roarke lowered his cup, gave her a baffled look. “Why do you put thoughts like that in my head?”

“They’re in mine, pal, they’re in yours.”

“See if I make you coffee again.”

She dressed quickly. “Maybe this murder is the work of a criminal mastermind that will take me off planet. You’re nice to me, I could take you along.”

“Don’t toy with me.”

She laughed, strapped on her weapon. “See you when I see you.” She crossed to him, and because—hell, he was so damn pretty even at four in the morning—gave him a peck on both cheeks, then a long warm one mouth-to-mouth.

“Stay safe, Lieutenant.”

“Plan on it.”

She jogged down the stairs, where her coat was draped over the newel post. She tossed it there habitually because it was handy—and because she knew it irritated Summerset, Roarke’s majordomo and the blight of her world.

She swung it on, discovered a miracle had happened and her gloves were actually in the pocket. Because it was there, she tossed on the cashmere scarf. And still the cold was a shock to the system when she stepped outside.

Hard to complain though, she decided, when you got yourself married to a man who thought to remote your vehicle to the front of the house with the heater already running.

She strode through the cold, climbed into warm.

She glanced in the rearview as she drove toward the gates. The house that Roarke built filled the mirror, stone and glass, juts and turrets—and the light glowing in their bedroom window.

He’d have a second cup of coffee, she thought, while reviewing stock reports, early media bulletins, business news, on the bedroom screen. Probably make some overseas or off-planet transmissions. Starting the day before dawn wasn’t a biggie to Roarke, she knew.

Lucky her again, to have ended up with a man who fell so easily into the crazed cop rhythm she often ran by.

She drove through the gates that closed quietly behind her.

This sector of prime and pricey real estate was quiet—the rich, privileged, or fortunate snuggled under the covers in their atmosphere-regulated homes, condos, apartments. But within a few blocks, the city burst into jittery, jumping life.

Heat gushed up in steam from the grates as the underground world of the city moved and shook under the streets and sidewalks. Overhead ad blimps were already touting their bargain of the day. Who the hell cared about Valentine’s Day sales at the Sky Mall at this hour? Eve wondered. What sane person would push themselves into the insanity of a mall crowd to save a few bucks on a candy heart?

She passed an animated billboard running a loop of impossibly perfect people frolicking over white-sugar sand into blue surf. That, at least, was more like it.

The yellow streaks of Rapid Cabs were already darting. Runs to transpo centers, mostly, she mused. Early flights to somewhere. A couple of maxibuses belched along, likely carrying the poor suckers on early shifts, or the luckier ones heading home to bed after a graveyard tour.

She detoured around the endless party on Broadway. Day or night, blistering or freezing, tourists and the street thieves who loved them thronged to that mecca of noise, light, movement.

A few of the after-hours joints were still open down Ninth. She spotted a huddle of street toughs in their over-filled rip jackets and jump boots loitering—and most likely ingesting illegal substances. But if they were looking for trouble, they’d have a hard time finding it before five A.M. with the temps hovering around twelve degrees.

She skirted through a working-class section of Chelsea, then into the more arty flavor of the Village.

The black-and-white was nosed to the curb in front of a rehabbed townhouse on Jane. She took a loading zone a half block down, flipped her On Duty light, then stepped back out into the cold. By the time she retrieved her field kit and set her locks, she spotted Peabody hoofing it from the corner.

Her partner looked like an Arctic explorer wrapped in a thick, puffy coat the color of rusted metal with a mile of red scarf wrapped around her neck and a matching cap tugged down over her dark hair. Her breath puffed out like engine steam.

“Why can’t people kill each other after the sun comes up?” Peabody gasped out.

“You look like an ad blimp in that coat.”

“Yeah, I know, but it’s wicked warm and it makes me feel thin when I take it off.”

Together they walked to the townhouse, and Eve turned her recorder on. “No security cams,” Eve observed. “No palm plate. Door lock’s been tampered with.”

There were riot bars on the lower windows, she noted. And the paint on the door and window trim was graying, peeling. Whoever owned the building wasn’t big on maintenance and security.

The uniform on the door gave them a nod as she opened it. “Lieutenant, Detective. Bitching cold,” she said. “Nine-one-one came in at oh three forty-two. Vic’s sister made it. My partner’s got her upstairs. We responded, arrived ’bout three forty-six. Observed the entrance door to the building’d been compromised. Vic’s on the third floor, bedroom. Hallway door lock’s compromised, too. Put up a fight from the looks of it. Hands and feet bound with your old reliable duct tape. Worked her over some before doing her. Looks like she was strangled with the tie of her robe, since she’s still wearing it around her neck.”

“Where was the sister while this was going on?” Eve asked.

“Said she just got in. Travels for work. Uses her sister’s place as a flop when she comes into New York. Name’s Palma Copperfield. Shuttle attendant for World Wide Air. She mucked up the scene some—sicked up on the floor in there, touched the body before she ran outside again to place the nine-one-one.”

The officer glanced toward the elevator. “She was sitting on the steps out there, bawling, when we pulled up. Pretty much been bawling since.”

“That’s always fun. Send in Crime Scene when they get here.”

Thinking of the shoddy maintenance, Eve turned to the stairs, unpeeling her cold-weather gear as they climbed.

One unit per level, she noted. Decent space, privacy.

On the third floor she saw that the unit boasted what looked to be a spanking new security peep and cop-lock system. Both were broken in a way that indicated amateur—and effective.

She stepped inside, into a living area where a second female officer stood over a woman who was bundled under a blanket, trembling.

Early twenties, by Eve’s gauge, with a long blond tail of hair sleeked back from a face where tears had washed through the makeup. She held a clear glass of what Eve assumed to be water in a two-handed grip.

She choked out a sob.

“Ms. Copperfield, I’m Lieutenant Dallas. My partner, Detective Peabody.”

“The Homicide police. The Homicide police,” she babbled in a flattened-vowel accent that told Eve Midwest.

“That’s right.”

“Somebody killed Nat. Someone killed my sister. She’s dead. Natalie’s dead.”

“I’m sorry. Can you tell us what happened?”

“I—I came in. She knew I was coming. I called her this morning to remind her. We got in late, and I had a wind-down drink with Mae, the other attendant. The door, downstairs . . . the door was broken or something. I didn’t need my key. I have a key. And I came up, and the lock—she had a new lock, and she gave me the code for it this morning, when—when I called? But it looked broken. The door wasn’t even locked. I thought, ‘Something’s wrong, something has to be wrong,’ because Nat wouldn’t go to bed without locking up. So I thought I should check, just look in on her before I went to bed. And I saw . . . Oh, God, oh, God, she was on the floor and everything was broken and she was on the floor, and her face. Her face.”

Palma started to cry again, the tears running fat and steady down her cheeks. “It was all bruised and red and her eyes . . . I ran over and I called her name. I think I called her name and I tried to wake her up. Pull her up. She wasn’t sleeping. I knew she wasn’t sleeping, but I had to try to wake her up. My sister. Someone hurt my sister.”

“We’re going to take care of her now.” Eve thought of the time it would take for her, then the sweepers, to process the scene. “I’m going to need to talk to you again, in a little while, so I’m going to have you taken down to Central. You can wait there.”

“I don’t think I should leave Nat. I don’t know what to do, but I should stay with Nat.”

“You need to trust us with her now. Peabody.”

“I’ll take care of it.”

Eve glanced at the uniform who nodded toward a doorway.

Eve walked away from the weeping. Then, sealing up, walked into death.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 114 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(84)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 114 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A double homicide is tough. Even for the toughest cop in New Yor

    A double homicide is tough. Even for the toughest cop in New York, Eve Dallas, but with the
    right questions, the eyes of a trained cop looking for the smallest link it should be a walk in the park.

    Until a friend asks you to do the unthinkable: ask a Homicide cop to look into a Missing Persons case.
    Any other friend, she would move it to another cop...but when's it's Mavis all ready to be a mother,
    hormones spiking Dallas just can't say no.

    Who would want a woman who is ready to give birth? Who wants to harm a pregnant woman?
    Probably some sicko...probably some psycho...probably some....Child Care Services? This one
     case plus the lover homicides can't be explained why they are linked, but Dallas can figure it out
    with the help of e-man Roarke. But will it be in time for the birth of the missing lady....AND Mavis?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Great read

    Always a great read keeps you captivated beginning to end following Eve and Roarke.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Awesome!

    I started reading this series after I found out they are by Nora Roberts, and they did not disappoint! Every book in the series is great and no less than you would exect from this author!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Love this series

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Fabulous

    I love all the In Death books, but this one was amazing. the end had me crying. it was a mystery but it had so many wonderful moments. please don't miss this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Fun. Exciting. Though I loved the mystery it took the backseat

    Fun. Exciting.

    Though I loved the mystery it took the backseat in this novel to the story. This book revolved around friendship. It was very emotional – well, for an Eve book – and quite relaxing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2011

    I love it

    Best book I ever read !!! ; )

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 17, 2010

    An entertaining book!

    Loved this book! In certain scenes I laughed so hard I actually had tears in my eyes. That may seem strange for a murder mystery, but you'll just have to read the book to see for yourself. I like the way the author leads up to the subplot of Mavis' delivery in earlier books. Love Rourke!!!

    A must read if you have read earlier novels in this series or even if you haven't.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2010

    The In Death Series Wont Let You Down

    Born in Death, like all others in this series, provides for absolute escapism. The main and second string characters will not disappoint. Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her husband Rourke are smoldering. The Lieutenant and Detective Peabody are funny. And the story is a page turner. While one may raise an eyebrow at how some of the clues and people are tied together during the book, it is easy to overlook because the story reads like what you expect from the series. You won't be disappointed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 23, 2009

    BEST EVER

    This is one of Nora Roberts/JD Robbs best suspense novels I have read. I am an avid reader and fan of Nora Roberts and as J.D. Robb. She stickes to her main character very well. Too many authors bring in and focus on too many main characters in the plot and a reader gets lost and has to think, "Oh yeah, that's the one the book is really about."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't stop reading!!!

    This is my first J.D.Robb, and certainly not my last. I took this book with me on vacation in the Caribbean, and I was unable to put it down. Relaxing under the palm trees was a perfect place for enjoying the plot. I loved the futuristic side of the novel.
    I am already a big fan.
    Can't wait for my next J.D.Robb.!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another great one!

    All the "In Death" series are great, and this one is no exception! I love Eve's attitude and her outlook on children and childbirth. Her loyalty to Mavis is amazing. Even though you learn more about all the characters, the actual case adds excitement and a good plot to the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fast, even for Eve Dallas

    Between solving murders of employees at a very high-profile firm, attending birthing classes, Mavis impending delivery, and the realization that she's supposed to throw the baby shower for Mavis; the disappearance of Mavis' friend Tandy resulting in what she knows is an almost impossible to keep promise; Eve's going to need all the real coffee she can get! Eve and her entire staff are hopping, Roarke manages to keep up and the rest of us are out of breath trying to keep pace.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2009

    Great character involvement, good blended plot.

    I really enjoyed this installment in the In Death series. It brought out a lot of the character's emotions and details. The long awaited birth of Mavis's baby and Eve and Roarke's involvement was wonderful. It seems like Eve's resistance to having a baby may have been softened a little! One of the best so far.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    The "...IN DEATH" series, without a doubt, is one of the best. The perfect mix of mystery, psychological thriller, and romance, each book in this series always offers up a reading delight. <BR/><BR/>Once again, Eve Dallas is faced with solving a horrific crime. This time, as often happens with Dallas, the death of a young account executive and her financial manager fiance brings her own strong emotions into the mix. Since she's already dealing with the imminent arrival of Mavis's baby, the fact that she and Roarke are to serve as birthing coaches, and not to mention the baby shower she must throw for her friend before that happens, Eve's nerves are already stretched thin. <BR/><BR/>When Mavis's pregnant friend, Tandy, goes missing, Dallas now finds herself working two cases simultaneously. The two start off on different paths, but by the end of the investigation she might find that they have a lot in common--including new life and new death. <BR/><BR/>When questions of ethics are thrown into the mix by Whitney and his superiors, the crap hits the fan, and Eve and Roarke must put aside pride and anger to deal with their relationship, while still working on justice for the murder victims. <BR/><BR/>BORN IN DEATH is another winner in this series. As always, I raced through the book in record time, and was sad to be finished with the story when it ended. I can't wait for the next release, and hope to be able to see Eve and Roarke finally get that vacation they both deserve. And, if I get to read about them running naked on the sand under a bright sun, I probably won't complain!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2007

    Nora, did it again.

    Have been reading the death books and the characters and interactions are getting better and better. Can't wait for the next one.... Big fan...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2007

    Edge of my chair, for plot and subplot

    For one who has been following this series, the excitement of the subplot keeps the reader on tinder hooks just as much as the primary plot. Either could be written alone but the artistic weave greatly improves both.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2007

    Another winner!

    Nora Roberts writes a convincing police procedural, understands relationships, and combines those talents to create yet another fantastic In Death novel. The cast of characters are like old friends, yet Roberts' revelation of their quirks continues to intrigue and captivate us. The situations are witty, or gritty, when called for, and the evolution of the love between the prickly Eve and oh-so-yummy Roarke is beautiful to watch. Thanks, Ms. Roberts. I can't wait for number 24!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2006

    Fabulous

    Absolutely fabulous!! Comical, fast-paced and sexy. Thanks Ms. Robb

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2007

    Great Book!

    I loved the characters in this one. Intersting mystery. The story moved well and I enjoyed every minute of it. I can't wait for the next one. It will be hard to beat this one though.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 114 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)