Conspiracy in Death (In Death Series #8)

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Overview

One of the best futuristic mystery series on the market today. (Without A Clue)

The pursuit of a serial killer leaves Eve Dallas's job on the line.

In New York, police officer Eve Dallas investigates the sidewalk murders of homeless people by a killer collecting human organs. By the author of Holiday in Death.

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Conspiracy in Death (In Death Series #8)

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Overview

One of the best futuristic mystery series on the market today. (Without A Clue)

The pursuit of a serial killer leaves Eve Dallas's job on the line.

In New York, police officer Eve Dallas investigates the sidewalk murders of homeless people by a killer collecting human organs. By the author of Holiday in Death.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

U.S. News
...[E]dgy...
Science Fiction Chronicle
A gritty, well plotted mystery as well as an interesting SF novel.
U.S. News
...[E]dgy...
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425168134
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: In Death Series , #8
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 94,315
  • Product dimensions: 6.72 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Nora Roberts
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.

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    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 One


For some, death wasn't the enemy. Life was a much less merciful opponent. For the ghosts who drifted through the nights like shadows, the funky-junkies with their pale pink eyes, the chemi-heads with their jittery hands, life was simply a mindless trip that circled from one fix to the next with the arcs between a misery.

    The trip itself was most often full of pain and despair, and occasionally terror.

    For the poor and displaced in the bowels of New York City in the icy dawn of 2059, the pain, the despair, the terror were constant companions. For the mental defectives and physically flawed who slipped through society's cracks, the city was simply another kind of prison.

    There were social programs, of course. It was, after all, an enlightened time. So the politicians claimed, with the Liberal Party shouting for elaborate new shelters, educational and medical facilities, training and rehabilitation centers, without actually detailing a plan for how such programs would be funded. The Conservative Party gleefully cut the budgets of what programs were already in place, then made staunch speeches on the quality of life and family.

    Still, shelters were available for those who qualified and could stomach the thin and sticky hand of charity. Training and assistance programs were offered for those who could keep sane long enough to wind their way through the endless tangled miles of bureaucratic red tape that all too often strangled the intended recipients before saving them.

    And as always, children went hungry, womensold their bodies, and men killed for a handful of credits.

    However enlightened the times, human nature remained as predictable as death.

    For the sidewalk sleepers, January in New York brought vicious nights with a cold that could rarely be fought back with a bottle of brew or a few scavenged illegals. Some gave in and shuffled into the shelters to snore on lumpy cots under thin blankets or eat the watery soup and tasteless soy loaves served by bright-eyed sociology students. Others held out, too lost or too stubborn to give up their square of turf.

    And many slipped from life to death during those bitter nights.

    The city had killed them, but no one called it homicide.


As Lieutenant Eve Dallas drove downtown in the shivering dawn, she tapped her fingers restlessly on the wheel. The routine death of a sidewalk sleeper in the Bowery shouldn't have been her problem. It was a matter for what the department often called Homicide-Lite—the stiff scoopers who patrolled known areas of homeless villages to separate living from dead and take the used-up bodies to the morgue for examination, identification, and disposal.

    It was a mundane and ugly little job most usually done by those who either still had hopes of joining the more elite Homicide unit or those who had given up on such a miracle. Homicide was called to the scene only when the death was clearly suspicious or violent.

    And, Eve thought, if she hadn't been on top of the rotation for such calls on this miserable morning, she'd still be in her nice warm bed with her nice warm husband.

    "Probably some jittery rookie hoping for a serial killer," she muttered.

    Beside her, Peabody yawned hugely. "I'm really just extra weight here." From under her ruler-straight dark bangs, she sent Eve a hopeful look. "You could just drop me off at the closest transpo stop and I can be back home and in bed in ten minutes."

    "If I suffer, you suffer."

    "That makes me feel so ... loved, Dallas."

    Eve snorted and shot Peabody a grin. No one, she thought, was sturdier, no one was more dependable, than her aide. Even with the rudely early call, Peabody was pressed and polished in her winter-weight uniform, the buttons gleaming, the hard black cop shoes shined. In her square face framed by her dark bowl-cut hair, her eyes might have been a little sleepy, but they would see what Eve needed her to see.

    "Didn't you have some big deal last night?" Peabody asked her.

    "Yeah, in East Washington. Roarke had this dinner/ dance thing for some fancy charity. Save the moles or something. Enough food to feed every sidewalk sleeper on the Lower East Side for a year."

    "Gee, that's tough on you. I bet you had to get all dressed up in some beautiful gown, shuttle down on Roarke's private transpo, and choke down champagne."

    Eve only lifted a brow at Peabody's dust-dry tone. "Yeah, that's about it." They both knew the glamorous side of Eve's life since Roarke had come into it was both a puzzlement and a frustration to her. "And then I had to dance with Roarke. A lot."

    "Was he wearing a tux?" Peabody had seen Roarke in a tux. The image of it was etched in her mind like acid on glass.

    "Oh yeah." Until, Eve mused, they'd gotten home and she'd ripped it off of him. He looked every bit as good out of a tux as in one.

    "Man." Peabody closed her eyes, indulged herself with a visualization technique she'd learned at her Free-Ager parents' knees. "Man," she repeated.

    "You know, a lot of women would get pissed off at having their husband star in their aide's purient little fantasies."

    "But you're bigger than that, Lieutenant. I like that about you."

    Eve grunted, rolled her stiff shoulders. It was her own fault that lust had gotten the better of her and she'd only managed three hours of sleep. Duty was duty, and she was on it.

    Now she scanned the crumbling buildings, the littered streets. The scars, the warts, the tumors that sliced or bulged over concrete and steel.

    Steam whooshed up from a grate, shot out from the busy half-life of movement and commerce under the streets. Driving through it was like slicing through fog on a dirty river.

    Her home, since Roarke, was a world apart from this. She lived with polished wood, gleaming crystal, the scent of candles and hothouse flowers. Of wealth.

    But she knew what it was to come from such places as this. Knew how much the same they were—city by city—in smells, in routines, in hopelessness.

    The streets were nearly empty. Few of the residents of this nasty little sector ventured out early. The dealers and street whores would have finished the night's business, would have crawled back into their flops before sunrise. Merchants brave enough to run the shops and stores had yet to uncode their riot bars from the doors and windows. Glide-cart vendors desperate enough to hawk this turf would carry hand zappers and work in pairs.

    She spotted the black and white patrol car, scowled at the half-assed job the officers on scene had done with securing the area.

    "Why the hell didn't they finish running the sensors, for Christ's sake? Get me out of bed at five in the damn morning, and they don't even have the scene secured? No wonder they're scoopers. Idiots."

    Peabody said nothing as Eve braked hard behind the black and white and slammed out of the vehicle. The idiots, she thought with some sympathy, were in for an expert dressing down.

    By the time Peabody climbed out of the car, Eve had already crossed the sidewalk, with long, purposeful strides, heading for the two uniforms who huddled miserably in the wind.

    She watched the two officers' shoulders snap straight. The lieutenant had that effect on other cops, Peabody mused as she retrieved the field kit from the vehicle. She brought you to attention.

    It wasn't just the way she looked, Peabody decided, with that long, rangy body, the simple and often disordered cap of brown hair that showed hints of blonde, hints of red, hints, Peabody thought, of everything. There were the eyes, all cop, and the color of good Irish whiskey, the little dent in the firm chin below a full mouth that could go hard as stone.

    Peabody found it a strong arid arresting face, partially, she decided, because Eve had no vanity whatsoever.

    Although the way she looked might gain a uniform's attention, it was what she so clearly was that had them snapping straight.

    She was the best damn cop Peabody had ever known. Pure cop, the kind you'd go through a door with without hesitation. The kind you knew would stand for the dead and for the living.

    And the kind, Peabody mused as she walked close enough to hear the end of Eve's blistering lecture, who kicked whatever ass needed kicking.

    "Now to review," Eve said coolly. "You call in a homicide, you drag my butt out of bed, you damn well have the scene secured and have your report ready for me when I get here. You don't stand here like a couple of morons sucking your thumbs. You're cops, for God's sake. Act like cops."

    "Yes, sir, Lieutenant." This came in a wavery voice from the youngest of the team. He was hardly more than a boy, and the only reason Eve had pulled her verbal punch. His partner, however, wasn't a rookie, and she earned one of Eve's frigid stares.

    "Yes, sir," she said between her teeth. And the lively resentment in the tone had Eve angling her head.

    "Do you have a problem, Officer ... Bowers?"

    "No, sir."

    Her face was the color of aged cherry wood, with her eyes a striking contrast of pale, pale blue. She kept her dark hair short under her regulation cap. There was a button missing on her standard-issue coat and her shoes were dull and scuffed. Eve could have poked her about it but decided being stuck in a miserable job was some excuse not to buff up for the day.

    "Good." Eve merely nodded, but the warning in her eyes was clear. She shifted her gaze to the partner and felt a little stir of sympathy. He was pale as a sheet, shaky, and so fresh from the academy she could all but smell it on him.

    "Officer Trueheart, my aide will show you the proper way to secure a scene. See that you pay attention."

    "Yes, sir."

    "Peabody." At the single word, her field kit was in her hand. "Show me what we've got here, Bowers."

    "Indigent. Male Caucasian. Goes by the name of Snooks. This is his crib."

    She gestured to a rather cleverly rigged shelter comprised of a packing crate cheerfully painted with stars and flowers and topped by the dented lid of an old recycling bin. There was a moth-eaten blanket across the entrance and a hand-drawn sign that simply said Snooks strung over it.

    "He inside?"

    "Yeah, part of the beat is to give a quick eye check on the cribs looking for stiffs to scoop. Snooks is pretty stiff," she said at what Eve realized after a moment was an attempt at humor.

    "I bet. My, what a pleasant aroma," she muttered as she moved closer and the wind could no longer blow the stench aside.

    "That's what tipped me. It always stinks. All these people smell like sweat and garbage and worse, but a stiff has another layer."

    Eve knew the layer all too well. Sweet, sickly. And here, sneaking under the miasma of urine and sour flesh was the smell of death, and she noted with a faint frown, the bright metallic hint of blood.

    "Somebody stick him?" She, nearly sighed as she opened her kit to take out the can of Seal-It. "What the hell for? These sleepers don't have anything worth stealing."

    For the first time, Bowers allowed a thin smile to curve her lips. But her eyes were cold and hard, with bitterness riding in them. "Somebody stole something from him, all right." Pleased with herself, she stepped back. She hoped to God the tight-assed lieutenant got a nice hard shock at what she'd see behind the tattered curtain.

    "You call the ME?" Eve asked as she clear-coated her hands and boots.

    "First on scene's discretion," Bowers said primly, with the malice still bright in her eyes. "I opted to leave that decision to Homicide."

    "For God's sake, is he dead or not?" Disgusted, Eve moved forward, bending a bit to sweep back the curtain.

    It was always a shock, not the hard one Bowers had hoped for. Eve had seen too much too often for that. But what one human could do to another was never routine for her. And the pity that stirred underneath and through the cop was something the woman beside her would never feel and never understand.

    "Poor bastard," she said quietly and crouched to do a visual exam.

    Bowers had been right about one thing. Snooks was very, very dead. He was hardly more than a sack of bones and wild, straggly hair. Both his eyes and his mouth gaped, and she could see he hadn't kept more than half of his teeth. His type rarely took advantage of the health and dental programs.

    His eyes had already filmed over and were a dull mud brown. She judged him to be somewhere around the century mark, and even without murder, he'd never have attained the average twenty more years decent nutrition and medical science could have given him.

    She noted, too, that his boots, while cracked and scarred, had plenty of wear left in them, as did the blanket that had been tossed to the side of the box. He had some trinkets as well. A wide-eyed doll's head, a penlight in the shape of a frog, a broken cup he'd filled with carefully made paper flowers. And the walls were covered with more paper shapes. Trees, dogs, angels, and his favored stars and flowers.

    She could see no signs of struggle, no fresh bruising or superfluous cuts. Whoever had killed the old man had done so efficiently.

    No, she thought, studying the fist-sized hole in his chest. Surgically. Whoever had taken Snook's heart had very likely used a laser scalpel.

    "You got your homicide, Bowers."

    Eve eased back, let the curtain fall. She felt her blood rise and her fist clench when she saw the self-satisfied smirk on the uniform's face.

    "Okay, Bowers, we don't like each other. Just one of those things. But you'd be smart to remember I can make it a hell of a lot harder on you than you can on me." She took a step closer, bumping the toe of her boots to the toe of Bowers's shoes. Just to be sure her point was taken. "So be smart, Bowers, and wipe that fucking sneer off your face and keep out of my way."

    The sneer dropped away, but Bowers's eyes shot out little bullet points of animosity. "It's against departmental code for a superior officer to use offensive language to a uniform."

    "No kidding? Well, you be sure to put that in your report, Bowers. And you have that report done, in triplicate, and on my desk by oh ten hundred. Stand back," she added, very quietly now.

    It took ten humming seconds with their eyes warring before Bowers dropped her gaze and shifted aside.

    Dismissing her, Eve turned her back and pulled out her communicator. "Dallas, Lieutenant Eve. I've got a homicide."


Now why, Eve wondered, as she hunkered inside the crate to examine the body, would someone steal a so obviously used-up heart? She remembered that for a period after the Urban Wars, stolen organs had been a prize commodity on the black market. Very often, dealers hadn't been patient enough to wait until a donor was actually dead to make the transfer, but that had been decades ago, before man-made organs had been fully perfected.

    Organ donating and brokering were still popular. And she thought there was something about organ building as well, though she paid little attention to medical news and reports.

    She distrusted doctors.

    Some of the very rich didn't care for the idea of a manufactured implant, she assumed. A human heart or kidney from a young accident victim could command top prices, but it had to be in prime condition. Nothing about Snooks was prime.

    She wrinkled her nose against the stench, but leaned closer. When a woman detested hospitals and health centers as much as she did, the faintly sick smell of antiseptic sent the nostrils quivering.

    She caught it here, just a trace, then frowning, sat back on her heels.

    Her prelim exam told her the victim had died at 0:2:10, given the outside temperature through the night. She'd need the blood work and tox reports to know if there'd been drugs in his system, but she could already see that he'd been a brew guzzler.

    The typical brown refillable bottle used to transport home brew was tucked in the corner, nearly empty. She found a small, almost pitiful stash of illegals. One thin, hand-rolled joint of Zoner, a couple of pink capsules that were probably Jags, and a small, filthy bag of white powder she assumed after a sniff was Grin laced with a whiff of Zeus.

    There were telltale spiderwebs of broken blood vessels over his dented face, obvious signs of malnutrition, and the scabs of what was likely some unattractive skin disease. The man had been a guzzler, smoked, ate garbage, and had been nearly ready to die in his sleep.

    Why kill him?

    "Sir?" Eve didn't glance back as Peabody drew back the curtain. "ME's on scene."

    "Why take his heart?" Eve muttered. "Why surgically remove it? If it was a straight murder, wouldn't they have roughed him up, kicked him around? If they were into mutilation, why didn't they mutilate? This is textbook work."

    Peabody scanned the body, grimaced. "I haven't seen any heart ops, but I'll take your word on that."

    "Look at the wound," Eve said impatiently. "He should have bled out, shouldn't he? A fist-sized hole in the chest, for Christ's sake. But they—whatever it is—clamped, closed off, the bleeders, just like they would in surgery. This one didn't want the mess, didn't see the point in it. No, he's proud of his work," she added, crab walking back through the opening, then standing to take a deep gulp of the much fresher air outside.

    "He's skilled. Had to have had some training. And I don't think one person could have managed this alone. You send the scoopers out to canvass for witnesses?"

    "Yeah." Peabody scanned the deserted street, the broken windows, the huddle of boxes and crates deep in the alleyway across the street. "Good luck to them."

    "Lieutenant."

    "Morris." Eve lifted a brow as she noted she'd hooked the top medical examiner for an on-scene. "I didn't expect to get the cream on a sidewalk sleeper."

    Pleased, he smiled, and his lively eyes danced. He wore his hair slicked back and braided with a siren red ski cap snugged over it. His long, matching coat flapped madly in the breeze. Morris, Eve knew, was quite the snazzy dresser.

    "I was available, and your sleeper sounded quite interesting. No heart?"

    "Well, I didn't find one."

    He chuckled and approached the crate. "Let's have a look-see."

    She shivered, envying him his long, obviously warm coat. She had one—Roarke had given her a beauty for Christmas—but she resisted wearing it on the job. No way in hell was she going to get blood and assorted body fluids all over that fabulous bronze-colored cashmere.

    And she thought as she crouched down yet again, she was pretty sure her new gloves were cozily tucked in the pockets of that terrific coat. Which was why her hands were currently freezing.

    She stuffed them in the pockets of her leather jacket, hunched her shoulders against the bite of the wind, and watched Morris do his job.

    "Beautiful work," Morris breathed. "Absolutely beautiful."

    "He had training, right?"

    "Oh yes." Affixing microgoggles over his eyes, Morris peered into the open chest. "Yes indeed, he did. This is hardly his first surgery. Top of the line tools as well. No homemade scalpel, no clumsy rib spreaders. Our killer is one mag surgeon. Damn if I don't envy his hands."

    "Some cults like to use body parts in their ceremonies," Eve said half to herself. "But they generally hack and mutilate when they kill. And they like rituals, ambiance. We've got none of that here."

    "Doesn't look like a religious thing. It looks like a medical one."

    "Yeah." That corroborated her thoughts. "One person pull this off?"

    "Doubt it." Morris pulled out his bottom lip, let it snap back. "To perform a procedure this slick under these difficult conditions he'd need a very skilled assistant."

    "Any idea why they'd take his heart if it wasn't to worship the demon of the week?"

    "Not a clue," Morris said cheerfully and gestured for her to back up. When they were outside again, he blew out a breath. "I'm surprised the old man didn't die of asphyxiation in all that stink. But from a visual exam, my guess would be that heart would have very few miles left on it. Got your prints and DNA sample for IDing?"

    "Already sealed and ready for the lab."

    "Then we'll bag him, take him in."

    Eve nodded. "You curious enough to bump him up to the top of your stack of bodies?"

    "As a matter of fact, I am." He smiled, gestured to his team. "You should wear a hat, Dallas. It's fucking freezing out here."

    She sneered, but she'd have given a month's pay for a hot cup of coffee. Leaving Morris to his work, she turned to meet Bowers and Trueheart.

    Bowers clenched her teeth. She was cold, hungry, and she bitterly resented the chummy consult she'd witnessed between Eve and the chief medical examiner.

    Probably fucking him, Bowers thought. She knew Eve Dallas, knew her type. Damn right she did. A woman like her only moved up the ranks because she spread her legs while she made the climb. The only reason Bowers hadn't moved up herself was because she refused to do it on her back.

    That's the way the game's played, that's how. And her heart began to pound in her chest, the blood to thunder in her head. But she'd get her own, one day.

    Whore, bitch. The words echoed in her brain, nearly trembled off her tongue. But she sucked them in. She was, she reminded herself, still in control.

    The hate Eve read in Bowers's pale eyes was a puzzle. It was much too vicious, she decided, to be the result of a simple and deserved dressing down by a superior officer. It gave her an odd urge to brace for attack, to slide a hand down to her weapon. Instead, she lifted her eyebrows, waited a beat. "Your report, Officer?"

    "Nobody saw anything, nobody knows anything," Bowers snapped. "That's the way it is with these people. They stay in their holes."

    Though Eve had her eyes on Bowers, she caught the slight movement from the rookie. Following instinct, she dug in her pocket and pulled out some loose credits. "Get me some coffee, Officer Bowers."

    Disdain turned so quickly to insulted shock, Eve had to work hard to hold off a grin. "Get you coffee?"

    "That's right. I want coffee." She grabbed Bowers's hand, dumped the credits into it. "So does my aide. You know the neighborhood. Run over to the nearest 24/7 and get me some coffee."

    "Trueheart's lowest rank."

    "Was I talking to Trueheart, Peabody?" Eve said pleasantly.

    "No, Lieutenant. I believe you were addressing Officer Bowers." As Peabody didn't like the woman's looks, either, she smiled. "I take cream and sugar. The lieutenant goes for black. I believe there's a 24/7 one block over. Shouldn't take you long."

    Bowers stood another moment, then turned on her heel and stalked off. Her muttered "Bitch" came clearly on the cold wind.

    "Golly, Peabody, Bowers just called you a bitch."

    "I really think she meant you, sir."

    "Yeah." Eve's grin was fierce. "You're probably right. So, Trueheart, spill it."

    "Sir?" His already pale face whitened even more at being directly addressed.

    "What do you think? What do you know?"

    "I don't—"

    When he glanced nervously at Bowers's stiff and retreating back, Eve stepped into his line of vision. Her eyes were cool and commanding. "Forget her. You're dealing with me now. I want your report on the canvass."

    "I ..." His Adam's apple bobbed. "No one in the immediate area admits to having witnessed any disturbance in the vicinity or any visitors to the victim's crib during the time in question."

    "And?"

    "It's just that—I was going to tell Bowers," he continued in a rush, "but she cut me off."

    "Tell me," Eve suggested.

    "It's about the Gimp? He had his crib on this side, just down from Snooks, as long as I've had the beat. It's only a couple of months, but—"

    "You patrol this area yesterday?" Eve interrupted.

    "Yes, sir."

    "And there was a crib by Snooks's?"

    "Yes, sir, like always. Now he's got it on the other side of the street, way at the end of the alley."

    "Did you question him?"

    "No, sir. He's zoned. We couldn't roust him, and Bowers said it wasn't worth the trouble, anyway, because he's a stone drunk."

    Eve studied him thoughtfully. His color was back, pumped into his cheeks from nerves and the slap of the wind. But he had good eyes, she decided. Clear and sharp. "How long have you been out of the academy, Trueheart?"

    "Three months, sir."

    "Then you can be forgiven for not being able to recognize an asshole in uniform." She cocked her head when a flash of humor trembled on his mouth. "But I have a feeling you'll learn. Call for a wagon and have your pal the Gimp taken down to the tank at Central. I want to talk to him when he's sobered up. He knows you?"

    "Yes, sir."

    "Then you stay with him, and bring him up when he's coherent. I want you to stand in on the interview."

    "You want me to—" Trueheart's eyes went huge and bright. "I'm assigned to Lite—Bowers is my trainer."

    "Is that how you want it, Officer?"

    He hesitated, blew out a quiet breath. "No, sir, Lieutenant, it's not."

    "Then why aren't you following my orders?" She turned away to harass the crime scene team and left him grinning after her.

    "That was really sweet," Peabody said when they were back in their vehicle with cups of hot, horrible coffee.

    "Don't start, Peabody."

    "Come on, Dallas. You gave the guy a nice break."

    "He gave us a potential witness and it was another way to burn that idiot Bowers's ass." She smiled thinly. "Next chance you get, Peabody, do a run on her. I like to know everything I can about people who want to rip the skin off my face."

    "I'll take care of it when we're back at Central. You want hard copy?"

    "Yeah. Run Trueheart, too, just for form."

    "Wouldn't mind running him." Peabody wiggled her eyebrows. "He's very cute."

    Eve slanted her a look. "You're pathetic, and you're too old for him."

    "I can't have more than a couple, maybe three years on him," Peabody said with a hint of insult. "And some guys prefer a more experienced woman."

    "I thought you were still tight with Charles."

    "We date," Peabody lifted her shoulders, still uncomfortable discussing this particular man with Eve. "But we're not exclusive."

    Tough to be exclusive with a licensed companion, Eve thought but held her tongue. Snapping out her opinion of Peabody developing a relationship with Charles Monroe had come much too close to breaking the bond between them a few weeks before.

    "You're okay with that?" she said instead.

    "That's the way we both want it. We like each other, Dallas. We have a good time together. I wish you—" She broke off, firmly shut her mouth.

    "I didn't say anything."

    "You're thinking pretty damn loud."

    Eve set her teeth. They were not, she promised herself, going back there. "What I'm thinking," she said evenly, "is about getting some breakfast before we start on the paperwork."

    Deliberately, Peabody rolled the stiffness out of her shoulders. "That works for me. Especially if you're buying."

    "I bought last time."

    "I don't think so, but I can check my records." More cheerful. Peabody pulled out her electronic memo book and made Eve laugh.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 187 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 187 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This Series is a Must Read for Mystery Lovers

    Nora Roberts writing as JD Robb has a winning series here. Eve Dallas is the Homicide detective of the future and Roarke is her exciting sexy spouse. The mysteries keep you guessing to the end and romance is steamy while still sweet. The characters keep things interesting. I enjoy the images Ms Roberts gives us of her idea of the future. The imagery is clear, makes me, as the reader believe its really there while I'm reading the story. Even with all the extras, the murder mystery remains the main focus. She always throws in exciting twists that really keeps you on your toes. Sometimes Eve "just knows" who the killer is, but doesn't know how to prove it, and sometimes she struggles with the outcome until the very end. Either way, If you like mysteries, this series is going to keep your attention. The books can be read in order but don't need to be to be understood. Each book, while it may refer to things that happen in previous books, will stand alone.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    read

    Good than others

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2013

    Fun mystery

    Working my way through the series and #8 is another wonderful link in the chain

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Cops are there to protect and serve. They are your shield. You h

    Cops are there to protect and serve. They are your shield. You have a problem, call them.
    You need help fast, call them. You have a heart that doesn't belong to you, they will call you!

    Dallas is tangled in a terrible web where friends become foes, and foes become friends.
    A twisting tale of investigation a little too close to home but is the death of homeless people worth it.

    To Dallas it is. Even if that means giving up her own shield.

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

    Posted August 8, 2013

    Not as good as most of this series

    Dallas' selection of surgeons and businesses in this novel are too arbitrary to be believable for what is supposed to be an very rational and experienced cop. And, as usua,l way too much sex.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Amazing

    J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts is great - you feel like you are part of the story. I always find myself pullin' for Eve.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2013

    Mini-review: On the story...A strategic attack touches the thing

    Mini-review:
    On the story...A strategic attack touches the thing Eve holds most dear--her career--resulting in an emotional ride in this thriller.
    Reaction...Eve under suspicion is a nerve wracking thing.  It made this read more intense and emotional.  Although there are many in this series, this is one I won't forget anytime soon.
    Roarke check in...An angry Roarke is always a bit romantic.  In this one, we get to see him a little more uncontrolled.  Of course I loved it in this instance.

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  • Posted February 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A must read

    Eve and Roarke work closely together and much more in this one. More depth into their feelings for each other. New characters introduced.

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  • Posted September 2, 2012

    This series is more character-, less plot-driven than many of it

    This series is more character-, less plot-driven than many of its kind. This eighth book felt a bit more so, not that the pace isn't driving or the story is in any way dull. It was also less gory than its predecessor, Vengeance in Death, and some of the others (not that the others are unbearable, but I did appreciate the break). It's tougher, emotionally, as we see Eve's identity ripped away and she falls apart. Of course Roarke is there for her--more wonderful than ever--with a full complement of remedies :>). Peabody, Feeney, and Mira lend support, with a couple of sweet cameo appearances of Mavis, and some others.

    I like that the series' setting is futuristic enough to make it interesting without dominating the story. I also enjoy watching the characters and their relationships grow and develop from book to book. While each of the stories does stand alone, if you don't read them in order, you'll miss that pleasure, and since it's really all about the characters, you might be disappointed in the mystery/police procedural plot as well. This book, in particular, wouldn't be the best place to start, that would be the first one, "Naked in Death."

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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    LESS THAN AMAZED Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heid

    LESS THAN AMAZED

    Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

    In the eighth installment of the futuristic In Death series, police Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called to the murder of a sidewalk sleeper that had his heart meticulously cut out of his chest, with the precision of a surgeon, and removed from the scene.

    Dallas butts heads with the first officer on the scene, Bowers, once Eve sees that the scene was not secured properly. Eve gives Bowers a tongue-lashing and the officer becomes insubordinate with her. Bowers later files a complaint with the department over Eve’s language she used during the encounter. Eve is upset that she has worked so hard to get where she is in her career to have another officer blemish her record.

    Eve doesn’t let the police politics keep her from working her case though and they discover like crimes including ones as far away as Chicago and Paris. And as she gets closer to the truth she is confronted by a self-destructing droid that warns her to remove herself from the case or her and Roarke will be terminated. Of course that doesn’t stop Eve.

    She is called to another crime scene where Bowers was first responder and they once again have a confrontation. It leads Bowers to filing more complaints and even going to the media claiming that Eve has slept her way to the top and has falsified documents and covered things up, even claiming her marriage to Roarke after he was cleared of murder by her was convenient. And when Bowers ends up dead the department has no choice, but to suspend Eve and do the worst thing they possibly could, take her badge.

    Eve knows it was all a setup and that she was getting to close for comfort for the killer’s liking to finding out the truth. So after Roarke snaps her out of her funk she decides she has to help Feeney and Peabody solve the case and hopefully it will clear her name in the process.

    I truly enjoy this series, but I have to be honest that this book was a major disappointment to me. They all can’t be winners I guess. To me this one had a very long drawn out pace. It didn’t get interesting until Bowers went to the media and that was past the halfway point in the book and it quickly got dull again a couple chapters later.

    I think my biggest problem with the story was that all the suspects were so similar that they all blended in together not to mention she met most of them at the same time and I had trouble distinguishing one from the other, which made my guessing who the culprit was to be very hard.

    There wasn’t as much steamy romance in this book as I’ve come to expect, but there was a lot of Roarke taking care of Eve and looking out for her, which is sweet.

    My favorite part of the whole book was when Summerset was upset when Eve wouldn’t fight with him after she lost her badge.

    “Unnerved, Summerset moved quickly to the communication center. ”Roarke, the lieutenant has just come in from outside. She wore no outer gear. She looks very bad.”

    “Where is she?”

    “She’s heading up. Roarke, I insulted her and…she apologized to me. Something must be done.”

    I love Nora Roberts aka J.D. Robb and hope that the next book in the series is more to my liking. I completely understand in a series this big, there will be OK books, great books and amazing ones all mixed in, I just hope the next one is one of the latter two, after the short story, Midnight in Death, that was just kind of so-so, I’m due to be amazed!!

    This review and more at openbooksociety dot com

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2012

    this was the best book

    she knocked anthoer one out the park. cant wait for the next one

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    How do you find a murderer who takes a persons heart?

    How do you find a murderer who takes a persons heart? Begin by looking at their skills of removal, of course.
    Eve is doing her best to determine who is killing the homeless and removing their vital organs, however, it's the skill with which they are removed that leaves her with the most questions. These people have been given anesthetic and are clamped as if this was a surgery, yet it's done in the filthiest of places and the 'patients' are left to die.

    Upon arriving to her first crime scene Eve is met with another cop who detests her. Never has she felt such malice from a fellow officer. Why? What's worse the officer seems out to get her and causes so much trouble that Eve's very life - her badge - is on the line.

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

    Posted April 10, 2010

    Riveting read

    Robb puts out another winner with Lt. Eve Dallas facing an enemy and conquering despite fighting against personal issues. The mix of steely cop and wounded child always make for an interesting read. I couldn't put the book down waiting to find out what would happen to the tough detective. And who can stand by here dreamy husband as he gets into the faces of those who hurt his usually fearless cop.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 18, 2009

    Very Suspenseful! A great plot!

    I enjoyed this book a lot with all of the twists and turns.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Didn't think I'd like this, but I was wrong

    This series is very good. I'm definitely a mystery fan, but don't like Sci-fi. Ms. Roberts has given me a way to enjoy it. Her writing is obviously well done, with her talent and experience in the writing field.
    This book I thought would be really gross, because of the topic of removing organs. I was pleasantly surprised that it was tight, and left most of the gore to the imagination. That saved me quite a few nightmares.
    Her characters are well thought out, and I like how they grow with each new book. I like that I haven't figured out who done it yet.
    Anyone who likes mysteries, sci-fi, and even a little non-graphic romance should give her a try.

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

    Posted February 17, 2009

    This series is great!

    I love these books. The originality of the series and it's characters is great. As I read these books, I can actually visualize the story, as well as the characters. I find amazing the technology and machinations that Miss Roberts has incorporated into her story. Just imagine that someday perhaps all these machinations might very well exist, and perform as written. I look forward to reading the next book!

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    Another winning book in the "...IN DEATH" series, this one finds Eve fighting for justice for the lower class citizens of New York. <BR/><BR/>After finding a street sleeper dead in his crib, his heart surgically removed, it doesn't take Eve long to figure out that there's some type of conspiracy involved within the medical community. When the threats become personal and Eve is forced to hand over her weapon and her badge, her life takes a turn for the worse. <BR/><BR/>This is a very emotional Eve & Roarke read, and highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2004

    Excellent

    I have read them in order from Naked in Death, I love the characters and this one has been the best to far. I have become hooked to the characters and could feel Eve's pain throughtout this book. It was a tear-breaker.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2003

    JD ROBB does it again and again!!!

    It was a complete surprise when I found out that the author JD Robb was really Nora Roberts. Ms. Roberts romance stories are the best ever printed and yet she surpasses herself when she writes as JD Robb. The suspensful and thrilling mysteries that bring the character of Lt. Eve Dallas to life keep the reader captured until the very end. Whether you have read the first in this series or the very latest, you will not be disappointed. Lt. Dallas was the product of a miserable childhood and because of this she becomes a police officer in the futuristic city of New York in the year 2050. Each book finds Lt. Dallas, Rourke (her husband), her police team and some friends winding their way through yet another heart stopping murder mystery. In each book Eve continues to fight for those who 'can no longer stand for themselves' and stand she does!! Each book is complete unto itself and yet, as I did, I believe that you will find yourself seeking to read them all. To help you know the order they have been released, I have included them: Naked In Death, Glory In Death, Immortal In Death, Rapture In Death, Ceremony In Death, Vengeance In Death, Holiday In Death, Conspiracy In Death, Loyalty In Death, Witness In Death, Judgment In Death, Betrayal In Death, Seduction In Death, Reunion in Death, Purity in Death and Immitation In Death released in August, 2003. Enjoy them all -- you'll never be sorry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2002

    Breaking Their Oaths

    In this the 8th book, Eve gets assigned as primary to a sidewalk sleeper case; but the first officer on the scene is out for blood, Eve's blood. In the course of the investigation Officer Bowers and Eve get into it time and again. Bowers' doesn't just want Eve's blood but her position and she'll do anything to get it! Will Eve solve the case and clear her name or will she be forced to leave the only job that's given her a sense of self?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 187 Customer Reviews

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