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The room was cold as a grave, hazed by the red light that blinked, on and off, on and off, against the dirty window glass. The light spilled over the floor, over the blood, over his body. Over her as she huddled in the corner with the knife, covered with gore to the hilt, still in her hand.
Pain was everywhere, radiating through her in stupefying waves that had no beginning or end, but circled, endlessly circled, into every cell. The bone in her arm he'd snapped, the cheek where he'd backhanded her so carelessly. The center of her that had torn, again, during the rape.
She was mothered by the pain, coated with shock. And washed with his blood. She was eight.
She could see her own breath as she panted. Little ghosts that told her she was alive.
She could taste the blood inside her mouth, a bright and terrible flavor, and smell just under the ripeness of fresh death-the stink of whiskey.
She was alive, and he was not. She was alive, and he was not. Again and again she chanted those words in her head, and her mind tried to make sense of them.
She was alive. He was not.
And his eyes, open and staring, fixed on her.
You can't get rid of me so easy, little girl.
Her breath came faster, in hitching gasps that wanted to gather into a scream. That wanted to burst out of her throat. But all that came was a whimper.
Made a mess of things, haven't you? Just can't do what you're told.
His voice was so pleasant, bright with that grinning humor she knew was the most dangerous of all. While he laughed, blood poured out of the holes she'd hacked into him.
What's the matter, little girl? Cat got your tongue?
I'm alive and you're not. I'm alive and you're not.
Think so? He wiggled his fingers, a kind of teasing wave that made her moan in terror as wet red drops flicked from the tips.
I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. Don't hurt me again. You hurt me. Why do you have to hurt me?
Because you're stupid. Because you don't listen! Because-and here's the real secret-I can. 1 can do what 1 want with you and nobody gives a stinking rat's ass. You're nothing, you're nobody, and don't you forget it, you little bitch. She began to cry now, thin cold tears that tracked through the mask of blood over her face. Go away. Just go away and leave me alone!
I'm not going to do that. I'm never going to do that.
To her horror, he pushed himself to his knees. Crouched there like some nightmarish toad, bloody and grinning. Watching her.
1 got a lot invested in you. Time and money. Who puts a fucking roof over your head? Who puts food in your belly? Who takes you traveling all over this great country of ours? Most kids your age haven't seen shit, but you have. But do you learn? No, you don't. Do you pull your weight? No, you don't. But you're gonna. You remember what I told you? You're gonna start earning your keep.
He got to his feet, a big man with his hands slowly balling into fists at his side. But now, Daddy has to punish you. He took a shambling step toward her. You've been a bad girl. And another. A very bad girl.
Her own screams woke her.
She was drenched in sweat, shuddering with cold. She fought for breath, wildly struggled to tear away the ropes of sheets that had wrapped around her as she'd thrashed through the nightmare.
Sometimes he'd tied her up. Remembering that, she made small, animal sounds in her throat as she tore at the sheets.
Freed, she rolled off the bed, crouched beside it in the dark like a woman prepared to flee or fight.
"Lights! On full. God, oh God:"
They flashed on, chasing even a hint of shadow out of the huge, beautiful room. Still, she scanned it, every corner, looking for ghosts as the nasty edge of the dream jabbed through her gut.
She forced back the tears. They were useless, and they were weak. Just as it was useless, it was weak, to let herself be frightened by dreams. By ghosts.
But she continued to shake as she crawled up to sit on the edge of the big bed.
An empty bed because Roarke was in Ireland and her experiment of trying to sleep in it without him, without dreams, had been a crashing failure.
Did that make her pitiful? she wondered. Stupid? Or just married?
When the fat cat, Galahad, bumped his big head against her arm, she gathered him up. She sat, Lieutenant Eve Dallas, eleven years a cop, and comforted herself with the cat as a child might a teddy bear.
Nausea coated her stomach, and she continued to rock, to pray she wouldn't be sick and add one more misery to the night.
"Time display," she ordered, and the dial of the bedside clock blinked on. One fifteen, she noted. Perfect. She'd barely made it an hour before she'd screamed herself awake.
She set the cat aside, got to her feet. As carefully as an old woman she stepped down from the platform, crossed the room, and walked into the bathroom.
She ran the water cold, as cold as she could stand, then sluiced it onto her face while Galahad wound himself like a plump ribbon between her legs.
While he purred into the silence, she lifted her head, examined her face in the mirror. It was nearly as colorless as the water that dripped from it. Her eyes were dark, looked bruised, looked exhausted. Her hair was a matted brown cap, and her facial bones seemed too sharp, too close to the surface. Her mouth was too big, her nose ordinary.
What the hell did Roarke see when he looked at her? she wondered.
She could call him now. It was after six in the morning in Ireland, and he was an early riser. Even if he were still asleep, it wouldn't matter. She could pick up the 'link and call, and his face would slide on-screen.
And he'd see the nightmare in her eyes. What good would that do either of them?
When a man owned the majority of the known universe, he had to be able to travel on business without being hounded by his wife. In this case, it was more than business that kept him away. He was attending a memorial to a dead friend, and didn't need more stress and worry heaped on him from her end.
She knew, though they'd never really discussed it, that he'd cut his overnight trips down to the bone. The nightmares rarely came so violently when he was in bed beside her.
She'd never had one like this, one where her father had spoken to her after she'd killed him. Said things to her she thought-was nearly sure-he'd said to her when he'd been alive.
Eve imagined Dr. Mira, NYPSD's star psychologist and profiler, would have a field day with the meanings and symbolism and Christ-all.
That wouldn't do any good either, she decided. So she'd just keep this little gem to herself. She'd take a shower, grab the cat, and go upstairs to her office. She and Galahad would stretch out in her sleep chair and conk out for the rest of the night.
The dream would have faded away by morning.
You remember what I told you.
She couldn't, Eve thought as she stepped into the shower and ordered all jets on full at a hundred and one degrees. She couldn't remember.
And she didn't want to.
She was steadier when she stepped out of the shower, and however pathetic it was, dragged on one of Roarke's shirts for comfort. She'd just scooped up the cat when the bedside 'link beeped.
Roarke, she thought and her spirits lifted considerably.
She rubbed her cheek against Galahad's head as she answered. "Dallas." Dispatch. Dallas, Lieutenant Eve . . .
Death didn't only come in dreams.
Eve stood over it now, in the balmy early morning air of a Tuesday n June. The New York City sidewalk was cordoned off the sensors and blocks squaring around the pavement and the cheerful tubs of petunias used to spruce up the building's entrance.
She had a particular fondness for petunias, but she didn't think they were going to do the job this time. And not for some time to come.
The woman was facedown on the sidewalk. From the angle of the body, the splatter and pools of blood, there wasn't going to be a lot of that face left. Eve looked up at the dignified gray tower with its semicircle balconies, its silver ribbon of people glides. Until they identified the body, they'd have a hard time pinning down the area from which she'd fallen. Or jumped. Or been pushed.
The one thing Eve was sure of: It had been a very long drop.
"Get her prints and run them," she ordered.
She glanced down at her aide as Peabody squatted, opened a field kit. Peabody's uniform cap sat squarely on her ruler-straight dark hair. She had steady hands, Eve thought, and a good eye. "Why don't you do time of death:'
"Me?" Peabody asked in surprise.
"Get me an ID, establish time of death. Log in description of scene and body." Now, despite the grisly circumstance, it was excitement that moved over Peabody's face. "Yes, sir. Sir, first officer on-scene has a potential witness." "A witness from up there, or down here?"
"I'll take it." But Eve stayed where she was a moment longer, watching Peabody scan the dead woman's fingerprints. Though Peabody's hands and feet were sealed, she made no contact with the body and did the scan quickly, delicately.
After one nod of approval, Eve strode away to question the uniforms flanking the perimeter.
It might have been nearly three in the morning, but there were bystanders, gapers, and they had to be encouraged along blocked out. News hawks were already in evidence, calling out questions, trying to snag a few minutes of recording to pump into the airwaves before the first morning commute.
An ambitious glide-cart operator had jumped on the opportunity and was putting in some overtime selling to the crowd. His grill pumped out smoke that spewed the scents of soy dogs and rehydrated onions into the air.
He appeared to be doing brisk business.
In the gorgeous spring of 2059, death continued to draw an audience from the living, and those who knew how to make a quick buck out of the deal.
A cab winged by, didn't bother to so much as tap the brakes. From somewhere farther downtown, a siren screamed.
Eve blocked it out, turned to the uniform. "Rumor is we've got eyes:' "Yes, sir. Officer Young's got her in the squad car keeping her away from the ghouls."
"Good." Eve scanned the faces behind the barrier. In them she saw horror, excitement, curiosity, and a kind of relief.
I'm alive, and you're not.
Shaking it off, she hunted down Young and the witness.
Given the neighborhood-for in spite of the dignity and the petunias, the apartment building was right on the border of midtown bustle and downtown sleaze-Eve was expecting a licensed companion, maybe a jonesing chemi-head or a dealer on the way to a mark. She certainly hadn't expected the tiny, snappily dressed blonde with the pretty and familiar face.
"Lieutenant Dallas?" Louise Dimatto angled her head, and the ruby clusters at her ears gleamed like glassy blood. "Do you come in, or do I come out?" Eve jerked a thumb, held the car door wider. "Come on out."
They'd me the previous winter, at the Canal Street Clinic where Louise fought against the tide to heal the homeless an the hopeless. She came from money, and her bloodline was blue, but Eve had good reason to know Louise didn't quibble about getting her hands dirty.
She'd nearly died helping Eve fight an ugly war during that bitter winter....
Posted March 24, 2009
I always loved Nora Roberts books - especially her trilogies - but when I learned she also wrote the "In Death Series", I was at first skeptical. Not sure if I would get "into" a futuristic/romance type of book. But after the first chapter of the very first one - I was hooked and can't wait for the next one as soon as I finish the latest. Usually once a year, I start at the beginning and re-read them all. Not only are the plots excellent but the main characters keep growing to the point where they feel like family.
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Posted December 9, 2008
They are two spoiled rich kids in their early twenties, whose goals in life are to have enough fun and thrills so they want wake up the next morning. They were overindulged all their lives, given every advantage but in their twisted psychopathic minds, that is not nearly enough for such special specimens as themselves. Kevin and Lucien devise a game with rules and points involving meeting women over chat lines and using date rape drugs to live out their fantasies. <P>Their first victim dies of an overdose of the drugs and Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the NYPSD catches the case. She quickly realizes there are two predators in their growing crime spree but they have gone to unusual lengths to cancel their identifies. Even with the help of her sexy and powerful husband Roarke, she is not getting any closer to putting the monsters inside a cage. It is going to take more than fancy footwork to catch these perpetrators. Eve will need all her brilliance perhaps abetted by a miracle or two to apprehend this duo. <P> This long running series remains fresh and entertaining so that a person could believe that this book is the beginning of the Eve Dallas-Roarke romantic mysteries. The plot is a highly developed and fast paced futuristic police procedural with plenty of punch. SEDUCTION IN DEATH is a fast breezy read and part of the enjoyment comes from hating the two antagonists who do not have one redeeming quality between them. <P>Harriet Klausner
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Posted April 22, 2012
Seduced by another In Death installment!
Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi
Seduction in Death is the 13th installment of Nora Robert’s futuristic In Death series written under her pen name J.D. Robb. It features police lieutenant Eve Dallas and her sexy rich husband, Roarke.
In this installment Eve is faced with a couple of murderers that are nothing more than overindulgent rich boys. They are best friends playing a game of meeting unsuspecting girls they meet in online chat rooms and then drugging them with strong date rape drugs, one of which isn’t even in normal distribution because it’s so expensive to make. The pair have devised a point system to rate their adventures and the loser must pay up, a dollar a point. It started out being a game to sleep with the most women, but when the first woman is accidentally killed the game becomes much more sinister.
I really liked this installment. The futuristic aspect is barely there so it’s a good installment for those that are wary of it.
I thought it was interesting being introduced to the killers so early in the book and being able to understand them so well (Even if they are whacked!!). Not to mention knowing whether Eve was on the right track or not in her investigation.
Roarke and Eve were great together in this one. They had some tender moments, not to mention their usual hot sex!
I loved seeing the jealous and protective side of McNab when he discovered Charles was no longer interested in Peabody. I’m glad that he and Peabody are finally going to try to be an item and quit pining for each other from afar. I love both the characters and think that only good things can follow. And Eve’s disgust at them is also always fun.
“You don’t need to diet, She-Body. You are a just-right female.”
“McNab?” Eve said.
“It’s all right, Dallas. We’re a couple.”
“A couple of what? No, don’t tell me. Don’t talk to me. Don’t talk to each other. Let there be silence across the land.”
Overall, this was another great fun read that any In Death fan will enjoy.
See this review and more at openbooksociety dot com
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Posted October 4, 2011
I loved the plot. I loved Peabody & McNab their argument and the extents they went were fabulous! I loved that it picked up moments from the last book. How elements from previous books were drawn in and utilized - like the Magda movie - to keep the feeling that we're part of their lives.
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Posted July 6, 2003
This was the first book i've read from Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb. My friend loan it to me and I was skeptical, but i decided... why not. And WOW! Just like that, I was hooked! Eve and Roarke were different from the Nora characters and I love Summerset, he adds a nice touch to the story.
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Posted October 23, 2013
Posted October 18, 2013
When I first heard of the title of this book, I was like oh great...more sex. But in truth it's
about what would happen if you take things a little too far with planning your "night".
Even though it was a mistake, what happens when you decide to do it again, this time you do it on purpose?
Eve Dallas is sent to drag you butt to prison or to hell: whichever one you choose!!
Posted July 23, 2013
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Posted March 6, 2012
It took 2 runs at this book to read it, part of why I won't give it a full 5 rating. Still, once I finally got the rhythm going, it proved an adequate, solid mystery. I did feel let down some, though, by the revelation of the murderers in an early chapter. For this book, that did not work to satisfaction.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 4, 2012
Posted May 6, 2011
Posted May 17, 2011
Posted August 29, 2010
I love all things J.D. Robb and Nora Roberts. The stories are wonderful and fresh. I have recently started listening to the audio books via my local library on MP3. I enjoy Susan Eriksen's reading of the series as she does a great job differentiating the voices. I especially enjoy her voicing of Dallas and Roarke. I will make the note that with book 13 Eriksen changes her voicing of Peabody and MacNab, which I find odd and liked the previous version better. Check these audio books out, especially if you can get them from your local library!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
If you read this series, 13 was great Peabody has quite the personality with Eve. I laughed so much with this one it was great. It seems with each new case Lt Dallas is making new friends which sends her into a quandry, love it, so does Roarke. I really am enjoying this series. I plan on reading all 30 books. If you like detective stories I recommend this series highly. I also recomment the Robert Crais series with Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. These two guys are great together or alone.
If you have the nook like I do you can lend to a friend and only have to buy half the books and your friend can buy the other half, great way to save.
Some of my friends say the nook is great to take on a plane when traveling, easy carry on.
JD Robb tells the storey of Lt Eve Dallas with the passion I wish all police detective had. The way she is with all her victims is the way it should be with any case.
Great reading J D Robb
Posted April 11, 2010
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 9, 2009
I got this book first..I love the Character of the tough female cop, Dallas..Added to that is a bit of romance with Rourke, a guy we all want to fall in love with...Rich, handsome and sexy..Alot of suspense...When I start to read, I cant put it down...I didnt realize at first that it was a series but after reading this book, I ordered the first 10 to the series and I am already on number six...I cant wait to read the others.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 23, 2006
I started this series with a much later book, Portrait in Death, and I was hooked! I had to go back to the beginning and find out who Summerset was, how Peabody and the gang got started. With few exceptions, I've loved every Nora Roberts book that I have picked up. This one actually gets a 4.5, the scale didn't allow for it though... My only disappointments were that Nora gave away the villains early in the book and they were very clichique as an archetype.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.