When the newly promoted captain of the NYPSD and his wife return a day early from their vacation, they were looking forward to spending time with their bright and vivacious sixteen-year-old daughter who had stayed behind.
Not even their worst nightmares could have prepared them for the crime scene that awaited them instead. Brutally murdered in her bedroom, Deena?s body showed signs of trauma that horrified even the toughest of cops; including our own Lieutenant Eve Dallas, who was specifically requested by the captain to investigate.
When the evidence starts to pile up, Dallas and her team think they are about to arrest their perpetrator; little do they know yet that someone has gone to great lengths to tease and taunt them by using a variety of identities. Overconfidence can lead to careless mistakes. But for Dallas, one mistake might be all she needs to bring justice.
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J.D. Robb is the pseudonym for a number one New York Times bestselling author of more than 190 novels, including the futuristic suspense In Death series. There are more than 400 million copies of her books in print.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
She’d died and gone to heaven. or better, because who knew if there was really good sex and lazy holiday mornings in heaven. She was alive and kicking.
Well, alive anyway. A little sleepy, a whole lot satisfied, and happy the end of the Urban Wars nearly forty years before had resulted in the international Peace Day holiday.
Maybe the Sunday in June had been selected arbitrarily, and certainly symbolically—and maybe remnants of that ugly period still littered the global landscape even in 2060—but she supposed people were entitled to their parades, cookouts, windy speeches, and long, drunk weekends.
Personally, she was happy to have two days off in a row for any reason. Especially when a Sunday kicked off like this one.
Eve Dallas, murder cop and ass-kicker, sprawled naked across her husband, who’d just given her a nice glimpse of heaven. She figured she’d given him a good look at it, too, as he lay under her, one hand lazily stroking her butt and his heart pounding like a turbo hammer.
She felt the thump on the bed that was their pudgy cat, Galahad, joining them now that the show was over.
She thought: Our happy little family on a do-nothing Sunday morning. And wasn’t that an amazing thing? She had a happy little family—a home, an absurdly gorgeous and fascinating man who loved her, and—it couldn’t be overstated—really good sex.
Not to mention the day off.
She purred, nearly as enthusiastically as the cat, and nuzzled into the curve of Roarke’s neck.
“Good,” she said.
“At the very least.” His arms came around her, such good arms, in an easy embrace. “And what would you like to do next?”
She smiled, loving the moment, the lilt of Ireland in his voice, the brush of the cat’s fur against her arm as he butted it with his head in a bid for attention.
Or most likely breakfast.
“Pretty much nothing.”
“Nothing can be arranged.”
She felt Roarke shift, and heard the cat’s purring increase as the hands that had recently pleasured her gave him a scratch.
She propped herself up to look at his face. His eyes opened.
God, they just killed her, that bold, brilliant blue, those thick, dark lashes, the smile in them that was hers. Just hers.
Leaning down, she took his magic mouth with hers in a deep, dreamy kiss.
“Well now, that’s far from nothing.”
“I love you.” She kissed his cheeks, a little rough from the night’s growth of beard. “Maybe because you’re so pretty.”
He was, she thought as the cat interrupted by wiggling his bulk under her arm and bellying between them. The carved lips, the sorcerer’s eyes, and sharp, defined bones all framed in the black silk of his hair. When you added the firm, lanky body, it made a damn perfect package.
He managed to get around the cat to draw her down for another kiss, then hissed.
“Why the hell doesn’t he go down and pester Summerset for breakfast?” Roarke nudged away the cat, who kneaded paws and claws, painfully, over his chest.
“I’ll get it. I want coffee anyway.”
Eve rolled out of bed, walked—long, lean, naked—to the bedroom AutoChef.
“You cost me another shag,” Roarke muttered.
Galahad’s bicolored eyes glittered, perhaps in amusement, before he scrambled off the bed.
Eve programmed the kibble, and since it was a holiday, a side of tuna. When the cat pounced on it like the starving, she programmed two mugs of coffee, strong and black.
“I thought about going down for a workout, but sort of took care of that already.” She took the first life-giving sip as she crossed back to the platform and the lake-sized bed. “I’m going to grab a shower.”
“I’ll do the same, then I can grab you.” He smiled as she handed him his coffee. “A second workout, we’ll say. Very healthy. Maybe a full Irish to follow.”
“You’re a full Irish.”
“I was thinking breakfast, but you can have both.”
Didn’t she look happy, he thought, and rested—and altogether delicious. That shaggy cap of deer-hide hair mussed about her face, those big dark eyes full of fun. The little dent in her chin he adored deepened just a bit when she smiled.
There was something about the moment, he thought, moments like this when they were so much in tune, that struck him as miraculous.
The cop and the criminal—former—he qualified, as bloody normal as Peace Day potato salad.
He studied her over the rim of his cup, through the whiff of fragrant steam. “I’m thinking you should wear that outfit more often. It’s a favorite of mine.”
She angled her head, drank more coffee. “I’m thinking I want a really long shower.”
“Isn’t that handy? I think I want the same.”
She took a last sip. “Then we’d better get started.”
Later, too lazy to dress, she tossed on a robe while Roarke programmed more coffee and full Irish breakfasts for two. It was all so . . . homey, she thought. The morning sun streamed in the windows of the bedroom bigger than the apartment she’d lived in two years before. Two years married next month, she thought. He’d walked into her life, and everything had changed. He’d found her; she’d found him—and all those dark places inside both of them had gotten a little smaller, a little brighter.
“What do you want to do next?” she asked him.
He glanced over as he loaded plates and coffee onto a tray to carry it to the sitting area. “I thought the agenda was nothing.”
“It can be nothing, or it can be something. I picked yesterday, and that was lots of nothing. There’s probably something in the marriage rules about you getting to pick today.”
“Ah yes, the rules.” He set the tray down. “Always a cop.”
Galahad padded over to eye the plates as if he hadn’t eaten in days.
Roarke pointed a warning finger at him, so the cat turned his head in disgust and began to wash.
“My pick then, is it?” He cut into his eggs, considering. “Well, let’s think. It’s a lovely day in June.”
His brow lifted. “You’ve a problem with June, or lovely days?”
“No. Shit. June. Charles and Louise.” Scowling, she chewed bacon. “Wedding. Here.”
“Yes, next Saturday evening, and as far as I know that’s all under control.”
“Peabody said because I’m standing up for Louise—the matron of honor or whatever—I’m supposed to contact Louise every day this week to make sure she doesn’t need me to do something.” Eve’s scowl darkened as she thought of Peabody, her partner. “That can’t be right, can it? Every day? I mean, Jesus. Plus, what the hell could she need me to do?”
She stopped eating, narrowed her eyes at him. “Errands? What do you mean by errands?”
“Well now, I’m at a disadvantage having never been a bride, but best guess? Confirm details with the florist or caterer, for instance. Go shopping with her for wedding shoes or honeymoon clothes or—”
“Why would you do that?” Her voice was as thoroughly aggrieved as her face. “Why would you say these things to me, after I rocked your world twice in one morning? It’s just mean.”
“And likely true under other circumstances. But knowing Louise, she has it all well in hand. And knowing you, if Louise wanted someone to shop for shoes, she’d have asked someone else to stand up for her at her wedding.”
“I gave the shower.” At his barely smothered laugh, she drilled a finger into his arm. “It was here, and I was here, so that’s like giving it. And I’m getting a dress and all that.”
He smiled, amused by her puzzlement—and mild fear—when it came to social rites. “What does it look like, this dress?”
She stabbed into her eggs. “I don’t have to know what it looks like, exactly. It’s some sort of yellow—she picked out the color, and she and Leonardo put their heads together on it. The doctor and the designer. Mavis says it’s mag squared.”
She considered her friend Mavis Freestone’s particular style. “Which is kind of scary now that I think about it. Why am I thinking about it?”
“I have no idea. I can say that while Mavis’s taste in fashion is uniquely . . . unique, as your closest friend she understands perfectly what you like. And Leonardo knows exactly what suits you. You looked exquisite on our wedding day.”
“I had a black eye under the paint.”
“Exquisite, and absolutely you. As for etiquette by Peabody, I’d say contacting Louise wouldn’t hurt, just letting her know you’re willing to help out should she need it.”
“What if she does need it? She should’ve asked Peabody to do this instead of having her second in command, or in line. Whatever the thing is.”
“I think it’s called bridal attendant.”
“Whatever.” With an impatient hand, Eve waved the term away.
“They’re tight, and Peabody really gets into this . . . female thing.”
The insanity of it, as far as Eve was concerned. The fu...
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