Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Indulgence in Death by Nora Roberts

Even though Eve and Roarke are on vacation in Ireland, Eve, it seems, can't help but trip over dead bodies. This one is near the park that she and Roarke's family have set up as a memorial for his mother. Even can't work the case, as she is far out of her jurisdiction, but she helps the Police Constable who has come in response to finding the body work the case, inform the girl's mother, and finally to bring the perpetrator in. By the time she's done, Ireland will hardly forget her, and neither will one of Roarke's young Nephews, Sean, has taken it into his head that he wants to be a policeman like Eve.

Back in New York, Eve is thrown right into a new murder case, of a chauffeur who was shot from behind by his fare... with a crossbow. But the man who supposedly rented the car didn't do it, and has an alibi. The Chauffeur was told that they would be picking up the man's wife, but the man who supposedly called for the car has been separated for months now, and he was with another woman in his home all evening.

The next day, Eve is called to another murder, that of a very High Class Licensed Companion who is killed in the Haunted House at Coney Island. Whoever killed her is very, very good with electronics, because they have caused breaks in the monitoring tapes that might have gotten a glimpse of the killer's face. All they can find is a single shot of part of the man's face and body, and his shoe.

His shoe, at least, holds promise. It's a very expensive shoe that there cannot be many sold in the city. They also find that the man the LC was supposed to meet was not the man she actually met. Like in the murder of the chauffeur, someone used the man's corporate card to pay her fee and stole his identity. But who?

Eve and Peabody look first at the two men's subordinates, but aside from one personal assistant who is crooked, none of the men's subordinates could be to blame. Each worked for different companies, and each company has very good security. Most of them have passwords on uses of the corporate cards that change every few days, and the men in charge of corporate security are honest and aboveboard.

Eve can see that if the people below those men whose names are attached to the crimes are blameless, then perhaps it is someone above their level as executives. But why would any rich executive decide to kill people and place the blame on someone else in their own company?

As Eve works the crimes and looks at the companies responsible, she comes to realize that there are two murderers, not one, and one belongs to each company. As more people die, each having some sort of tie to one of the men who own each company, she comes to realize that in some way, all the murders are a sick, twisted game being played between two very powerful men. Each murders someone who has a close personal connection to his family, in some outré and bizarre way to take revenge on someone they feel has wronged them. But each one is merely part of the game, and as Eve comes closer and closer to nailing the killer, she soon realizes that the pinnacle of their game is to kill her- someone who has been bought and paid for with public money- her salary. But when the murderers team up to take her out, can Eve outwit them both and bring them to justice, ripping open the responsible corporate face mask they wear to reveal the killers within? And can Roarke save her when the dagger is pointing at her own throat?

Wow. This is another book that I literally couldn't put down. I tried to put it aside and get some sleep, but ended up reading through the night to finish it. It does start a bit slow, with Eve and Roarke on the ground in Ireland, meeting his family and being shown the memorial that Eve and his family constructed, but despite being a bit slow, it shows Eve growing as a person yet again. From being a fine cop, she is shown being able to pass on her knowledge of procedures to someone she barely knows just as well as she did her partner, Peabody.

Eve seems to have had a horror of being in command, but thanks to the meetings she's had with her team at her and Roarke's estate, she seems to run her team of homicide detectives in much the same way, giving them food and brainstorming with them to solve crimes. Whether it's her, Peabody, McNabb and the rest, or the whole department, she's found a way to make command work for her, and it was very nice to see.

I also liked that this case really ramped up the murder aspect, with killers who were practically having a bromance with each othe. It seemed at the end that there was some sort of sexual component to their link or attraction in sort of a sick, twisted way it was like the only way they could have a relationship that was stronger than friendship- or was it? It was hard to tell, the way one killer tried to sell the other down the river until Eve pulled off the mask he was using.

I enjoyed this book very much. Eve and Roarke grow as people, and as a couple, and the murders, while not quite as shocking and horrific in earlier books, showed off just how sick and twisted the killers were, that they treated the whole thing as a game. A twisted game played solely for one-upsmanship. Highly recommended.

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