The In Death Collection 06-10

BOOK: The In Death Collection 06-10
4.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
The In Death Collection 06-10
In Death [0]
J D Robb
Penguin Group USA, Inc. (2010)

"When it comes to finding a killer, the smart money is always on Eve Dallas" (Booklist). Join the New York homicide detective as she takes on five tough cases in these five superb thrillers in the gritty futuristic series filled with the #1 New York Times bestselling author's trademark wit, passion, and pull-no-punches suspense.


Vengeance in Death

Holiday in Death

Conspiracy in Death

Loyalty in Death

Witness in Death

Nora Roberts

Hot Ice

Sacred Sins

Brazen Virtue

Sweet Revenge

Public Secrets

Genuine Lies

Carnal Innocence

Divine Evil

Honest Illusions

Private Scandals

Hidden Riches

True Betrayals

Montana Sky



The Reef

River’s End

Carolina Moon

The Villa

Midnight Bayou

Three Fates


Northern Lights

Blue Smoke

Angels Fall

High Noon


Black Hills

The Search

Chasing Fire



Born in Fire

Born in Ice

Born in Shame


Daring to Dream

Holding the Dream

Finding the Dream


Sea Swept

Rising Tides

Inner Harbor

Chesapeake Blue


Jewels of the Sun

Tears of the Moon

Heart of the Sea


Dance Upon the Air

Heaven and Earth

Face the Fire


Key of Light

Key of Knowledge

Key of Valor


Blue Dahlia

Black Rose

Red Lily


Morrigan’s Cross

Dance of the Gods

Valley of Silence


Blood Brothers

The Hollow

The Pagan Stone


Vision in White

Bed of Roses

Savor the Moment

Happy Ever After

Nora Roberts & J. D. Robb

Remember When

J. D. Robb

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

Portrait in Death

Imitation in Death

Divided in Death

Visions in Death

Survivor in Death

Origin in Death

Memory in Death

Born in Death

Innocent in Death

Creation in Death

Strangers in Death

Salvation in Death

Promises in Death

Kindred in Death

Fantasy in Death

Indulgence in Death

Treachery in Death


From the Heart

A Little Magic

A Little Fate

Moon Shadows

(with Jill Gregory, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman)


(with Jill Gregory, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Marianne Willman)

Once Upon a Castle

Once Upon a Star

Once Upon a Dream

Once Upon a Rose

Once Upon a Kiss

Once Upon a Midnight

Silent Night

(with Susan Plunkett, Dee Holmes, and Claire Cross)

Out of This World

(with Laurell K. Hamilton, Susan Krinard, and Maggie Shayne)

Bump in the Night

(with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

Dead of Night

(with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

Three in Death

Suite 606

(with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

In Death

The Lost

(with Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, and Ruth Ryan Langan)

The Other Side

(with Mary Blaney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

Also available…

The Official Nora Roberts Companion

(edited by Denise Little and Laura Hayden)

Vengeance in Death
J. D. Robb

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.


Vengeance in Death


Book / published by arrangement with the author


All rights reserved.

Copyright ©
Nora Roberts

This book may not be reproduced in whole or part, by mimeograph or any other means, without permission. Making or distributing electronic copies of this book constitutes copyright infringement and could subject the infringer to criminal and civil liability.

For information address:

The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Putnam Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.


The Penguin Putnam Inc. World Wide Web site address is


ISBN: 978-1-1012-0364-4



Books first published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc.,

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

and the “
” design are trademarks belonging to Penguin Putnam Inc.


Electronic edition: October, 2003


Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord.

—Romans 12:19

Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand.


chapter one

The business of murder took time, patience, skill, and a tolerance for the monotonous. Lieutenant Eve Dallas had them all.

She knew the act of murder required none of these. All too often a life was taken on impulse, in rage, for amusement, or simply out of stupidity. It was the last of these, in Eve’s mind, that had led one John Henry Bonning to throw one Charles Michael Renekee out a twelfth-story window on Avenue D.

She had Bonning in Interview and calculated that it would take another twenty minutes tops to shake a confession out of him, another fifteen to book him and file her report. She might just make it home on time.

“Come on, Boner.” It was her veteran cop talking to veteran bad guy. Level ground, her turf. “Do yourself a favor. A confession, and you can go for self-defense and diminished capacity. We can tie this up by dinnertime. I hear they’re serving pasta surprise in lockup tonight.”

“Never touched him.” Bonning folded his oversized lips, tapped his long, fat fingers. “Fucker jumped.”

With a sigh, Eve sat down at the little metal table in Interview A. She didn’t want Bonning to lawyer himself and gum up the works. All she had to do was keep him
from saying those words, steer him in the direction she was already heading, and she had a wrap.

Second-rate chemi-dealers like Bonning were invariably slow-witted, but sooner or later he’d whine for a representative. It was an old shuffle-and-dodge, as timeless as murder itself. As the year 2058 stumbled to an end, the business of murder remained basically unchanged.

“He jumped—a quick gainer out the window. Now why’d he do that, Boner?”

Bonning furrowed his ape-sized forehead into deep thought. “Because he was a crazy bastard?”

“That’s a good guess, Boner, but it’s not going to qualify you for round two of our stump-the-cops sweepstakes.”

It took him about thirty pondering seconds, then his lips stretched out into a grin. “Funny. Pretty funny, Dallas.”

“Yeah, I’m thinking of moonlighting as a stand-up. But, going back to my day job, the two of you were cooking up some Erotica in your porta-lab on Avenue D, and Renekee—being a crazy bastard—just got some hair up his ass and jumped out a window—right through the glass—and dived twelve stories, bounced off the roof of a Rapid Cab, scared the living shit out of a couple of tourists from Topeka in the backseat, then rolled off to leak his brains onto the street.”

“Sure did bounce,” Bonning said with what passed for a wondering smile. “Who’da thought?”

She didn’t intend to go for murder one, and figured if she went for murder two the court-appointed rep would bargain Bonning down to manslaughter. Chemi-dealers greasing chemi-dealers didn’t make Justice flip up her blindfold and grin in anticipation. He’d do more time for the illegals paraphernalia than he would for the homicide. And even combining the two, it was doubtful he’d do more than a three-year stretch in lockup.

She folded her arms on the table, leaned forward. “Boner, do I look stupid?”

Taking the question at face value, Bonning narrowed his eyes to take a careful study. She had big brown eyes, but they weren’t soft. She had a pretty, wide mouth, but it didn’t smile. “Look like a cop,” he decided.

“Good answer. Don’t try to hose me here, Boner. You and your business partner had a falling out, you got pissed off, and you terminated your professional and personal relationship by heaving his dumb ass out the window.” She held up a hand before Bonning could deny again. “This is the way I see it. You got into, maybe dissing each other over the profits, the methods, a woman. You both got hot. So maybe he comes at you. You’ve got to defend yourself, right?”

“Man’s got a right,” Bonning agreed, nodding rapidly as the story sang to him. “But we didn’t get into nothing. He just tried to fly.”

“Where’d you get the bloody lip, the black eye? How come your knuckles are ripped up?”

Bonning stretched his lips into a toothy grin. “Bar fight.”

“When? Where?”

“Who remembers?”

“You’d better. And you know you’d better, Boner, after we run the tests on the blood we scraped from your knuckles, and we find his blood mixed with yours. We get his DNA off your fat fingers, I’m going for premeditated—maximum lockup, life, no parole.”

His eyes blinked rapidly, as if his brain was processing new and baffling data. “Come on, Dallas, that’s just bullshit. You ain’t gonna convince nobody I walked in there thinking to kill old Chuckaroo. We were buds.”

Her eyes steady on his, Eve pulled out her communicator. “Last chance to help yourself. I call my aide, have her
get the test results, I’m booking you on murder one.”

“Wasn’t no murder.” He wanted to believe she was bluffing. You couldn’t read those eyes, he thought, wetting his lips. Couldn’t read those cop’s eyes. “It was an accident,” he claimed, inspired. Eve only shook her head. “Yeah, we were busting a little and he . . . tripped and went headlong out the window.”

“Now you’re insulting me. A grown man doesn’t trip out a window that’s three feet off the floor.” Eve flicked on her communicator. “Officer Peabody.”

Within seconds Peabody’s round and sober faced filled the communicator screen. “Yes, sir.”

“I need the blood test results on Bonning. Have them sent directly to Interview A—and alert the PA that I have a murder in the first.”

“Now hold on, back up, don’t be going there.” Bonning ran the back of his hand over his mouth. He struggled a moment, telling himself she’d never get him on the big one. But Dallas had a rep for pinning fatter moths than he to the wall.

“You had your chance, Boner. Peabody—”

“He came at me, like you said. He came at me. He went crazy. I’ll tell you how it went down, straight shit. I want to make a statement.”

“Peabody, delay those orders. Inform the PA that Mr. Bonning is making a statement of straight shit.”

Peabody’s lips never twitched. “Yes, sir.”

Eve slipped the communicator back in her pocket, then folded her hands on the edge of the table and smiled pleasantly. “Okay, Boner, tell me how it went down.”


Fifty minutes later, Eve strolled into her tiny office in New York’s Cop Central. She did look like a cop—not just the weapon harness slung over her shoulder, the worn boots and faded jeans. Cop was in her eyes—eyes that missed
little. They were a dark whiskey color, and rarely flinched. Her face was angular, sharp at the cheekbones, and set off by a surprisingly generous mouth and a shallow dent in the chin.

She walked in a long-limbed, loose-gaited style—she was in no hurry. Pleased with herself, she raked her fingers through her short, casually cropped brown hair as she sat behind her desk.

She would file her report, zing off copies to all necessary parties, then log out for the day. Outside the streaked and narrow window behind her, the commuter air traffic was already in a snarl. The blat of airbus horns and the endless snicking of traffic copter blades didn’t bother her. It was, after all, one of the theme songs of New York.

“Engage,” she ordered, then hissed when her computer remained stubbornly blank. “Damn it, don’t start this. Engage. Turn on, you bastard.”

“You’ve got to feed it your personal pass number,” Peabody said as she stepped inside.

“I thought these were back on voice ID.”

“Were. Snaffued. Supposed to be back up to speed by the end of the week.”

“Pain in the butt,” Eve complained. “How many numbers are we supposed to remember? Two, five, zero, nine.” She blew out a breath as her unit coughed to life. “They’d better come up with the new system they promised the department.” She slipped a disc into the unit. “Save to Bonning, John Henry, case number 4572077-H. Copy report to Whitney, Commander.”

“Nice, quick work on Bonning, Dallas.”

“The man’s got a brain the size of a pistachio. Tossed his partner out the window because they got into a fight over who owed who a stinking twenty credits. And he’s trying to tell me he was defending himself, in fear for his life. The guy he tossed was a hundred pounds lighter and
six inches shorter. Asshole,” she said with a resigned sigh. “You’d have thought Boner would have cooked up the guy had a knife or swung a bat at him.”

She sat back, circled her neck, surprised and pleased that there was barely any tension to be willed away. “They should all be this easy.”

She listened with half an ear to the hum and rumble of the early air traffic outside her window. One of the commuter trams was blasting out its spiel on economical rates and convenience.

“Weekly, monthly, yearly terms available! Sign on to EZ TRAM, your friendly and reliable air transport service. Begin and end your work day in style.”

If you like the packed-in-like-sweaty-sardines style,
Eve thought. With the chilly November rain that had been falling all day, she imagined both air and street snarls would be hideous. The perfect end to the day.

“That wraps it,” she said and grabbed her battered leather jacket. “I’m clocking out—on time for a change. Any hot plans for the weekend, Peabody?”

“My usual, flicking off men like flies, breaking hearts, crushing souls.”

Eve shot a quick grin at her aide’s sober face. The sturdy Peabody, she thought—a cop from the crown of her dark bowl-cut hair to her shiny regulation shoes. “You’re such a wild woman, Peabody. I don’t know how you keep up the pace.”

“Yeah, that’s me, queen of the party girls.” With a dry smile, Peabody reached for the door just as Eve’s tele-link beeped. Both of them scowled at the unit. “Thirty seconds and we’d have been on the skywalk down.”

“Probably just Roarke calling to remind me we’ve got this dinner party deal tonight.” Eve flicked the unit on. “Homicide, Dallas.”

The screen swam with colors, dark, ugly, clashing colors.
Music, low octave, slow paced, crept out of the speaker. Automatically, Eve tapped the command for trace, watched the Unable to Comply message scroll across the bottom of the screen.

Peabody whipped out her porta-link, stepping aside to contact Central Control as the caller spoke.

“You’re supposed to be the best the city has to offer, Lieutenant Dallas. Just how good are you?”

“Unidentified contact and/or jammed transmissions to police officers are illegal. I’m obliged to caution you that this transmission is being traced through CompuGuard, and it’s being recorded.”

“I’m aware of that. Since I’ve just committed what worldly society would consider first-degree murder, I’m not overly concerned about minor nuisances like electronic violations. I’ve been blessed by the Lord.”

“Oh yeah?” Terrific, she thought, just what she needed.

“I have been called on to do His work, and have washed myself in the blood of His enemy.”

“Does He have a lot of them? I mean, you’d think He’d just, what, smite them down Himself instead of enlisting you to do the dirty work.”

There was a pause, a long one, in which only the dirge played through. “I have to expect you to be flippant.” The voice was harder now, and edgier. Temper barely suppressed. “As one of the godless, how could you understand divine retribution? I’ll put this on your level. A riddle. Do you enjoy riddles, Lieutenant Dallas?”

“No.” She slid her gaze toward Peabody, got a quick, frustrated head shake. “But I bet you do.”

“They relax the mind and soothe the spirit. The name of this little riddle is Revenge. You’ll find the first son of the old sod in the lap of luxury, atop his silver tower where the river runs dark below and water falls from a great height. He begged for his life, and then for his death. Never
repenting his great sin, he is already damned.”

“Why did you kill him?”

“Because this is the task I was born for,”

“God told you that you were born to kill?” Eve pushed for trace again, fought with frustration. “How’d He let you know? Did He call you up on your ’link, send a fax? Maybe He met you in a bar?”

“You won’t doubt me.” The sound of breathing grew louder, strained, shaky. “You think because you’re a woman in a position of authority that I’m less? You won’t doubt me for much longer. I contacted you, Lieutenant. Remember this is in my charge. Woman may guide and comfort man, but man was created to protect, defend, to avenge.”

“God tell you that too? I guess that proves He’s a man after all. Mostly ego.”

“You’ll tremble before Him, before me.”

“Yeah, right.” Hoping his video was clear, Eve examined her nails. “I’m already shaking.”

“My work is holy. It is terrible and divine. From Proverbs, Lieutenant, twenty-eight seventeen: ‘If a man is burdened with the blood of another, let him be a fugitive until death; let no one help him.’ This one’s days as a fugitive are done—and no one helped him.”

“If you killed him, what does that make you?”

“The wrath of God. You have twenty-four hours to prove you’re worthy. Don’t disappoint me.”

“I won’t disappoint you, asshole,” Eve muttered as the transmission ended. “Anything, Peabody?”

“Nothing. He jammed the tracers good and proper. They can’t give us so much as on or off planet.”

“He’s on planet,” she muttered and sat. “He wants to be close enough to watch.”

“Could be a crank.”

BOOK: The In Death Collection 06-10
4.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

29 - The Oath by Michael Jecks
Distant Star by Roberto Bolano
A Summer In Europe by Marilyn Brant
Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith
White Hot by Sandra Brown
Touched by Lilly Wilde
Host by Faith Hunter