Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb
Sorry for the delay. Rafflecopter gave me the finger this morning and told me to come back later. Our winner of the ARC copy is Joanne B.
Congratulations and thank you to everyone who entered!
ORDER A COPY: Calculated in Death
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publishing Date: February 26, 2013
Paperback: 416 pages
Rating: 4 stars
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better.
A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn’t seem the type to be on anyone’s hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta’s murder was the work of a killer who’s trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.
But when someone steals the files out of Marta’s office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke’s world of big business to figure out who’s cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer’s violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait.
As we near the end of 2060, the city is gearing up for the holidays and all the talk is about the upcoming premiere of The Icove Agenda. But not everyone is focused on the holidays, some are focused on murder.
Lt. Eve Dallas and her partner, Det. Peabody are called to the scene of what is supposed to look like a mugging gone wrong. Marta Dickenson is found at the bottom of a stairway with a broken neck, but her body was dragged off into a corner and her injuries aren’t consistent with a fall. What is Marta, an unassuming wife and mother, doing strolling around a neighborhood, no where near her home or her office? And why would a mugger go through the trouble to stealing her coat, but leaving her really expensive boots? This set up is so sloppy, it wouldn’t fool a rookie. Marta wasn’t mugged—Marta was the victim of cold-blooded murder.
It doesn’t take long for Dallas to track Marta back to her job as a financial auditor or to learn that Marta has just been reassigned several new files that morning. What could Marta have learned so quickly that would lead to murder? Mug her, steal her briefcase and files in case she was taking work home, but murdering her is overkill and brings up too many questions.
When Dallas and Peabody start to ask too many questions and makes someone very nervous, but what kind of idiot would make an attempt on not just one cop, but two? Killing a cop wouldn’t stop an investigation. It would just focus all attention on their current case.
Dallas has used her skills and her ability to get into the mind of a killer to solve many cases over her decade as a cop, but how do you outthink a murderer who isn’t acting logically?
I’m a huge fan of Eve Dallas and the whole gang. It is always enjoyable to me to pick up one of these stories both for the thriller aspect as well as the personal aspect of the story. Although this was not the most exciting story on either front, it was still an enjoyable read.
What I like about the series is that something that happens in one story might be slightly discussed in one book but it will become very important several stories later. For example, when Mira tells Dallas a story about her childhood in one book, and Dallas doesn’t call her on the discrepancy in her story until the next book, or if a gift Dallas gets from Roarke, it is just a gift in one story, but becomes an important and necessary tool in the next. I guess when you know you will continue to write stories, you have the time to subtly set up scenarios for the future.
Although this was not the most exciting case they have ever worked on, it was still enjoyable to “work” with Dallas and the gang again.
Received an ARC from the publisher. Thank you.
Considering, enjoying, Roarke rocked back on his heels as he studied the image. “We have samplings, the fingerprint, and the exterior views here. It’s certainly doable.”
“How long?” Eve demanded.
“Oh, with some luck and another two skilled men, maybe a week. With more luck, three days.”
“Crap. Does it look like I have a week?” She paced away, then back. “I’ve got the resources of the entire EDD, I’ve got the ridiculous resources of the biggest, slickest, most conniving e-geek on or off planet—“
“And you need a freaking week to outgeek some skinny hacker who likes to call himself the Mole?”
Roarke only smiled at her. “That’s about right, yes.”
“Dallas, the freaking Enterprise,” McNab reminded her. “You have to understand the complexities, the filter, the—“
“No, I don’t.” She pointed to McNab. “You do.” She pointed again, more vehemently when he started to speak again.
“I got it!”
Eve sung around toward Peabody. “What?”
Peabody waved her PPC triumphantly. “It’s the Kirk thing, The Enterprise thing. It reminded me I’d hit this name that made me snicker when I was running the van—the Cargo. Here is it is. Tony Stark.”
“Oh, baby.” McNab blew her a double-handed kiss. “Good call.”
“It’s gotta be, right?” Peabody said to McNab. “It’s his style.”
“Who the hell is Tony Stark?” Eve demanded.
“Iron Man,” Roarke told her. “Superhero, genius, innovative engineer, and billionaire playboy.”
“Iron man? You’re talking about a comic book guy?”
“Graphic novel,” Roarke and McNab said together.
“What do you bet it’s him, Dallas?” Peabody asked. “Heroes from classic novels and vids. It fits. They used his van.”
“Possibly. Okay, from the looks of you three, probably. We’ll push on it once we have him, but first we have to get him. Now let me think.”
So she paced, and she plotted. There was no way in hell she’d get this close and surrender to some ferret-faced electronic asshole who used aliases based on fictional characters from science fiction and comic books.
A geek, she considered. And one who like to see himself as the hero, the smart one. Billionaire playboy? The one who got the women.
“Your high-tech can’t beat his high-tech? We go low. We go goddamn classic. Peabody, ditch the jacket.”
When Peabody took it off, Eve fisted her hands on her hips, took a hard study. “Unbutton the shirt.”
Peabody’s eyes popped, shocked brown balloons. “What!”
“Two—no three buttons down. Jesus, Peabody,” Eve strode over to do it herself. “We’ve all seen tits before.” She arched her eyebrows at the fancy lace number Peabody wore under the shirt, which nearly matched the color that currently heated her cheeks. “We could get blown up or something, and this is what you want people to see an NYPSD detective wearing under her clothes?”
“I wasn’t planning on getting blown up today. Or undressed by my partner.” She lifted a hand to draw the shirt back together. Eve slapped it away.
“Shove them up,” Eve ordered.
“Shove them up there.”
“I’ll do it.”
“Stand down, McNab,” Eve said mildly. “You know what I mean. Pump them up some.”
When Eve started to do it for her, Peabody jumped back. “I can do it myself, thanks.” Muttering, she turned her back. Her shoulders wiggled. And flushing furiously, she turned around again.
Ignoring McNab’s comment, Eve circled her partner. “It’s going to work.”
“Classic,” Roarke said.
“What’s going to work? What’s classic? I want my jacket.”
“Forget it. You’re going to walk right up to the Mole’s front door, and he’s going to answer.”
“I am? He is?”
“Damsel in distress, right?” Eve said to Roarke.
“A very alluring damsel. Clever, Lieutenant.”
“Oh, okay. I get it. I look like I’m in trouble—all alone, unarmed. Harmless. Girl. He opens up to find out what’s what. You should do it,” Peabody told Eve.
“You’re the one with the tits. Men are stupid for tits.”
“Harsh,” Roarke observed. “But largely true.”
“Plus, you’re the type, obviously, who appeals to skinny geeks.”
“Oh yeah,” McNab confirmed. “Completely.”