They died with smiles on their faces. Three apparent suicides: a brilliant engineer, an infamous lawyer, and a controversial politicians. Three strangers with nothing in common — and no obvious reasons for killing themselves. Police lieutenant Eve Dallas found the deaths suspicious. And her instincts paid off when autopsies revealed small burns on the brains of the victims. Was it a genetic abnormality or a high-tech method of murder?
4th in the IN DEATH series
Author: J. D. Robb
ISBN: 0-425-15518-8 (Berkley)
Finished: 23 August 2007
Who: Lt. Eve Dallas and Roarke
When: August – September 2058
In the fourth installment of the “In Death” series, the only thing that connects the three — and later, fourth — victims is that they all had virtual reality devices, something that is actually quite common. However, all of them used the devices just before killing themselves. Eve is convinced that subliminal suicidal suggestions were programed into the devices.
The argument of nature vs. nurture comes into play, which worries Eve. With so much of her early life a mystery, Eve is afraid what nature has bestowed on her, what she has inherited from her parents — her father in particular. Dr. Mira, who doesn’t agree with the pre-destined view, tries to convince Eve that we are also what we make of ourselves. Eve and Roarke are who they are because they have made the choice to be more than what they were born to.
Meanwhile, Mavis has been collaborating with a music engineer with the hopes of getting her big break. Towards that end, Mavis asks Eve to ask Roake to throw a party. Jess Barrow is up to more than just looking for new talent. His actions result in Roarke hurting Eve. Of course Roarke retaliates. It’s only later, thanks to Mavis, that he learns just how deceptive Jess was and that Roarke didn’t hurt him nearly enough. There’s a touching scene between Mavis and Roake that illustrates, again, what a great guy Roarke can be.
“My underwear’s solid gold. It chafes some, but it makes me feel secure.”
“She dotes on me so. It’s almost smothering.”
— Eve; Roarke, to Peabody, regarding Eve.