From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb, comes a shocking new novel in the futuristic series... A frightening new computer virus is spreading and it knows no boundaries...
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July 29, 2003
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Excerpt from Purity in Death by J. D. Robb
Lieutenant Eve Dallas loitered at her desk. She was stalling, and she wasn't proud of it. The idea of changing into a fancy dress, driving uptown to meet her husband and a group of strangers for a business dinner thinly disguised as a social gathering had all the appeal of climbing in the nearest recycler and turning on Shred.
Right now Cop Central was very appealing.
She'd caught and closed a case that afternoon, so there was paperwork. It wasn't all stalling. But as the bevy of witnesses had all agreed that the guy who'd taken a header off a six-story people glide had been the one who'd started the pushy-shovey match with the two tourists from Toledo, it wasn't much of a time sucker.
For the past several days, every case she'd caught had been a variation on the same theme. Domestics where spouses had battled to the death, street brawls turned lethal, even a deadly combat at a corner glide-cart over ice cones.
Heat made people stupid and mean, she thought, and the combination spilled blood.
She was feeling a little mean herself at the idea of dressing up and spending several hours in some snooty restaurant making small talk with people she didn't know.
That's what you got, she thought in disgust, when you marry a guy who had enough money to buy a couple of continents.
Roarke actually liked evenings like this. The fact that he did never failed to baffle her. He was every bit at home in a five-star restaurant -- one he likely owned anyway -- nibbling on caviar as he was sitting at home chowing down on a burger.
And she supposed as their marriage was approaching its second year, she'd better stop crabbing about it. Resigned, she pushed back from the desk.
"You're still here." Her aide, Peabody, stopped in the doorway of her office. "I thought you had some fancy dinner deal uptown."
"I got time." A glance at her wrist unit brought on a little tug of guilt. Okay, she was going to be late. But not very. "I just finished up on the glide diver."
Peabody, whose summer blues defied all natural order and managed to stay crisp in the wilting heat, kept her dark eyes sober. "You wouldn't be stalling, would you, Lieutenant?"
"One of the residents of our city, who I am sworn to serve and protect, ended up squished like a bug on Fifth Avenue. I think he deserves an extra thirty minutes of my time."
"It must be really rough, forced to put on a beautiful dress, stick some diamonds or whatever all over you and choke down champagne and lobster croquettes beside the most beautiful man ever born, on or off planet. I don't know how you get through the day with that weight on your shoulders, Dallas."
"And here I am, free to squeeze into the local pizza place with McNab where we will split the pie and the check." Peabody shook her head slowly. The dark bowl of hair under her cap swayed in concert. "I can't tell you how guilty I feel knowing that."
"You looking for trouble, Peabody?"