The newest in the number-one New York Times-bestselling In Death series featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke. Nora Roberts writing as J. D. Robb returns to the New York City of 2059-where Dallas will struggle to solve the murder of a seemingly ordinary family and to protect one small, terrified survivor.
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February 24, 2005
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Excerpt from Survivor in Death by J. D. Robb
MURDER WAS ALWAYS AN INSULT, AND HAD been since the first human hand had smashed a stone into the first human skull. But the murder, bloody and brutal, of an entire family in their own home, in their own beds, was a different form of evil.
Eve Dallas, NYPSD Homicide, pondered it as she stood studying Inga Snood, forty-two-year-old female. Domestic, divorced. Dead.
Blood spatter and the scene itself told her how it must have been. Snood's killer had walked in the door, crossed to the bed, yanked Snood's head up?probably by the mid-length blonde hair, raked the edge of the blade neatly?left to right?across her throat, severing the jugular.
Relatively tidy, certainly quick. Probably quiet. It was unlikely the victim had the time to comprehend what was happening. No defensive wounds, no other trauma, no signs of struggle. Just blood and the dead.
Eve had beaten both her partner and Crime Scene to the house. The nine-one-one had gone to Emergency, relayed to a black-and-white on neighborhood patrol. The uniforms had called in the homicides, and she'd gotten the tag just before three in the morning.
She still had the rest of the dead, the rest of the scenes, to study. She stepped back out, glanced at the uniform on post in the kitchen.
"Keep this scene secure."
"Yes, sir, Lieutenant."
She moved through the kitchen out into a bisected space?living on one side, dining on the other. Upper-middle income, single-family residence. Nice, Upper West Side neighborhood. Decent security, which hadn't done the Swishers or their domestic a damn bit of good.
Good furniture?tasteful, she supposed. Everything neat and clean and in what appeared to be its place. No burglary, not with plenty of easily transported electronics.
She went upstairs, came to the parents' room first. Keelie and Grant Swisher, ages thirty-eight and forty, respectively. As with their housekeeper, there was no sign of struggle. Just two people who'd been asleep in their own bed and were now dead.
She gave the room a quick glance, saw a pricey man's wrist unit on a dresser, a pair of woman's gold earrings on another.
No, not burglary.
She stepped back out just as her partner, Detective Delia Peabody, came up the steps. Limping?just a little.
Had she put Peabody back on active too soon? Eve wondered. Her partner had taken a serious beating only three weeks before after being ambushed steps outside her own apartment building. And Eve still had the image of the stalwart Peabody bruised, broken, unconscious in a hospital bed.
Best to put the image, and the guilt, aside. Best to remember how she herself hated being on medical, and that work was sometimes better than forced rest.
"Five dead? Home invasion?" Huffing a bit, Peabody gestured down the steps. "The uniform on the door gave me a quick run."
"It looks like, but we don't call it yet. Domestic's downstairs, rooms off the kitchen. Got it in bed, throat slit. Owners in there. Same pattern. Two kids, girl and boy, in the other rooms on this level."