Lieutenant Eve Dallas returns in Dark in Death, by J.D. Robb, the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense, and takes on a case of death imitating art…
It was a stab in the dark.
On a chilly February night, during a screening of Psycho in midtown, someone sunk an ice pick into the back of Chanel Rylan’s neck, then disappeared quietly into the crowds of drunks and tourists in Times Square. To Chanel’s best friend, who had just slipped out of the theater for a moment to take a call, it felt as unreal as the ancient black-and-white movie up on the screen. But Chanel’s blood ran red, and her death was anything but fictional.
Then, as Eve Dallas puzzles over a homicide that seems carefully planned and yet oddly personal, she receives a tip from an unexpected source: an author of police thrillers who recognizes the crime—from the pages of her own book. Dallas doesn’t think it’s coincidence, since a recent strangulation of a sex worker resembles a scene from her writing as well. Cops look for patterns of behavior: similar weapons, similar MOs. But this killer seems to find inspiration in someone else’s imagination, and if the theory holds, this may be only the second of a long-running series.
The good news is that Eve and her billionaire husband Roarke have an excuse to curl up in front of the fireplace with their cat, Galahad, reading mystery stories for research. The bad news is that time is running out before the next victim plays an unwitting role in a murderer’s deranged private drama—and only Eve can put a stop to a creative impulse gone horribly, destructively wrong.
From the author of Echoes in Death, this is the latest of the edgy, phenomenally popular police procedurals that Publishers Weekly calls “inventive, entertaining, and clever.”
Date of Birth:1950
Place of Birth:Silver Spring, Maryland
At the start of bestseller Robb’s enjoyable 46th novel set in a near-future New York City (after 2016’s Secrets in Death), someone plunges an ice pick into the neck of Chanel Rylan while the 32-year-old aspiring Broadway actress is watching the shower scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho in a Times Square movie theater. Lt. Eve Dallas arrives at the scene to find that no one witnessed the fatal stabbing. Later, novelist Blaine DeLano shows up at the police station where Eve and her team are gathered to report that Chanel’s death is the second that appears to copy a murder from one of her bestselling books. Following meager forensic clues, Eve tries to identify and warn potential new victims and stop the killer. Robb expertly ratchets up the suspense as the endgame approaches in this deadly chess match between Eve and her cunning opponent. 750,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Jan.)
"Robb expertly ratchets up the suspense as the endgame approaches in this deadly chess match between Eve and her cunning opponent." Publishers WeeklyFrom the Publisher
For Lt. Eve Dallas' 46th case, Robb resurrects the plot of the old copycat horror movie Theater of Blood, but instead of having a murderer imitate Shakespearean crimes, she uses scenes written by a 2061 mystery novelist.What's scarier than a screening of Psycho? The murder of an audience member in the middle of the iconic shower scene, that's what. The victim is actress Chanel Rylan, whose roommate and companion, veterinarian Lola Kawaski, swears that she didn't have an enemy in the world. But the meticulous planning of the killer, who lured Lola away from her seat with a bogus emergency phone call moments before plunging an icepick into Chanel's back, makes it clear that this was no random act of violence. Eve and her sidekick, Detective Amelia Peabody, have barely started to question the obvious witnesses when "really famous novelist" Blaine DeLano comes to the station to confess that one of her thrillers provided a detailed blueprint for the murder—and indeed for the killing of Rosie Kent, who was strangled a month ago in a scenario clearly borrowed from another of Blaine's bestselling novels. Once Eve and Peabody have satisfied themselves that the murderer is indeed cribbing from Blaine, they take the logical next step: scouring the rest of her oeuvre for the fictional victims most likely to be replicated by the real-life killer, identifying the New Yorkers who match their profiles most closely, and warning them to watch their backs. Their efforts aren't enough to prevent a third murder. But by the time they finally make an arrest, Eve—who'd rather be spending the time celebrating the winter vacation of her megabucks husband Roarke's majordomo, Summerset, by making love in every possible new location in their mansion—has collected so much evidence that her climactic interrogation of the perp, normally a high point in this series (Secrets in Death, 2017, etc.), is merely a formality.It's interesting to see Robb's evergreen heroine trying to prevent murders in addition to investigating them, even if her indifferent success makes her efforts less than inspiring.