Salvation in Death
J. D. Robb
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Seconds after partaking of wine during a Catholic funeral mass, Father Miguel Flores is dead on the altar. Detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas confirms that the consecrated wine contained enough potassium cyanide to kill a rhino. And though the East Harlem neighborhood is a long way from the stone mansion she shares with her billionaire husband Roarke, it’s the holiness flying around St. Christobal’s that makes her uneasy.
The autopsy reveals faint scars of knife wounds, a removed tattoo—and evidence of plastic surgery suggesting “Father Flores” may not be the man his parishioners thought. Now, as Eve pieces together clues that suggest identity theft, gang connections, and a deeply personal act of revenge, she hopes to track down whoever committed this unholy act. Until a second murder—in front of an even larger crowd of worshippers—knocks the whole investigation sideways…
“And rode to the Mark.” Roarke made the turn to take them to Madison. “Not much traffic this time of night. There’d have been more during the day.” “Maybe take him twice as long as it’ll take us now. He could’ve walked it in nearly the same amount of time as driving through afternoon traffic. But the six or seven blocks? Too much exposure. Too many people might recognize him. New Yorkers are used to seeing famous faces, and most would rather eat cat shit than react. But see, we’re passing a lot
interested in murder. And motive. For the last four and a half months, the victim engaged in a sexual affair outside of his marriage. He, in fact, engaged in same on the afternoon of his death.” Eve cut her eyes from Samuel to Billy. “But you know that already, don’t you, Billy?” He jolted, as if she’d given him a nudge with her stunner. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” “You fished, you barbecued, you vacationed together. You managed his work, his time, and a great deal of his life.
these removed,” Eve interrupted, giving Penny’s forearm a light squeeze. “So you can hardly tell anything was ever there. Except when you’re meat on the slab, under microgoggles and all that nasty autopsy equipment, pop.” “So—” “—what,” Eve finished. “The thing is we know Lino Martinez was masquerading as a priest, right next door. We know he came in to see you nearly every day. For over five years. We know how far back you go with him, with Chávez, with the Soldados. And gee, Penny, you’re the
But if I thought I could make him go, he’d just run again. He wouldn’t leave his family. He wouldn’t leave the Soldados. So I stayed. He defeated me. He lived as he chose, and I allowed it.” Eve let her get it out. “He kept the medal, Mrs. Franco.” Teresa looked at her, eyes blurry with tears and gratitude. “Mrs. Franco, you said he’d left before, for days, even a week. But this last time he told you he was leaving—leaving New York, when he’d objected and refused to leave New York before, when
“Sounds good. I wanted . . . Yen?” Eve felt the blood drain out of her head. “You’re not pregnant again.” “Pregs? That’s a negativo on being knocked up.” Mavis’s eyes twinkled, the same improbable green as her hair. “Just got the yums for the triple M.” “Okay.” Whew. “Quick question. What’s the longest con you ever ran?” “Ah, gee, trip in the way-back. I’m getting all nostalgic. Let’s see. There was this time I ran a Carlotta, named it after an old friend. I think she’s on Vegas II now.