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On Manhattan's Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better. A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesnâ€™t seem the type to be on anyone's hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta's murder was the work of a killer who's trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence. But when someone steals the files out of Marta's office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke's world of big business to figure out who's cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer's violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait. . . .
About The Author J. D. Robb is the pseudonym for a number-one New York Timesâ€“bestselling author of more than two hundred
novels, including the futuristic suspense In Death series. There are more than four hundred million copies of her books in print.
Biography Not only has Nora Roberts written more bestsellers than anyone else in the world (according to Publishers Weekly), sheâ€™s also created a hybrid genre of her own: the futuristic detective romance. And thatâ€™s on top of mastering every subgenre in the romance pie: the family saga, the historical, the suspense novel. But this most prolific and versatile of authors might never have tapped into her native talent if it hadn't been for one fateful snowstorm.
As her fans well know, in 1979 a blizzard trapped Roberts at home for a week with two bored little kids and a dwindling supply of chocolate. To maintain her sanity, Roberts started scribbling a story -- a romance novel like the Harlequin paperbacks she'd recently begun reading. The resulting manuscript was rejected by Harlequin, but that didn't matter to Roberts. She was hooked on writing. Several rejected manuscripts later, her first book was accepted for publication by Silhouette. For several years, Roberts wrote category romances for Silhouette -- short books written to the publisher's specifications for length, subject matter and style, and marketed as part of a series of similar books. Roberts has said she never found the form restrictive. "If you write in category, you write knowing there's a framework, there are reader expectations," she explained. "If this doesn't suit you, you shouldn't write it. I don't believe for one moment you can write well what you wouldn't read for pleasure." Roberts never violated the reader's expectations, but she did show a gift for bringing something fresh to the romance formula. Her first book, Irish Thoroughbred (1981), had as its heroine a strong-willed horse groom, in contrast to the fluttering young nurses and secretaries who populated most romances at the time. But Roberts's books didn't make significant waves until 1985, when she published Playing the Odds, which introduced the MacGregor clan. It was the first bestseller of many. Roberts soon made a name for herself as a writer of spellbinding multigenerational sagas, creating families like the Scottish MacGregors, the Irish Donovans and the Ukrainian Stanislaskis. She also began working on romantic suspense novels, in which the love story unfolds beneath a looming threat of violence or disaster. She grew so prolific that she outstripped her publishers' ability to print and market Nora Roberts books, so she created an alter ego, J.D. Robb. Under the pseudonym, she began writing romantic detective novels set in the future. By then, millions of readers had discovered what Publishers Weekly called her "immeasurable diversity and talent." Although the style and substance of her books has grown, Roberts remains loyal to the genre that launched her career. As she says, "The romance novel at its core celebrates that rush of emotions you have when you are falling in love, and it's a lovely thing to relive those feelings through a book."
Good To Know Roberts still lives in the same Maryland house she occupied when she first started writing -- though her carpenter husband has built on some additions. She and her husband also own Turn the Page Bookstore Café in Boonsboro, Maryland. When Roberts isn't busy writing, she likes to drop by the store, which specializes in Civil War titles as well as autographed copies of her own books. Roberts sued fellow writer Janet Dailey in 1997, accusing her of plagiarizing numerous passages of her work over a period of years. Dailey paid a settlement and publicly apologized, blaming stress and a psychological disorder for her misconduct.
Reviews Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Robbâ€™s engaging 37th Eve Dallas thriller (after 2012â€™s Delusion in Death), Dallas and her partner, Delia Peabody, look into the death of Marta Dickenson. Found with a broken neck at the bottom of a stairway in an Upper East Side Manhattan building, which is under renovation by a financial consultant group, Dickenson was employed as an accountant by a firm nearby. And her briefcase, containing files she had been auditing, was stolen. Confident itâ€™s a case of murder, Dallas and her smoothly running team conduct an everwidening probe of accountants, financial advisers, their spouses, and their lovers. Her husband, Roarke, a former hacker and now owner of his own electronics company, lends his special skills. Robb (the pen name of Nora Roberts) supplies her usual winning blend of keen investigative work, striking characterizations, and enthusiastic sex, all leavened with a fine sense of humor. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Feb.) Kirkus Reviews
Beautiful people meet unlovely numbers in Lt. Eve Dallas' 36th case. Even in 2060, upscale citizens still need accountants, but Marta Dickenson was evidently one accountant too many. Someone hoping to make her death look like a mugging gone bad broke her neck, stripped off her coat and earrings, and left her at the bottom of a stairwell in an apartment building Bradley Whitestone and his two partners are rehabbing. But since the killer didn't think to take Marta's expensive footwear, Eve Dallas and her partner, Detective Delia Peabody, know from the first that this was no random robbery. The evidence points to one of the well-heeled clients Marta handled for the firm of Brewer, Kyle, and Martini. Maybe it was trust-fund dependent Candida Mobsley, who treated Marta's audit the way most people would treat a pesky mosquito. Maybe it was Latisha Vance or Angie Carabelli of the decorating firm Your Space. Or Carter Young-Sachs or Ty Biden, salt-and-pepper business partners. Or Sterling Alexander and the similarly mismatched Thomas Pope. And since whoever it was wouldn't have wanted to take on the job personally, Dallas and Peabody must also search for the killer who was hired to do the dastardly deed and who doesn't seem to be finished. The setup screams danger and suspense, but in between Dallas' lightning inferences at the initial crime scene and the confrontation with an overconfident accomplice, the case is strictly routine, with no surprises likely for anyone familiar with Dallas' best-selling series. On the plus side, Dallas and her zillionaire husband, Roarke, continue to enjoy a great sex life, including one interlude only moments before the denouement. It's enough to make you nostalgic for the 2060s.
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