Series: In Death #45
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 5, 2017
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A new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series: Lt. Eve Dallas must separate rumors from reality when a woman who traffics in other people’s secrets is silenced.
The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.
The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.
Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…
Lieutenant Eve Dallas agrees to meet forensic anthropologist Dr. Garnet DeWinter for a drink after hours to work on their relationship (sort of). She spies gossip columnist Larinda Mars (last seen in Glory in Death) when she arrives, giving her a wide berth but keeps her in her sights. When she sees her tottering from the restroom, Eve knows something is wrong, rushes to catch her and watches her die in that moment. It’s definitely murder and she’s further incensed that it happened right in front of her. Mars may not be a nice victim but in Eve’s eyes she deserves justice.
What a thoroughly intriguing case! Mars’ trade was in secrets, specifically those of the famous and influential and she apparently was ruthless in her research and blackmail tactics. Talk about a robust list of suspects. Dallas had her hands full in not only separating likely ones from the innocent but penetrating the solid steel walls Larinda Mars erected figuratively and literally around herself. What also makes this a standout is that the blackmail victims were good, decent people who were preyed upon by Mars and you almost didn’t want to find the murderer.
I enjoyed this story primarily for the case as it was tough and tested my sense of justice. It has all the other elements we like to see…lots of Peabody time, interaction with many of the beloved secondary characters, and Roarke. Their moments weren’t gratuitous either, deftly integrated into the plot. This series still does it for me and rises to the top of my reading pile upon release.