Born in Death
Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke attend a birthing class with
Eve's good friend Mavis --- pregnant and ready to pop at any time
--- and her cohab Leonardo. At dinner afterward, they are joined by
single mom-to-be Tandy Willowby and enjoy an evening of good food,
wine and fellowship. The two expectant women, all giggly and weepy,
are a mystery to Eve, who finds babies and girlie stuff far out of
her comfort zone. When the evening winds down, Dallas and Roarke
see everyone safely home and then tuck themselves in for the
In the early hours of the morning, a dedicated accountant is found
tortured and murdered. Shortly thereafter, the police discover her
fiancé's body. It looks personal, but no one has a bad word to
say about either of them. Their work doesn't appear to be
sensitive, but when you're working with numbers, it's often hard to
tell. If anyone can make heads or tails of it, Dallas can. She puts
her best team to work on it. And, as is often the case, she relies
on Roarke for the tasks she cannot handle by legal means.
When another body turns up, Dallas shifts into high gear, alarmed
that even more corpses may be found and worried that she missed
something that could have saved at least one life. She is running
on adrenaline, a lot of strong coffee and very little sleep. But
just as she is near physical and mental exhaustion, Tandy
disappears, and it is feared that she has been abducted. Mavis, in
a state close to panic, extracts a promise from Dallas that she
will find Tandy --- personally. No assigning it to one of the
troops; she insists on Eve personally.
The race against time on both cases takes a heavy toll on Lt.
Dallas. And she has the impending birth to look forward to, having
pledged her support to Mavis, and that fills her with a dread she
never faces in her police work. Fortunately, she has Roarke to keep
"Problem?" he asked her.
"Our home is full of people, one of who could go off like a bomb of
emotionally charged hormones at any moment. You're doing drone work
for me on two cases, one of which started with a huge personal
insult to you. I dragged you to Brooklyn on a Sunday, then dumped
you into another crime scene and left you in charge of a hysterical
witness. There's probably more in there, but those are the high
While it may not be a favorite in the series, BORN IN DEATH reads
easily. The investigation is well handled, the dialogue is witty
and clever, and the plot is driven nicely to a tidy wrap-up.
Besides, Mavis has a baby, and who can resist babies? Perhaps not
even Lt. Dallas.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on December 22, 2010