Home > Obsession in Death (In Death #40)(5)

Obsession in Death (In Death #40)(5)
J.D. Robb

“It’s like you saw it before you saw it,” Peabody said.

“Yeah, that doesn’t help her much.” Eve shook it off, zipped through until she saw the door open again. “In and out in what, twenty-seven minutes. Control, that’s control, and that’s purpose. Still carrying the box, still blocking the face.

“But… Do you see it?”

“I don’t know. What should I see?”

“A jaunty spring to the step. Somebody’s happy, somebody’s feeling really, really good, good enough to strut it out. But still careful, careful enough to block the camera, and all the way out and gone. Notify Transit, get them the image, for what it’s worth. Let’s see if the killer took the subway. And we’ll check cabs. Nobody that careful caught one close to the building, but we’ll give it a shot.”

They worked the scene, going through Bastwick’s home office, tagging the electronics for the Electronic Detectives Division, scouring the victim’s ’links for any communications that might give them a handhold.

Eve spoke briefly with Dawson, the head sweeper.

“EDD’s sending people down for the electronics. The killer used elevator B, coming and going, so sweep that down, too. I’ve had it shut down till it’s processed.”

“We’re on it.” Dawson studied her with his quick, dark eyes from under his white sweeper’s hood. “We’ll give it a push, Dallas. Nobody likes a gift tag with their name on it on a DB.”

He studied the message as she did. “Hell of a way to ring out the old,” he said.

Eve left the bedroom, hooked back up with Peabody. They left the building together.

“First canvass got nothing,” Peabody told her. “Nobody saw the delivery guy – person. Transit’s still going over their security runs, but so far, nothing that matches. Of course, he could’ve ditched the box.”

“I don’t think so, not when he may need it again.”

“Again.” Peabody eased into the passenger seat of Eve’s car. “You think he’s going to target another?”

“Odds are. Jaunty walk,” she reminded her partner, and she pulled out from the curb. “This was too much fun not to do again. But we run it straight. Look at boyfriends, girlfriends, exes, coworkers, clients.”

“Jess Barrow. He’s in a cage, but if anybody would want to get back at you and her, all at once, he qualifies. You busted him, she didn’t get him off.”

“She got him less time in a cage than he earned. But yeah, he bears a look. Then there’s the firm. Fitzhugh, now Bastwick – that’s two partners murdered in about two years. We go over her threat file with fricking microgoggles.”

“Um. How about yours?”

Eve drummed her fingers on the wheel as she drove toward Cop Central. “I wasn’t threatened. There, we’d look the other way. Into – what is it? – fan mail. Except I don’t keep any of that crap if it gets through to me.”

“I do. I got some really nice messages after the Icove vid came out.” Thinking of it had Peabody’s cheek pinking with pleasure. “My favorite’s from a twelve-year-old girl who said how she’d wanted to be a vid star, but now she wanted to be a cop like me. It was really sweet. You probably got a ton.”

“I don’t know.” Uncomfortable with all of it, Eve shifted. “If any came through Central, I dumped it on Kyung. He’s media liaison, right? If it came through the Hollywood people, I told them to deal with it. I’m a cop, for Christ’s sake.”

Peabody waited two full beats. “Well, they probably have all of it on file.”

Eve took a hand off the wheel to drag it violently through her hair. “Yeah, yeah, they probably do, and you’re right, it all needs to be read over and analyzed. Give me a second.”

She needed to settle down, simmer down. Hadn’t she just said she was a cop? Then she needed to start thinking like a cop.

Push the emotion, the sick dread, the damn headache to the side, and do what came next.

“We’ll get Mira to put some shrink type on it, coordinate between Hollywood and Kyung. Kyung’s no asshole, and he’ll streamline it, add the shrink type, a behavioral science type to analyze. If the message on the wall wasn’t a smoke screen – that’s low probability, but it’s not without merit – it’s likely the killer has communicated or tried to communicate with me in some way at some time. Feels this connection. So we’ll cover that area with people who know what to look for.”

“Okay. I’ll contact Kyung and dump it on him. He’s media liaison, right?” She tossed Eve’s words back at her. “He’ll liaise. If there are any red flags, we pick them up and follow them up.”

“Right again. Make that happen, Peabody,” Eve said as she drove into Central’s garage. “We keep a lid on it as long as we can, but we cover all the areas. I’m going straight up to Whitney,” she added when she’d parked. “I need to give the commander a full report, and asap. Get the ball rolling on the communications. Write up your report, send the commander a copy, send Mira a copy.”

“You should talk to her, too,” Peabody added, referring to the department’s top shrink and profiler.

“I know it. I will. Whitney first. He’s going to consider the pros and cons of leaving us – me – on this. I need to weigh the scale heavy on the pros.”

“I hadn’t thought about that. I should’ve thought of that. Damn it.” Peabody stepped onto the elevator with Eve.

“You handle the liaison shit. I’ll handle this. Work fast,” Eve ordered. “I want to get to the law offices and the morgue.”

Eve stayed on after Peabody escaped the elevator. Cops and civilian personnel crammed in, pried out, squeezed on. Normally, she’d have pushed her way off, taken one of the glides. But as annoying as they were, Central’s elevators were faster.

When she finally muscled her way off, she reminded herself to be clear, thorough, and dispassionate.

She reached Whitney’s outer office, and his admin.

“I need to see him.”

The woman’s eyebrows arched in surprise. “Lieutenant. You’re not on his schedule. I —”

“It’s important I speak with Commander Whitney as soon as possible.”

With a nod, and no questions, the admin tapped her earpiece, spoke in quiet tones.

“Sir, Lieutenant Dallas is here, and asks to speak with you. Yes, sir, now. Of course.” She tapped the earpiece again. “Go right in, Lieutenant.”

“Thanks.” Eve started toward the big double doors, paused. “Do you know Dr. Mira’s admin?”

“I do.” The woman smiled. “Quite well, as it happens.”

“She could take lessons,” Eve muttered, and opened Whitney’s door.

He sat behind his massive desk, a big, broad-shouldered man currently speaking on his desk ’link. He gestured Eve in, gave her the sign to wait.

She closed the door behind her, used the few moments it took him to end the call taking stock, making sure she would and could be dispassionate.

He ended the call, aimed a look from his dark eyes. He rode a desk, she thought, but his eyes were as canny as the street cop he’d once been.

Hot Novels
  • Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Chris
  • Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3)
  • Never Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #2)
  • Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)
  • Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculi
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
  • Fallen Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #1)
  • Forever Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #3)
  • Ugly Love
  • Allegiant (Divergent #3)
  • Hold on Tight (Sea Breeze #8)
  • Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
  • The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coinc
  • Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)
  • Uprooted