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“Time to hope for a nice, straight murder. Greedy bastard shoves business partner out the window. Brother stabs brother over the last bag of soy chips. Spouse bludgeons spouse over sidepiece. You know, the fun stuff.” – Eve Dallas, Echoes in Death[1]


Plot SummaryEdit

As NYPSD Lt. Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke are driving home, a young woman ― dazed, naked, and bloody ― suddenly stumbles out in front of their car. Roarke slams on the brakes and Eve springs into action.

Daphne Strazza is rushed to the ER, but it’s too late for her husband Dr. Anthony Strazza. A brilliant orthopedic surgeon, he now lies dead amid the wreckage of his obsessively organized town house, his three safes opened and emptied. Daphne would be a valuable witness, but in her terror and shock the only description of the perp she can offer is repeatedly calling him “the devil”...

While it emerges that Dr. Strazza was cold, controlling, and widely disliked, this is one case where the evidence doesn’t point to the spouse. So Eve and her team must get started on the legwork, interviewing everyone from dinner-party guests to professional colleagues to caterers, in a desperate race to answer some crucial questions:

What does the devil look like? And where will he show up next?


MapEdit

Please reference the Echoes in Death Map for locations or approximate locations of sites listed here.


TimelineEdit

Story Date: February 6-9, 2061 (Sunday-Wednesday)[2]


Day 1 (Sunday, 6 February 2061)Edit

  • "Was she dead? She felt like a ghost, untethered and insubstantial. She wandered. Puzzled, yes, but detached, and wondering if she’d reached heaven or hell."
  • "At damn near two in the morning on a bitter night" in February, Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke are returning home from a charity event at an elegant East Side hotel.
  • A naked, bloody woman walks in front of the car, then collapses.
    • They rush her to the closest hospital. She has cuts, abrasions, bruises, a head wound, concussion, ligature marks around her wrists and neck, evidence of multiple rapes, and hypothermia.
    • Daphne Strazza, age 24, from the Carnegie Hill area of the Upper West Side, second wife to much older Dr. Anthony Strazza.
    • “Someone in the house.” She whispered it, like a secret. “Not a guest [at their earlier dinner party]. Not. Waiting. A devil, it’s a devil! His face is a devil. My husband … He fell. He fell and the devil laughed. I don’t know. I don’t know. Please. I don’t know.”
  • Eve and Roarke go to check on Anthony Strazza. They find the large townhouse, but the security system is down and the door is unlocked. Items are missing from the house and three safes are empty, although many easily-transportable valuables remain. Strazza's body is upstairs, beaten similarly to Daphne and dead from a fractured skull.
    • Peabody and McNab come in and help work the scene.
    • Burglary and rape were the goals. The murder might have been incidental or a bonus. The perp likes violence.
  • Detectives interview the dinner party guests, catering staff, equipment rental company, etc.
    • Daphne is sweet, gentle, friendly, afraid of her husband, and widely liked.
    • Anthony was "cold, arrogant, egotistical", overly perfectionistic, domineering, a liar, and respected professionally but widely disliked.
    • Several witnesses saw what they thought was "the entertainment" for the dinner party – a man in a theatrical disguise, talking on his link – going up the stairs into the house.
  • Peabody finds two similar crimes: a vampire in July and a ghoul in November.
  • At the morgue, Morris tells Dallas that Strazza was knocked out, restrained, and tortured; then he broke free and a hard blow to the head knocked him unconscious; then at least 15 minutes later he received the two killing blows to the head.
  • Input from the SVU detectives on the similar crimes. Clearly the same perp: the method, the violence, the missing items.
  • At the end of the day, Eve goes home. She takes a second to appreciate the newly redecorated bedroom before collapsing into sleep.
  • A nightmare wakes her up, but she got an hour of nap. She and Roarke have sex and a meal, and Eve continues to work in her home office.
  • She writes reports and plans for tomorrow's direction, finding the links between the three cases.

Day 2 (Monday, 7 February 2061)Edit

  • Mira and Dallas develop a profile of the killer.
  • More interviews of the victims and their circles.
  • Dallas finds out that The Icove Agenda vid has been nominated for 7 Academy Awards.
  • Snow is falling heavily, with a blizzard forecast, so Dallas sends everyone home, including herself with Roarke.
  • She works from home, looking at financials and identifying potential future targets from the guest list of a gala that all three victim-couples attended last year because that's where she thinks the perp is fishing.
  • That night, Roarke introduces Eve to The Avengers with a movie.

Day 3 (Tuesday, 8 February 2061)Edit

  • Eve maneuvers through the snow to Cop Central. The city is basically shut down.
  • She splits up her potential future targets list among the available detectives, to interview and warn.
  • Dispatch contacts Dallas: Miko and Xavier Carver were found dead, tortured more extensively than before, then she was strangled and his throat was cut. They were on Dallas's potential target list.
  • After talking to Morris for preliminary findings, Dallas and Peabody notify the victims' families.
  • The detectives put together a short list of possible targets – couples who buzzed during their interviews and warnings.
    • Several of the women remember being harassed by a man, including a Phantom of the Opera, at various charity functions. Other woman say that underwear disappeared from their bedrooms.
    • The detectives agree that the harassment and break-ins is how he controls himself between attacks.
    • They start building a list of suspects based on their and Mira's evaluations, using the guest and staff list from that gala.
  • Rosa Patrick comes into Cop Central with Kyle Knightly (her husband's business partner and cousin). She received a sick text message from the rapist/killer.
    • Dallas thinks Rosa was the first and is the most important of his victims.
    • Dallas and McNab trace the link that sent the message, but it is destroyed in a recycler just minutes before they get there. Dallas is suspicious of the timing.
  • Worried that the Miras might be targeted, Roarke increases their security. Mavis and Leonardo, who also fit the profile, are out of town.
  • Dallas heads home and, after a therapeutic crying jag on Roarke's shoulder and a meal, keeps working.
    • Construction on An Didean, the new youth shelter, is coming along. Roarke hopes for a May opening.
    • Eve and Roarke – plus Peabody at Center – work on the suspect list. They narrow down the possible suspects, plus find some "hinky" people (like money laundering) whose names they pass to other law enforcement.
  • Eve highlights the person who most hits all the buttons for her: Kyle Knightly. She believes he had a thing for his aunt, who is Neville Patrick's mother; Neville and his wife Rosa were his first assault-and-rob victims, and he is punishing his aunt and uncle with every rape and torture. He has the acting background and electronics ability, too, in addition to fitting Mira's personality profile. “I can’t prove it, yet. But I will.”

Day 4 (Wednesday, 9 February 2061)Edit

  • Morning briefing at the home office with APA Reo, Peabody, McNab, Baxter, Trueheart, Olsen, Tredway, and Mira.
  • The search warrant is executed at Knightly's house.
    • He resists and backhands Eve, who has the fun of taking him down and arresting him for assault on a police officer with other charges to follow.
    • They find "Aladdin's Cave": all the stuff he stole from his victims, organized and labeled; electronics; a sex droid dressed up as the murdered Miko Carver; all the costumes and special effects equipment, including blood smear. Baxter says, “Jesus, the PA’s going to have a cakewalk.”
  • So much evidence for the lab and E-Division, including audio and visual recordings from cameras he had planted in the houses of his victims and future victims.
  • In interview, Dallas and Peabody play Kyle, who gives up all the details. Unfortunately for Kyle, his lawyers cannot make it all go away as they have in the past, and Dallas and Peabody do not accept his bribes.
  • Kyle is securely locked up, and will live in a cage on Penal Station Omega for the rest of his life.
    • Reo notifies everyone on the potential target list.
    • Olsen and Tredway tell the Patricks and the Brinkmans.
    • Dallas goes to talk to Daphne Strazza, with Mira and Roarke along for Daphne's sake. Daphne's sister Tish is also there. They know, from Kyle's recordings, that Anthony Strazza habitually imprisoned, abused, battered, and raped his wife, with threats to hurt her family if she told. Her husband also tried to kill her after Kyle's assault, and she killed him in self-defense. No charges will be filed.
  • Eve and Roarke go home, to "walk in the cold and snow for a little while".


Memorable QuotationsEdit

Eve, on Valentine's Day:

  • Eve didn’t get it, just didn’t get it. Who the hell decided everyone was supposed to go mad with romance and gift buying on some random day in February? Hadn’t everybody just gone mad with good cheer and gift buying in December? When would it end?
  • When she said as much, snarling her way through the next vehicular tangle, Peabody sent her a sad, sad look. “But it’s for sweethearts.”
  • “Oh, bollocks. It’s just another scam designed so restaurants and shops can con people into spending money on expensive dinners, bunches of flowers, and the sparkly things some poor schnook buys on credit thinking he’ll get lucky. You want to be sweethearts, stay home and bang your brains out.”[3]

Eve, on a perp with Mommy Issues:

  • Eve angled her head. “Good. That’s good. Either way. If Mira’s right, we’re looking for a schmuck with an Edison thing.”
  • [Peabody:] “Edison? Like Thomas?”
  • “Who’s Edison Thomas?”
  • “I mean Thomas Edison. The inventor?” Peabody explained. “The lightbulb?”
  • “No, for Christ’s sake, this isn’t about lightbulbs. Like the sicko guy who married his own mother, then whined about it.”
  • After a moment’s confusion, Peabody’s own lightbulb went off. “That’s Oedipus. I’m pretty sure that’s Oedipus.”
  • “Edison, Oedipus, platypus. Whatever.”[4]

Shortly after the Academy Award nominations are released, in which The Icove Agenda has seven nominations:

  • She [Eve] rode down on the elevator, ignoring other passengers who seemed buzzed on Oscar talk, until one of the women stared at her.
  • The woman’s eyes popped. “Oh my God, you’re Marlo Durn!”
  • “No, I’m not.”
  • Obviously undeterred, the woman continued to chatter while digging in her rhino-sized bag. “Oh, I’m such a fan. I just have to have a picture with you.”
  • “I’m not Marlo Durn.”
  • ’Link already in hand, the woman frowned at her. “Are you sure?”
  • “Absolutely.”
  • “You could so be her stand-in for The Icove Agenda. I mean you look just like her Eve Dallas character. Are you her stand-in?”
  • “No.”
  • Eve escaped the elevator, took another down to the garage.[5]

Eve, on snow:

  • “It’s cold, it’s wet, and it makes many, many people behind the wheels of vehicles behave like morons.” [6]

Eve, on the difference of having Roarke in her life:

  • “If I’d caught this case three years ago. February, three years ago, right before you? I think it would have broken me. I think it might have been the end of me. Now it just … Maybe it bruises some, but it won’t break me. It won’t because you hang on when I have to let go.”[7]

Eve, on how emotionally difficult this investigation has been:

  • “I want it done, I want it over. I want to close this door.”
  • [Roarke:] “This door opened so hard on the heels of the last investigation. It’s hardly a wonder you’re scraped raw.”
  • “Yeah. Time to hope for a nice, straight murder. Greedy bastard shoves business partner out the window. Brother stabs brother over the last bag of soy chips. Spouse bludgeons spouse over sidepiece. You know, the fun stuff.”[8]

Eve and Roarke, concerning Galahad:

  • “I fed the cat,” she said when they started out together.
  • “That’s a coincidence. So did I.”
  • “I knew it!” Glancing back at Galahad, she would have sworn he smirked.
  • Roarke smirked right back at him. “What he doesn’t know is he’s now eating low-calorie kibble.”
  • “He is?”
  • “By Summerset’s decree after a vet checkup where the vet advised that our boy should lose three to five pounds.”
  • “I gave him a little salmon,” Eve confessed.
  • “I went with tuna.”


Character ListEdit

List of Main Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Secondary Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Recurring Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Minor Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

  • Rosa and Neville Patrick, first victimized couple
  • Kyle Knightly, Neville Patrick's cousin and business partner
  • Lori and Ira Brinkman, second victimized couple
  • Daphne and Anthony Strazza, third victimized couple
  • Delroy Nobel, ER doctor at St Andrew's Hospital
  • Detective Nikki Olsen of the Special Victims Unit
  • Detective Stan Tredway of the Special Victims Unit
  • Miko and Xavier Carver, fourth victimized couple


Footnotes Edit

  1. Echoes in Death, Chapter 20.
  2. Echoes in Death. Chapter 1: "Sane people wanted to stay home in warm, comfortable clothes when February reared its ugly frozen head." Chapter 1: "But come Monday, she’d be back in the saddle, wearing boots and sensible clothes" – the first Monday in February 2061 is February 7, so the charity ball is the night of Saturday, February 5, and the story starts early Sunday morning. Chapter 4: “Right. Wait. It’s Sunday.”
  3. Echoes in Death, Chapter 4.
  4. Echoes in Death, Chapter 8.
  5. Echoes in Death, Chapter 9.
  6. Echoes in Death, Chapter 11.
  7. Echoes in Death, Chapter 18.
  8. Echoes in Death, Chapter 20.