From Publishers Weekly
The year is 2058. Mood-altering drugs are legal, prostitution is licensed, virtual-reality games have replaced TV sets for entertainment and New York supercop Eve Dallas continues her sleuthing in Robb's fourth installment in the Death series (Naked in Death, Glory in Death, etc.). This time around, Eve has married her soul mate, Roarke, and is caught up in the puzzling suicide of a technician who's been working on Roarke's unfinished space resort. The young tech, Eve learns, had cheerfully hanged himself after a VR trip. Back on Earth, autopsies from two similar suicides reveal a pin-sized burn on the brains of the victims. All clues point to a deadly subliminal message in a VR toy--one that Roarke produces. This is sexy, gritty, richly imagined suspense. The fact that it is written by Nora Roberts under the pseudonym J.D. Robb is a tribute to her versatility.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Please reference the Rapture in Death Map for locations or approximate locations of sites listed here.
| Spoiler warning!|
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.
- Eve is tracking a murderer in a dark alley when Roarke comes up behind her. He calls for end of program and they are in a hologram room at the Olympus Resort on their honeymoon.
- Roarke changes the holo-program to a tropical beach scene and seduces his new wife.
- After dinner in the Presidential Suite of the Olympus Grand Hotel, Roarke's plan is to get Eve drunk and continue their honeymoon when a doorbell sounds.
- Jack Carter, an assistant engineer, has arrived to inform Roarke and his cop wife that his roommate, Drew Mathias, is dead.
- Eve does a preliminary survey of the scene, an apparent suicide from hanging. She tells Roarke it would be easier to turn the case over to the proper authorities if she knew what had pushed him to commit suicide.
- As they return to earth, Roarke distracts Eve from her abject terror of space travel with sex and a treated petunia from her wedding bouquet.
- Eve returns to Cop Central, after her three week honeymoon, to a message on her computer monitor that says, 'WELCOME BACK LIEUTENANT LOVEJOY Hubba-hubba'
- Eve comes up against defense lawyer S.T. Fitzhugh in the Vito Salvatori case. Fitzhugh tries to portray Eve as a cop who uses excessive force, he doesn't succeed.
- Eve and Peabody stop by the Down and Dirty Club to see Mavis Freestone who is performing there. Mavis tells Eve that she is recording a demo disc with Jess Barrow. Eve is concerned that her friend is being conned.
- On the way back to Central, Eve and Peabody encounter Clevis, a flasher who is wearing a trench coat and a bright blue bow tied around his withered privates. Eve decides she's happy to be back.
- Eve arrives home in time to see a beautiful redheaded woman kiss Roarke. He introduces his new wife to Dr. Reeanna Ott and William Shaffer who were part of the team who developed the amusement and medical centers on the Olympus Resort.
- Eve is awoken by her link calling her to a suspicious death. She arrives to find that S.T. Fitzhugh has slit his wrists in his bathtub. His cohab, Arthur Foxx, is hysterical and not much help.
- Eve investigates Fitzhugh and Foxx and tells Peabody that she doesn't buy suicide. "Vain, arrogant men don't choose to be found naked in the bathtub, swimming in their own blood."
- Eve questions Fitzhugh's law partner, Leanore Bastwick. Afterwards, she bumps Foxx up from witness to suspect.
- After buying a couple of soy dogs, Eve sees an altercation between two cabbies. She breaks it up, but her shoulder is hit with a baseball bat.
- Dr. Morris tells Eve he needs her to come to the morgue. He shows her a brain scan on Fitzhugh that shows a small burn in the brain that can't be explained.
- Eve and Peabody continue their investigation at Cop Central. As they are about to wrap up for the night, Mavis tags Eve and asks her to stop by Jess Barrow's studio. She invites Peabody along and adds that she has already tagged Roarke and that he is coming as well.
- Peabody and Eve are escorted by Big Mary up to where Mavis is recording. When Roarke arrives, Jess makes it clear that he would like him as an investor for his music console.
- Eve and Roarke are desperate for each other. Eve's uses her siren to drive home at high speeds. Roarke demands that she stop the car as soon as they clear the gates. They jump each other, tear off clothes and have mad sex on the front lawn. To get into the house, they have to get past Summerset with tattered clothes and grass stains. When he asks if they've had an accident, Roarke answers, "No. It was on purpose."
- Captain Ryan Feeney tags Eve at her home office where she and Peabody are working. He tells her that he is in EDD working early because a hacker got into the Chief's mainframe and nearly fried the whole system. He also tells her about a senator from East Washington who committed suicide.
- Eve begins to wonder if there is a link between Mathias, Fitzhugh and the senator's suicide.
- On August 24, 2058 (page 96) Eve and Peabody re-interview both Foxx and Bastwick. Foxx admits to being jealous of the way Bastwick was coming onto Fitzhugh, and she admits that she made a play for him. Eve isn't able to determine a motive for murder.
- Eve meets Dr. Charlotte Mira at the Village Bistro for lunch and a consult. Mira can't give her much based on what she has and says that Eve's case and theories are veering out of her field.
- Dr. Reeanna Ott sees them and comes over to the table where she joins them for coffee and dessert. Mira suggests that her expertise might be able to help Eve on the case. Eve can't say much as it is classified. After discussing a 'hypothetical' case, Reeanna suggests that Fitzhugh may have been genetically coded to commit suicide at that time. Her theory is 'branded at birth'. Eve doesn't like the theory for personal reasons, but she'll use it if it helps her investigation.
- Back at Central, the autopsy report for Drew Mathias comes in showing the same burn in the brain that was seen in Fitzhugh.
- Eve takes her work to Roarke's private office to try to identify the brain burns.
- Eve is startled and guilty when Roarke walks in to find her using his unregistered computers.
- Roarke and Eve are getting ready for a premiere in California when Peabody calls on Eve's communicator. Eve answers with her dress only half on, but it's Roarke in a towel just out of the shower that has Peabody unable to focus on the reason for her call. She manages to let Eve know that they will need to go to East Washington to get more info on Senator Pearly.
- Eve uses a card recorder to secretly and illegally record the Senator's medical and autopsy records.
- Eve pops in on Feeney who is busy working on the virus that someone managed to get into the chief's unit. He informs her that he has dosed it, but that the memory was boosted.
- Eve asks Feeney to clean up the image she recorded of Senator Pearly's brain after he committed suicide. She points out the burn on the brain that isn't supposed to be there and is just like Mathias and Fitzhugh.
- Eve arrives home and Summerset informs her that there are two men there to meet with her. Eve assumes she is about to be busted for the data she'd commandeered in East Washington. She walks in to find Jess Barrow and Leonardo.
- Leonardo and Jess ask Eve if she and Roarke will throw a party for Mavis to premier her new demo disc.
- Jess gives Eve a copy of the completed demo disc. He doesn't mention that it has been specially doctored - just for her. As he leaves, he wonders about the dreams it will trigger.
- Eve decides to take a bath and listen to the disc. It prompts her to have a nightmare that Roarke interrupts coming in from work at 2AM.
- At breakfast the next morning, Eve tells Roarke about the idea of him putting on a party for Mavis. Roarke agrees that it's a good idea and says he's happy to do it.
- Roarke agrees to the party idea so easily, Eve tells him about Part II; Roarke will sing a live duet with Mavis at the party. Roarke tries to remain cool as he attempts to get out of doing a live duet with Mavis in costumes designed by Leonardo.
- Eve lays it on a bit thick and Roarke realizes that she's having him on. She throws her arms around his back and hugs him saying, "Oh, I love you." Eve is stunned by his emotional reaction to her declaration.
- On her way to Cop Central, Eve gets caught in a traffic jam caused by a Free-Agers' protest. She detours over to Seventh Avenue.
- A call comes through about a Self-termination threat at the Tattler building on Seventh Avenue. Eve responds to the call.
- When she arrives at the scene, she is told that Cerise Devane has stripped naked and gone out on the ledge of the roof threatening to jump.
- Eve goes over onto the ledge to try and talk Cerise back in. The media air vans are hovering, capturing and broadcasting it all.
- Cerise tells Eve, "Oh God, I'm so happy!" and then leans forward into space with her arms wide and plummets 70 stories to the concrete below.
- Eve grabs for her and nearly rolls off the ledge following her off. She manages to cling to the ledge and Peabody talks her back in and onto the roof. Eve tells Peabody that Cerise's eyes were wrong and that she's seen that smile "A couple of times now."
- While investigating Cerise's office, Eve and Peabody discover VR goggles. Eve tells Peabody she's going to test them. "You're my control, Peabody. If I look to happy to live shortly, zap me."
- Eve goes into a sexual fantasy VR scene of two young studs who are there solely for her pleasure. After she has an orgasm, she rips off the goggles and tells Peabody, "It wasn't a walk on the beach."
- Peabody begs to be allowed to try out the goggles for evidence control, but Eve tells her she couldn't take the risk. "I'm a cop sir, risk is my life."
- Eve reports to Commander Whitney, sliding her illegally obtained data into her report. Whitney gives her a week to pursue the cases of what appear to be suicides, but Eve is convinced are homicides.
- After visiting the morgue to view the remains of Cerise Devane, Eve arrives home exhausted.
- Eve apologizes to Roarke for worrying him when she discovers that he watched her adventure on Channel 75.
- She then confesses her VR trip into sexual fantasy that has made her feel guilty all day. Roarke finds it funny and then makes love to her and tells her that fantasy is fine, but if she tries it in real life, he'll have to kill her. She decides that the same goes for him.
A few days laterEdit
- Eve's bribe to Dickie Berenski doesn't net the results she needs, so she turns to threats to find out if the VR goggles are responsible for the Self-terminations. Her stomach clinches when he informs her that the unit is a Roarke product. He's found subliminal suggestions in the programming, but they are standard on this type of unit.
- As Eve's car is still in maintenance, she and Peabody walk the three blocks back to Central. As they're walking and talking, an alarm sounds.
- A CEC is being held up by a man with a homemade boomer. The droid tellers all automatically shut down, but the sole human teller, a woman, is being held hostage. Eve orders Peabody to clear the street and then cover the back exit while she goes in the front.
- Eve tries to talk the man down, but realizes that he isn't going to be reasoned with. He tosses the boomer high and right. Eve dives for it, but just misses it. It doesn't go off.
- The would-be thief charges and slams Eve into the counter. They grapple and Eve takes a lot of hits, but she manages to get her weapon pressed to his temple and his eyes roll up in his head as he passes out.
- Eve gets to her knees to find Peabody holding her weapon in one hand and the boomer in the other. She tells her to be still while she gets a safe box, but the boomer heats up and she orders Peabody to dump it.
- Eve drags the man behind the counter and the boomer goes off. Debris, smoke, and water is everywhere. She crawls out and finds Peabody, who is coherent, but who then passes out.
- Eve rushes home to get ready for Mavis' party, but Roarke gets a look at her and her multiple injuries. He applies first aide and forces a painkiller down her throat.
- Eve tells Roarke that she thinks the VR goggles are involved in the cases and that they are a new unit manufactured by Roarke Enterprises.
- Mavis' party is in full swing. Mavis thanks Eve and then goes to throw up. Roarke dances with Eve so that she can lean her bruised and battered body on him.
- Peabody enters having checked herself out of the Health Center and Eve tells her, "no dancing and no alcohol". She then tells her, "I won't have to think twice about going through the door with you."
- Eve dances with Jess who brags to her about his blending of science and music and that one day there will be individualized programs designed for personal brain wave patterns. She wonders if it will be possible to add suggestive programs, linked with the user's brain.
- While Mavis and Jess perform live, Roarke becomes very turned on and pulls Eve into a closet, taking her brutally, with none of his usual finesse, overcome by his violent need for her.
- Eve realizes that Jess is using mind control and that he just used it to push Roarke into the sexual act that occurred in the closet.
- When they get back to the party, Jess' cocky smile tells her that she's right.
- Eve interrogates Jess with Peabody in her home office. When he tells her that she should thank him for the sex she and Roarke had in the closet, she punches him in the face. Peabody covers for the record.
- Roarke then takes Jess into his office, grabs his penis and twists. "Hell isn't it, to be led around by the cock? Now, let's talk about private matters."
- Jess is taken to the Brightmore Health Center and then to Cop Central to be held until the interview can be continued the next morning.
- Eve tags Feeney to help dismantle Jess' music console instead of going home with his 'interested' wife.
The day after the partyEdit
- Feeney and Roarke take apart the console until they find a scanner with stored brain wave patterns. Eve hopes to compare them to the four victims' brain wave patterns and prove that Jess had used suggestions linked to their individual patterns to cause them to Self-terminate.
- Eve gets Jess back into interview (September 8, 2058) and hammers at him. He confesses that he has been influencing people and their actions, but he balks at the idea of having been involved in the Self-termination deaths Eve believes to be homicides.
- Feeney informs Eve that the brain wave patterns of the victims haven't been found, but they found Eve's, Mavis', Peabody's and Roarke's. She goes home to get some down time as she is running on chemicals alone.
- Unable to sleep, Eve goes for a swim and Reeanna Ott comes in. Seeing Eve's injuries, she insists on treating her.
- Eve meets with Mira who tells her that Jess is 'a prick', but she can't label him a murderer. Eve tells Mira she is going to contact Dr. Reeanna Ott for a second opinion.
- Nadine Furst hits Eve up for details on what when on during Mavis' party. She smells a story.
- Eve tells her she doesn't have anything for her and is kicking her out of her office when Mavis comes in hysterical. Jess told her that Eve had arrested him because Roarke was pissed off that he'd flirted with Eve. Eve tells her the truth; that Jess was using her to get to Roarke.
- Eve meets with Peabody and Feeney and has them looking for connections between Jess and the victims. She contacts Nadine and offers her a pre-press conference interview if she gets all she can on Senator Pearly.
- Eve goes to Roarke's office and finds Reeanna and William there. She arranges to meet Reeanna in her office after she and William have dinner. She wants to consult Reeanna on the case. As Reeanna leaves, she reminds Roarke to try out the VR unit she gave him.
- Eve has the connection between the victims, they were all online gamers, except for Pearly, who was pushing legislation to set limits and controls on online gaming and gaming units.
- Eve asks Roarke to track the online names of the gamers related to Drew Mathias. He gets started and then turns the machine on auto while he eats dinner with his wife.
- Eve gets to Reeanna's office before her. When Reeanna arrives, they talk and Eve uses her communicator to ask Whitney for authorization to get a second consult that will be contrary to Mira's. When she gets his okay, she looks up and sees on Reeanna's computer screen that she is monitoring Roarke's computer. Eve instantly knows that Reeanna is the one behind the Self-terminations.
- Eve switches her communicator to signal Peabody and Feeney to come to her location as backup. When she turns, Reeanna is holding a police issue stunner on her.
- Roarke considers using the VR unit when he is interrupted by Mavis. She is hysterical and he calms her down. She gives him a disc she copied from Jess that contains his plans to cause Eve nightmares and his plans to tap into Roarke's dark side.
- Eve gets Reeanna to tell her how and why she murdered the four victims, "Because I can."
- Eve attempts to stall Reeanna, getting her to explain her plans in detail. She has been using William without his knowledge for some time now and it was he who planted the virus into the Chief's computer, giving Reeanna access to Eve's brain wave pattern. Eve tells her about the burn left on the brain and Reeanna decides that can be fixed.
- Reeanna outlines her plans for Eve. She intends to kill Roarke with the VR unit she modified for him and then run his empire through Eve who she will control with another unit made just for her.
- Eve panics at the thought of Roarke being coerced to kill himself. She calls for lights out, grabs for her stunner and takes a glancing sting of fire from Reeanna's stunner.
- William walks into Reeanna's office and she stuns him.
- Reeanna attacks Eve and they fight. Reeanna knows where all of Eve's injuries are and she aims for them, but Eve bests her. Eve has her stunner on Reeanna and says she'll put her out. "No you won't," Reeanna says with a brilliant smile, "I will." She forces Eve's weapon against her neck, "I hate cages." She fires and Self-terminates.
- Eve checks to see that William is still alive and then rushes toward Roarke's office. She meets Feeney and Peabody in the corridor and sends Feeney to deal with William while she has Peabody accompany her.
- Eve is frantic on her way to Roarke and finds him on his way to her. He has figured it out through his research. Reeanna was also an online gamer, with the screen name Mindoc for Mind doctor.
- Eve tells Peabody to stun Roarke if he acts strange, but he assures her that he is fine, he didn't use the unit.
- The case is wrapped and Eve wants Roarke to get checked out by MT's. He refuses, but insists on taking her to a Health Center. They argue about it as they head out to Cop Central so that Eve can file her report.
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
List of Peripheral Characters Appearing in this BookEdit
Eve experiences space travel for the first time when she goes to Roarke's Olympus Resort for the last week of their honeymoon.
Eve tells Roarke she loves him in a 'fun' moment and is stunned by his reaction. She admits that she's been a coward not to tell him.
Peabody experiences what it's like to travel in one of Roarke's private shuttles for the first time.
Dr. Li Morris is introduced.
We learn that Peabody played shortstop for the Academy ball team for 2 years.
Other Covers Edit
|| UK edition cover
|| German 1st edition cover
|| German 2nd edition cover
|| German Book Club edition cover
|| BR edition cover
| US 1st edition Blue Lady cover
|| UK edition cover
|| German 1st edition cover
|| German 2nd edition cover
|| German Book Club edition cover
|| BR edition cover
- ↑ pg. 96. Date indicated by Eve while interviewing Arthur Fox.