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Strangers



Plot SummaryEdit

"Technology may be different in 2060 New York, but the city is still a place of many cultures and great divides. But as ever, some murders receive more attention than others - especially those in which the victim is a prominent businessman, found in his Park Avenue apartment, tied to the bed - and strangled - with cords of black velvet.


It doesn't surprise Lt Eve Dallas that Thomas Anders' scandalous death is a source of titillation and speculation to the public - and of humiliation to his family. But while all those in the city are talking about it, people close to Anders aren't so anxious to do the same. With some help from her billionaire husband, Roarke, Eve is soon knocking on doors - or barging through them - to find answers.


But the facts don't add up. Physical evidence suggests that the victim didn't struggle. The security breach in the apartment indicates that the killer was someone connected to the family, but everyone's alibi checks out. Was this a kinky sex game that turned in a crime of passion - or a meticulously planned execution? It's up to Dallas to solve a case in which strangers may be connected in unexpected, and deadly, ways."


MapEdit

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


TimelineEdit

Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.


Approximate Story Start Date: Tuesday, 18th March, 2060 [1]


Day 1 (Tuesday, 18th March, 2060) Edit

  • Lt Eve Dallas studies Thomas Aurelious Anders, who had been found dead by his House Manager, Greta Horowitz. Anders’ wrists and ankles had been bound to the brass headboard and footboard respectively. A fifth matching rope was wrapped around his throat.
  • Eve finds several sex toys on the table beside the bed, as well as an impressive erection under Anders’ duvet.
  • Peabody arrives and verifies the times of death as 3:32 am. There are no signs of forced entry or burglary. Eve notices that the lack of discarded clothes could mean that the killer entered after Anders was asleep. Both agree that the death wasn’t a mistake as the killer doesn’t seem to have even tried to revive or help Anders.
  • They interview Greta Horowitz who gives them her background and informs them of her schedule. She recounts that the victim was a very private person. That is why when she noticed that the bedroom door was open, she was alarmed. On finding the body, she called 911 and then contacted Mrs Anders. She says that the relationship between her employers was "very content..., very well suited", and denies knowing anything about any sort of relationship either may have had outside the marriage.
  • Ava Anders arrives just then. She had been on an annual trip with some female friends to St Lucia. Dallas and Peabody question her too but when asked about her husband’s affairs, Ava ends the interview.
  • Eve and Peabody then head to Anders’ offices, housed in the same building on the Fifth where Roarke Enterprises has its headquarters. They are directed to the 21st and 22nd floors where Anders Worldwide is situated. The reception directs them to Anders' second-in-charge, Benedict Forrest, who they meet after a brief verbal tussle with Leopold Walsh, his Administrative Assistant.
  • Dallas learns that Anders was Ben Forrest’s uncle (his mother’s brother) and that Forrest had an alibi for the night. Both cops feel that Forrest’s shock was genuine.
  • Leaving the building, they run into Roarke, whose waiting for them by Eve’s vehicle. She runs the case by him and gets his impression on the Anders.
  • At the morgue, Morris tells Eve that Anders  was probably drugged before he was strangled, judging from the fact that there were no signs of struggle even though it may have taken him about 15-20 minutes to die.
  • Back in her office, Baxter comes to her for help on one of his cases that is stalled – Ned Custer, who got his throat slashed by a mysterious woman in a “flop”.  Eve promises to take a look at the file.
  • Peabody gives Eve the background info she’s dug up on Ben Forrest and Ava Anders. Morris’ toxicology report comes through, confirming that he was drugged, not once but twice. Nadine calls for info on the investigation; Eve agrees to send Peabody to Nadine’s show Now
  • Edmond Luce, Anders’ friend and golf partner, comes to scream at Eve about the scandal being created about Anders’ death. Eve calms him down, questions him. Luce claims to know nothing about Anders’ sexual relationship with anyone other than Ava. He informs her that Ben receives majority of Anders’ estate, though Ava gets a huge chunk too.
  • Eve detours to the Anders house on her way home. She speaks to Greta and Ben Forrest, then goes to the bedroom and tries to trace the killer’s moves.
  • Home – she has her usual spar with Summerset. Eve discusses the case with Roarke over dinner; they decide to split the financials – she takes Ben, he Ava. Roarke finds that Ava has been paying Charles Monroe regular bimonthly payments for the last 18 months.
  • They head to Charles’ apartment. Charles refuses to give them any information without Ava’s consent. 
  • On their way home, they both agree that Charles had been behaving differently. They discuss marriage and love, have sex, fall asleep.


Day 2 (Wednesday, 19th March, 2060) Edit

  • Eve brings Peabody up to date about everything she and Roarke found the night before. Roarke agrees to take a further look at the financials; Eve and Peabody leave the house.
  • They head to Brigit Plowder’s home, which is where Ava is temporarily staying. They question Ava about Anders’ habits and security preferences, as well as her relationship with Charles. Ava claims that Anders wanted more variety in bed and she wasn’t comfortable with his demands. Rather than ruin their marriage, they decided to use professionals for that purpose. She gives her consent for Charles to talk to them.
  • Louise greets them when they reach Charles’ apartment and they pick up strange vibes from her too. Charles tells them that Ava had been nervous initially, that she enjoyed being tended to and that she had asked him if LCs did visits to a client’s home.
  • They swing by Sasha Bride-West’s house and question her.
  • Eve heads to Mira’s office and bumps into Charles, who is just leaving. Mira refuses to answer any of Eve’s questions about him. About Anders’ death, she says that it was a personal act, designed to humiliate him. Eve admits to Mira that she likes Ava for this murder but has no evidence.
  • Dallas swings by EDD to discuss the case with Feeney but finds him very ill. She persuades him to go home and gets a uniform to escort him. She then gets McNab to look closely at Ava’s electronics. 
  • Ben Forrest comes to see her, ask her for an update. He mentions that they’re having the memorial the next day.
  • Eve re-listens to the conversation between Greta and Ava, checks transportation from New York to St. Lucia and is frustrated to find that Ava has a perfect alibi.
  • Dallas updates Commander Whitney and Chief Tibble, explaining to them why she suspects Ava Anders
  • On her way back to her office she is hailed by Tiko, who offers her a tip in exchange for a drink. He takes her to a shop near Times Square where a pickpocket appears to be dropping of his loot. After getting him, Eve drops Tiko off at his house and speaks to his granny about a reward.
  • Back at home, she watches and approves of Peabody’s interview on Now. Over dinner she discusses her suspicions about Ava with Roarke and gets him to check if her voice matches with that in the conversation with Greta. It does. 
  • They go to the Anders’ apartment, where Roarke has a look at the security and Eve at Ava’s belongings.
  • They stop by at Sasha Bide-West’s home and Eve asks her to recount what happened on the morning of the murder.


Day 3 (Thursday, 20th March, 2060) Edit

  • Over breakfast, Eve and Roarke discuss the possibility that Ava had involved her two friends in the murder of her husband. At Cop Central, Eve takes a look at the Custer case and advises Baxter to look for a man, perhaps Suzanne Custer’s boyfriend, dressed as a woman, who could have killed Ned Custer.
  • Eve and Peabody decide to have another talk with Leopold Walsh, who tells them that he found Ava cold, petty, ruthless and deliberate. He agrees that she is capable of killing and admits that she didn’t really love her husband.
  • Next, they stop by at the Roarke Palace Hotel where Edmond and Linny Luce are staying. They recount how Anders and Ava met. Luce claims that Ava was never interested in the company and its workings.
  • As they are leaving Dirk Bronson, Ava’s ex-husband calls. He says they separated because he strayed; also tells Eve that Ava was ambitious and looking for money, fame and respect.
  • Eve pays Greta Horowitz a visit, who tells her that Ava was generally happier when Thomas Anders was away on a trip. She feels uncomfortable with Ava Anders now, and has already started looking for another job.
  • Eve gets a lift from Roarke and his limo from Greta’s house to the memorial; she tells him about the day and the progress she’s made.
  • At the memorial Eve speaks with Ben and lets Ava know that she understands her game. She is cornered by Karla Blaze Tibble, who knows Ava through some charity work they did together. She describes Ava as a master at organization.
  • Back at Cop Central, Eve is met by Abigail Johnson, Tiko’s great grandmother, who has baked Eve a pie to thank her for helping Tiko.  She then begins to go through the pile of projects that Ava worked on throughout her career at Anders Worldwide. She discusses her theory that maybe Ava got one of the employees or one of the mothers involved in her sports camps to kill Anders with Dr Mira.
  • At home, she takes an hour for a swim and pool sex. She tries to tag Charles with but doesn’t get through.
  • Charles takes Louise to the house he has just bought for them. He tells her that he has turned in his LC’s license and is going to now practice as a sex therapist. He asks her to marry him; she accepts.
  • Eve and Roarke divide the files of all the people involved in Ava’s sports camps. Eve gets a hit: Bebe Petrelli, the daughter of a Mafia clan leader, has a mile long criminal record and two kids in Ava’s sports camps.
  • Charles and Louise drop by to announce their engagement; Roarke offers them the use of the gardens where Eve and he were married for their wedding.
  • Eve puts in another couple of hours going through the lists before Roarke carries her off to bed. She has a strange dream about the case that inspires her to rethink Ava’s relationships with everyone else.


Day 4 (Friday, 21st March, 2060) Edit

  • Eve and Roarke discuss her dream.
  • With Peabody, Eve heads to Bebe Petrelli’s house. Bebe tells her about how her husband was killed, and that the Anders scholarship combined with the work she puts in will ensure that her boys have a better life than she has had. When Eve accuses her of killing Anders, she demands that they leave.
  • Eve questions Bebe’s neighbour, Cecil Blink while Peabody talks to the other neighbour. They don’t get anything interesting from them. They follow Bebe to work and then get two uniforms to continue following her.
  • At Central, Eve studies Anders’ electronic pill dispenser in which, she suspects, the sleeping drugs were hidden. She contacts EDD, finds a healthier Feeney back at work, gives the pill dispenser to him and asks him if to see if Ava had changed the pills in it.
  • When she gets back to her office, Benedict Forrest is waiting for her. He doesn’t believe that Ava could have killed his uncle. He admits that before the murder he and Ava weren’t very close and often didn’t see eye to eye on several matters.
  • Eve thinks that Ava killed Anders’ father, Reginald Anders, as well. She contacts Walsh to ask him who Ava’s PA was; he says she didn’t have one but usually used some of the volunteers for her drone work. He promises to make a list for Eve.
  • Bebe Petrelli comes to talk to Eve. Ava had told Bebe that her husband was sexually abusing her and was threatening to stop the programs and the scholarships. The only way he could be stopped was if he were to die. The conversation didn’t go any further because Bebe cut her off. After that Ava avoided Bebe completely. Eve tells her that she has asked the Bronx cops to reopen her husband, Luca’s case.
  • Peabody speaks to Reginald Anders’ wife, who tells her that on the day he died, things were a little chilly between Ava and him.
  • Eve takes Roarke along to interview another of the mothers involved in Ava’s program, Cassie Gordon, a stripper at a low grade sex club called Bang She Bang. Cassie reveals that Ava had told her that Anders was mistreating her, that he was into strange activities in bed that she didn’t approve off. But both women didn’t take a liking to each other and Ava didn’t say any more to Cassie.
  • Eve and Roarke fight about the fact that she’s tapped and won’t ask him for any money or just take it herself from one of the safes.
  • After dinner they decide to divide the names of parents that had worked for Ava, all on the list that Walsh had composed. Almost immediately Eve sees Suzanne Custer’s name there and links it to Baxter’s Ned Custer case.
  • Roarke connects it to the Strangers On A Train concept. Eve schedules a meeting with her team for the next day. Eve and Roarke make love.


Day 5 (Wednesday, 22nd March, 2060) Edit

  • Over breakfast, Eve briefs her team, reveals the connection between Suzanne and Ava. She delegates jobs to her team, while she heads to question Suzanne with Baxter. They get her into Central for an interview.
  • In the Interview Room they show her pictures of Anders’ body and tell her what they know until she finally breaks down. Eve makes a deal with Cher Reo to bring down Suzanne’s sentence in return for solid information about Ava.
  • Suzanne tells them that at a retreat for mothers, Ava had told her about how abused she was. The women had made a pact that Ava would kill Ned Custer, and Suzanne would take care of Thomas Anders. For some months nothing happened and Suzanne forgot about it until Ava contacted her, took her for a drive, after Ned’s murder. Ava reminded her that her part of the deal remained. Suzanne recounts how she carried out the murder and Eve takes her through it step by step again, looking for details.
  • Roarke finds the man from whom Ava bought the remote for the security system. He had been cautious enough to have the person picking up the remote, one of Ava’s volunteers, all the way back to the Anders’ residence.
  • Eve visits the rest-stop where Ava and Suzanne had stopped to let the latter throw up after Ava had finished describing Ned’s murder to her. The security tech there remembers Ava’s shiny black Mercedes.
  • Peabody contacts Eve to let her know that they found bag in Suzanne’s home containing the remote, Anders’ pajamas, meds, etc.
  • Eve speaks to the owner of Suzanne’s usual grocery store who remembers seeing her walk past with Ava.
  • From Greta Eve gets confirmation the Ava owns several wigs, including a red one that she may have used while killing Ned, for an annual costume party. Peabody confirms that Suzanne bought sex toys and velvet rope from Just Sex and Bondage Baby.
  • Eve sends Troy Trueheart to get Ava into Central. She has Bebe Petrelli and Cassie Gordon walked past Ava in a successful attempt to piss her off.
  • In interview Eve shows her the wig and asks her about Ned Custer. Ava claims that she led Ned to the hotel room and then left him there with Suzanne, who was going to confront him. Eve continues to show Ava the evidence, accuses her of killing her father in-law until Ava begins to claim that Suzanne was blackmailing her. Then the story changes until Ava claims that Ned was going to rape her and she killed him in self defense.
  • When she finally realizes that she is truly trapped, Ava asks for a lawyer. She attacks Eve, who takes the initial nail swipe and then retaliates with a shot that renders Ava unconscious. 
  • Baxter agrees to book Ava. Eve goes to her office to file her report where Roarke treats her wound. While he waits for her to finish her report he thinks about buying Ava’s shares in Anders Worldwide and putting them under Eve Dallas’ name.


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Memorable QuotesEdit

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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


List of Peripheral Characters Appearing in this BookEdit


Trivia Edit

Other Covers Edit

Additional covers here


UK edition cover


German 1st edition cover


German Book Club edition cover


French edition cover


Hungarian edition cover


Brilliance Audio unabridged edition cover


UK edition cover


German 1st edition cover


German Book Club edition cover


French edition cover


Hungarian edition cover


Brilliance Audio unabridged edition cover



Other ReleasesEdit

Footnotes Edit

  1. Stranger In Death; Pg. 2.



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