“But most people are too greedy, too impatient. They want it all, and they want it now.” – Thankless in Death, Chapter 4
Murder doesn't stop for Thanksgiving.
As the household of NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband Roarke prepares for an invasion of family and friends, an ungrateful son decides to stop the nagging from his parents - by ending their lives.
Soon Jerald Reinhold is working his way through anyone who has ever thwarted him in his path to an easy life. Eve is increasingly frustrated in her efforts to cover all the potential victims as Jerald stays a terrifying step ahead.
As the festivities begin, Eve is desperate to identify which victim on Jerald's long list will be the next, so she can stop the killing spree...
Please reference the Thankless in Death Map for locations or approximate locations of sites listed here.
| Spoiler warning!|
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.
Story Dates: November 22-25, 2060 (Thanksgiving week)
Friday afternoon, 19 November 2060Edit
- Jerald Reinhold thinks his mother is nagging him too much about getting a job, being responsible, not taking money from other people, etc. On the spur of the moment he stabs his mother to death. He then eats the sandwich she has been making for him.
Day 1: Monday, 22 November 2060Edit
- During a relaxing morning at home, Roarke reminds Dallas that his family is coming on Wednesday for Thanksgiving.
- When Dallas enters her bullpen, Jenkinson is wearing a truly horrible necktie. Lots of banter between cops, which pleases Eve.
- Dallas and Peabody are dispatched to the site of a double homicide.
- Carl and Barbara Reinhold are dead on their apartment. Carl had been beaten to death with a baseball bat, left at the scene; Barbara had been stabbed multiple times, apparently with the kitchen knife still sticking out of her back. The house is tidy, except for signs of searching in the master bedroom and a second bedroom that somebody has moved out of.
- Dallas reconstructs: the murderer is “pissed”, grabs the knife “and lets her have it”, it felt so good that he waits around, he washes himself and changes clothes, searches the house for money and specific valuables, and kills the man when he gets home. She tells Peabody to run the son.
- Neighbor Sylvia Guntersen found the couple. She and husband Walter give details on the Reinholds and the problems they had with their son Jerry.
- Dallas is unsurprised that the household cash is missing from the apartment. What Peabody reports on her background check solidifies Dallas’s theory that Jerry killed his parents “because his life’s in the toilet and they’d decided to stop pulling him out”.
- Review of the security disks show that he left, smiling and hauling two suitcases, on late Saturday night – having stayed in the apartment with the dead bodies for more than 24 hours.
- They track him, via his cab, to The Manor, “a fancy boutique hotel, West Village”. The staff are respectful and helpful (Roarke owns the hotel), but Jerry had checked out two hours before and headed to the airport for a flight to Miami. He had paid his large bill -- incurred by living “like a king” with multiple gourmet meals from room service, premium champagne, minibar, and entertainment discs -- with cash.
- While at the hotel, Jerry had transferred all his parents’ money into accounts under his name. Those accounts were then cleaned out, in person, and converted to cash and cashier’s checks – the last account only 15 minutes ago.
- Dallas interviews Malachi Golde at his apartment, which is Jerry’s last known address. Mal has known Jerry all his life. They shared the apartment for a few years but 8 or 9 months ago Mal made him leave because “he wasn’t holding up his share, or even really trying to”. He supplies names and contact information for other friends and Lori Nuccio, Jerry’s ex-girlfriend. Mal is devastated at the Reinholds’ deaths but “can’t believe” that Jerry killed them, despite the details Dallas gives him.
- Lori’s neighbor confirms that “no one liked Jerry” but she hasn’t seen him since Lori “kicked him out” a month ago. Lori had told her that he didn’t pay the rent, stole from her, and hit her. Lori’s link number has been changed so Dallas cannot contact her.
- At the morgue, Morris says the mother was stabbed 53 times with the kitchen knife (“Serious overkill” says Dallas). The father took about 30 blows with the baseball bat, the first of which was to the face.
- Back at Cop Central, Peabody updates Dallas about her interviews. Jerry’s friend Joe Klein is “pretty much of a dick” and laughs when recounting some of his antics. Another friend, Dave Hildebran, “hit ten on the shocked scale” but, after reflection, said he had “wondered if Reinhold was a shaky boomer primed to explode. Pissed at the world, was the phrase he used—considered his parents interfering, demanding, and to blame for whatever came to mind.” Neither friend has seen Jerry since the day before the murders.
- Dallas gets an update from Detective Carmichael on her case: a funk dealer who killed a junkie who tried to buy drugs using Monopoly money.
- Commander Whitney summons Dallas to his office, where she reports on the Reinhold investigation. It turns out, however:
- He is notifying her that on Wednesday she will be awarded the Medal of Honor and Roarke will be awarded Medal of Merit—Civilian for the Red Horse case (‘’Delusion in Death’’).
- Whitney also shocks Dallas with a question: “Do you want a captaincy?” Dallas decides that she is “not ready to ride a desk” because that her strength is “an investigator…. a murder cop”.
- The Reinholds’ neighbor has listed the missing items from their apartment: jewelry, watches, electronics, sterling silver flatware, and other obviously valuable items. Jerry had missed some old, valuable items out of ignorance.
- Dallas and Peabody track the sales of the stolen goods through pawnshops and estate jewelry stores. Witnesses and security footage confirm that Jerry was the seller, so “he’s feathering his nest, and fast”.
- A former boss, Fitz Ravinski, adds to the unflattering picture of Jerry Reinhold as a lazy, shiftless, rude jerk.
- Peabody and McNab go to Lori’s apartment but her neighbor says she has not yet come home.
- 20 minutes later, Lori returns home. She talks to her neighbor, then enters her apartment. Jerry is waiting. He knocks her unconscious with a bat, strips off her clothes, and ties her up; he wakes her up, brags about what he’d done with his parents, hurts and humiliates her, and finally strangles her with a cord (which brings him to orgasm).
- Dallas goes home and, inspired by Peabody’s story of “date night” and with a little menu coaching from Summerset, sets up a “lovely” dinner on the roof terrace as a surprise for Roarke. The intention is welcome, as he had some unpleasant tasks that day.
- They talk about people who have “arrogance, carelessness, and... a warped sense of entitlement”, including Jerry Reinhold.
- She also tells him about her medal (which he congratulates her on, and he is amused at her discomfort) and his medal (which appalls him, to her amusement).
- He is happy that she was offered captain, but annoyed and “gobsmacked” that she didn’t take it. Once she explains her reasoning, however, he accepts her decision because he “can’t argue with truth”.
- After a quick bout of sex as dessert, she sets up her home office to work the homicide.
- Peabody calls Dallas about their abortive visit to her apartment and a follow-up with the friend who spent the day with Lori, they realize that Lori has had 3 hours to contact the police but has not.
- Concerned about the ex-girlfriend, Dallas and Roarke go to Lori’s apartment and find her body.
- Dallas, Roarke, Peabody, and McNab work the crime scene and start the local canvass. Jerry planned and prepared for this one: he brought the tools he needed and he had to stake out the building.
- Peabody contacts everyone else whom Jerry might go for (his friends, family members, former employers, coworkers, and Lori’s friend), warning them to stay safe and call the police if they hear from him.
- Mira comes to the crime scene and helps Dallas get “a better handle on this guy”. Mira anticipates that he will expand his victims into those he feels slighted him and may adapt his killing method to reflect the perceived sin. Mira also helps Dallas work through her feeling that she “screwed up” by not anticipating Lori’s death.
- Jerry knows he needs “a nice place to stay, another infusion of money into his Fuck-You Fund, and a stellar fake ID to go with the new look he had planned.” He heads to Tribeca and Ms. Farnsworth, a retired teacher who had “screwed him over in Computer Science in high school.” When she returns from walking her dog, Snuffy, Jerry knocks her out, kicks the dog, and invades her home.
- The local door-to-door canvass found a witness – a waiter at a café across the street from Lori’s apartment – who remembers Reinhold and describes his current appearance.
- After tying Farnsworth to a chair, Jerry tours the house and makes plans for payback and his future. He threatens torture and hits her. Farnsworth decides that she must cooperate in order to survive.
- Dallas and the team work a number of leads. They locate the hotel where he rented a day room – as Mal Golde – to change his appearance and to store his loot before selling it.
- Peabody and McNab catch some sleep in the crib at Cop Central. Dallas and Roarke check into the Manor to spend the night.
- Dallas has a dream in which she talks to Lori Nuccio, and they work out some of Jerry’s motivation and future moves.
- Jerry transfers money from Farnsworth’s bank accounts then goes to bed. Farnsworth is left in the dark, slowly trying to loosen the bonds that attach her to the chair.
Day 2: Tuesday, 23 November 2060Edit
- Dallas and Roarke follow their standard morning routine although they are in the hotel. In big business news, Roarke buys EuroCom in the anticipation of restructuring and generating “about a half million new jobs”.
- Jerry changes his appearance in anticipation of shopping for an upscale apartment as a permanent base. Farnsworth, dehydrated and still sitting in her urine and blood, silently vows to pay him back in any way she can. She tells him she will no longer do his will, so he threatens to further hurt Scruffy instead and she says she will make the ID and upload altered data as he demanded.
- Dallas goes to the morgue and discusses Lori with Morris. Harvo (mistakenly called Harpo) is working on hair from the crime scene.
- Peabody finds two pawnbrokers where Jerry sold his parents’ items.
- Dallas and Peabody create a time line of Jerry’s movements and a route map to help narrow down his possible location. She officially asks Feeney for McNab’s help on the electronics aspects.
- She also talks to Feeney about the upcoming medals, being captain, and why she turned down the rank.
- Dallas closes herself in her office and lets all the information stew.
- Farnsworth is creating the new ID. The process is going slowly despite Jerry’s threats to maim her and her dog. She hopes he won’t recognize exactly what she is dictating.
- Dallas and Peabody return to the Reinholds’ apartment, looking for grudges and locations where he might hide. They also talk through a chilling recreation of that Friday.
- Jerry tours an apartment that is, “for him, a wet dream”. He rents it on the spot and demands that the agent make arrangements for him to move in this evening.
- Dallas traces Jerry’s route over the last few days. Along the way, they identify the shop where he purchased his enhancements on Monday afternoon. The sales clerk had created a “comp morph” to show Jerry what he would look like if he bought certain products (although he again used Mal Golde’s ID), so now the NYPSD has an image of his current appearance.
- Dallas also covertly buys the lip dye that Peabody had been squealing over, then gives it to Peabody as “a prize” for finding the shop.
- Peabody recontacts “Asshole Joe” Klein (who again blows off the warning).
- Jerry returns to Farnsworth’s brownstone and packs up so he can move to his newly rented apartment. At his orders, the house droid has been selling Farnsworth’s electronics, and he sends it out again with the final batch.
- Jerry brags about his new wealth and importance to Farnsworth. She tells the truth of what she thinks of him. Enraged, he punches her again and then puts a plastic bag over her head to suffocate her. She fights back and seriously hurts him before she dies, smiling inside.
- His foot hurts so much that he catches a cab to the closest medical clinic.
- Dallas and Peabody go to talk to Jerry’s friends Mal Golde and Dave Hildebran with follow-up questions. Mal’s mother also has opinions (“He’s a spoiled, good-for-nothing whiner, and always has been.... He’s a showoff.... And he’s got a mean streak.”) because she saw the boys grow up. The three come up with “a long list” of people against whom Jerry might hold a grudge.
- New York and Brooklyn police contact the local people on that list and offer protection if they want it. Dallas and Peabody go to check on the highest probability person, Jerry’s high school Comp Science teacher.
- After trying unsuccessfully to call Farnsworth and talking with her neighbors, they go into the house and find Farnsworth’s body with TOD only 43 minutes before. A neighbor takes Snuffy to the vet.
- Feeney starts tracing Farnsworth stolen money and electronics. The sweepers come in.
- A witness describes Jerry and tells them he was limping. Peabody tracks a cab that picked up nearby and took the fare to a local urgent care clinic. At the clinic, they determine that he was treated only about an hour ago for a broken foot (soft cast) and bruised diaphragm (wrapped).
- A pawnbroker’s assistant reports buying electronics, and Dallas hopes the electronics will let them trace the stolen money’s trail. Peabody gives the assistant a reward voucher, and Dallas sends her to Roarke’s downtown human resources manager because she’s going to lose her job for doing the right thing.
- Dallas splits up the list of local targets, and sends squad members to do face-to-face checks and recon, in the hopes of finding “his next kill” first.
- Feeney is working the money trail.
- Roarke joins Dallas as she drives to the morgue for an update. Dallas also discovers that her vehicle has a backseat mini-autochef, stocked with protein shakes and coffee.
- Roarke works on Farnsworth’s recovered comp, which had been wiped by the house droid before being pawned, while Dallas drives around personally talking to the targets in lower Manhattan. The consensus is sorrow about Farnsworth and uncomplimentary about Jerry (“mean and spiteful”, “lazy, arrogant, sneaky”, “a backbiter” without self-discipline).
- Dallas and Roarke head home. Summerset tells them that the Irish relatives are due to arrive the next afternoon. The DeBlasses will also be coming to town later tonight. Eve picks a little fight because she is “jittery”, and the couple ends up sparring and having sex. They also talk about how Eve feels overwhelmed, worried about seeing Nixie Swisher and hurting her again, and guilty about Jerry’s victims because she was “just too late”.
- After running more probabilities and refining the map, Dallas goes to bed.
- Jerry is wallowing in the luxury of his new apartment and the building’s amenities. He adds more names to his “Shit List” and thinks about how he could hurt each person. He sends the droid out for his favorite pizza. He falls asleep watching violent porn.
Day 3: Wednesday, 24 November 2060Edit
- Eve and Roarke start their day with exercise, breakfast, and her wishing she could cancel or at least postpone the medal ceremony that afternoon.
- In her home office, Eve assesses Jerry’s state of mind and most likely next target. She decides “to have a face-to-face with Asshole Joe today.”
- On her way to Joe’s apartment of record, Dallas thinks about routines. She contacts Mal for Jerry’s favorite pizza place, sports teams, hang-out locales, LCs, etc. Peabody starts working those leads.
- Joe continues to make excuses for his childhood friend and refuses to believe that he’s in any danger, again turning down police protection.
- Back at Cop Central, Dallas searches high-end hotels, apartments, condos, and rentals. She gets input from Baxter on fancy furnishings, then adds in gourmet food sources. Peabody finds the pizza parlor, which narrows the search further. Roarke reports that they’ve seen “some wort of code within the codes” left by Farnsworth.
- Dallas changes into her uniform before meeting up with Roarke again and heading for the award ceremony, which was moved to the auditorium because of rain. Kyung outlines the program and agrees that Dallas can cut the reception to 10 minutes.
- The ceremony begins.
- Dallas is shocked and proud that every seat is filled – Mavis and her family, Dallas’s entire division, EDD, Mira, Charles Monroe, Morris, Reo, Jamie Lingstrom, all of Roarke’s Irish relatives (who secretly came in early), Summerset, Nixie with her new family... This ceremony is for Dallas and Roarke, but she realizes that it’s also for all the victims and survivors.
- Roarke is awarded and gets a standing ovation from the audience.
- For Dallas’s award, Whitney’s speech is interrupted by applause. Then Whitney “nearly did her in by stepping back, saluting”, as the audience rises again for an ovation.
- Her speech flies out of her head, but she pulls herself together with several “okay”s and says a few lines.
- After “more blah-blah with the mayor, more handshakes, a few more photos” she goes backstage, where Nixie touches the medal and Sinead hugs her and Roarke.
- Then she changes and gets back to work.
- Jerry is happily setting up his living room as a killing chamber.
- After hours spent on the ‘link and comp, Dallas is frustrated at Jerry’s continuing luck and their inability to find him. Peabody reports her contacts, and says that thousands of eyes are looking for him. Now it’s an hour past shift and time to transition home for their out-of-town guests from Ireland.
- At the house, a fun and viscious ball game is being played on the lawn. Inside Eve sits down to “catch your breath” for a minute with Sinead and other relatives in the parlor.
- Joe Klein smirks at another missed call from NYPSD and heads to the last appointment of the day, a house-call to a new client who wants to buy insurance. Joe is puzzled at the clear plastic covering the floor, then Jerry takes him down with one swing of the bat.
- When the sodden, muddy football crew comes in from the game, Eve escapes to her office. Sinead accidentally sees the murder board; Eve is horrified but Sinead tells her how much Eve’s justice and law are needed by the people left behind by murder.
- Eve admits there’s nothing more to be done tonight and they go down for family time.
- After securing Joe in a plastic-covered chair, Jerry has a large meal. Then he tortures Joe while explaining why he hates him.
- After a “long, noisy dinner” with the family – which she secretly enjoyed – Eve puts in some more time on the case. Roarke suggests that he could help because he owns some buildings in the likely area.
- Joe has passed out from the torture “and it wasn’t much fun to pound on an unconscious guy”, so Jerry changes clothes. He goes to the on-site nightclub (where he adds the bartender to the Shit List) and picks up some snack food at the market.
- The e-team further refines the code and routing, and its underlying message of “Jerald Reinhold did this”, with growing respect for Farnsworth’s e-skills.
- In the early morning, Roarke carries a half-sleeping Eve to bed.
Day 4: Thursday (Thanksgiving), 25 November 2060Edit
- Mal Golde wakes Dallas at 5am with a half-panicked call that Joe was a no-show to a date last night and nobody can find him.
- After checking his apartment and talking to the date, Dallas knows that Jerry got him. She apologizes to Roarke because this is “going to screw up your big family holiday” but he says everyone understands.
- Mira suggests the kinds of buildings where Jerry would be, and that further narrows their working map.
- Dallas gets a call that a credit card has popped a fraud notification; when she runs the name, she sees Jerry’s face – Farnsworth had buried the fraud alert in Jerry’s new ID. Roarke comes in with confirmation: the e-team has deciphered the full message, with Jerry’s new name and new address. He’s in a building that Roarke owns.
- Dallas assembles an operation to storm the apartment in teams, and they head out. (The final briefing is overheard by Sean, to his “awe and joy”.)
- With Joe’s “harsh, sobbing screams” and pleas in the background, Jerry gets dressed, eats breakfast, and watches the Thanksgiving parade.
- Expedited by full and speedy cooperation from the head of security for the apartment building, and the police teams move in.
- They arrest Jerry and Carmichael takes him to Cop Central.
- Medics attend to Joe – as he apologizes for not listening to their warnings – and wheel him to the waiting ambulance.
- Searching the apartment yields overwhelming evidence: electronics, torture tools and other equipment, a full Thanksgiving meal held in readiness, droid with intact memory, etc.
- Dallas sends everybody home for Thanksgiving, then Roarke drives while she plots her approach to interrogating Jerry.
- Peabody and Dallas double-team him as good cop/bad cop, with props. Jerry tries to pin the crimes on Joe, but ends up bragging about what he did and calling it self-defense: “they all screwed with me, so I screwed with them bigger.” He is charged and booked.
- When they return to the mansion, they step into a ceili and much merriment with friends and family. Nixie gives Eve a hand-drawn picture of herself as a kick-ass cop from a graphic novel; on the back is an essay about why Nixie is thankful for Eve. Eve says “I’m going to put it in my office, at Central. And it’ll remind me to tell the truth and keep promises.”
- And they go in to the Thanksgiving feast.
List of Main Characters Appearing in this BookEdit
List of Secondary Characters Appearing in this BookEdit
- David Baxter
- Ryan Feeney
- Mavis Freestone
- Nadine Furst
- Ian McNab
- Charlotte Mira
- Delia Peabody
- Lawrence Summerset
- Troy Trueheart
- Jack Whitney
List of Recurring Characters Appearing in this BookEdit
List of Minor Characters Appearing in this BookEdit
- Jerald Reinhold
- Lori Nuccio
- Barbara Reinhold
- Carl Reinhold
- Nixie Swisher
- Richard DeBlass
- Elizabeth Barrister
Other Covers Edit