Salvation in Death
J. D. Robb
Putnam, Nov 2008, $25.95
Father Miguel Flores is presiding over the funeral service for Hector Ortiz at St. Cristobal’s Church in Spanish Harlem when he drinks the wine from the chalice; he keels over immediately and dies. NY Police and Security Department officer Lieutenant Eve Dallas catches the case. Examining the body affirms her belief that the priest was poisoned with a deadly put in the consecrated wine. Eve and Detective Peabody search Father Miguel’s apartment where she finds amedallion taped to the back of a dresser drawer; it contains the name Lino on it which came from his mother.
The medical examiner finds the priest had extensive facial reconstruction and knife wounds scarred all over the bones in his body. He also had a tattoo removed, but the ME was able to resurface the design, which turns out to be a mark of a gang member. Eve ponders whether the real Father Flores is missing most likely dead with an imposter replacing him. She soon confirms her theory as the false father is Linno Martinez who obviously had a purpose for being at this church in 2160. The cop needs to find a motive for why Martinez was at St. Cristobal’s, why someone killed him, and where is the real Father Flores
Each new book in this superb bestselling futuristic police procedural series enhances the Eve Dallas mythos and deservedly the reputation of J.D. Robb. Eve’s current case is extremely complex having to go back in time to when Juno was a gang leader. This case prove difficult to get a handle on even with her spouse Roarke’s help with all the assets at his disposal. The heroine runs a methodical step by step investigation with each new clue requireing hard work from either Eve or part of her team. There is less banter between the characters even with Roarke and Eve (though the pair still steam up the city), as the official inquiry moves the story line forward in what may be the best “in Death” tale to date.