Book 12 in the In Death series, published in 2000.
In an uptown stripjoint, a cop is found bludgeoned to death. The weapon is a baseball bat. The motive’s a mystery. It’s a case of serious overkill that pushes Eve Dallas straight into overdrive. Her investigation uncovers a private club that’s more than a hot spot. Purgatory’s a last chance for atonement where everyone is judged. Where your ultimate fate depends on your most intimate sins. And where one cop’s hidden secrets are about to plunge innocent souls into vice-ridden damnation …
Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called as primary to investigate the vicious murder of another cop in a strip joint. It appears he was moonlighting as a bartender for some extra cash to afford a bigger house for his wife and two children. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with that. Also, the strip joint is a very upscale one, so it comes as no surprise when she finds out her husband Roarke owns the place. But something is off, as the manager didn’t know Kohli was a cop. She thought he was working in security. And she did check out his references.
From the beginning, Internal Affairs is messing with her investigation. Sending Webster, to warn her off, the feed her hints and suggestions. Was Kohli a bad cop? And why leave the thirty silver credits, like the thirty silvers Judas got for betraying Jesus on the scene? The badge smeared with blood? All the police force will be after this murdered, after all, he killed one of their own.
The captain of the precinct Kohli was working for, wants the investigation for herself, but Eve refuses. All the leads turn back to one person: Max Ricker, a very bad apple. He has been arrested numerous times, but always managed to slither free. And some time ago, Max and Roarke were in business together. Until Roarke decided he didn’t like the business Max was involved in, nor the way he did business, and ended their relationship, skinning Max for several million of dollars.
Kohli and the other officers from his precinct were very close to nailing Max Ricker half a year ago, but then evidence got missing or mixed up, witnesses disappeared, and Max got free, again. It all points to dirty cops, but no one wants to investigate that, wants to believe that from their colleagues. And now Eve has to figure out who is dirty, who is not, and who is killing of the cops they believe are dirty. Who will be next? And will she be able to pin this on Ricker, and bust his ass?
Roarke doesn’t want Eve to go after Ricker, as Ricker is not to be messed with. He has no scruples, and enjoys hurting woman. But Eve doesn’t heed his warning, and gets an interview with Ricker. Who is delighted at this chance to hurt Eve, and through her, Roarke. He really wants to get at Roarke, and Eve uses it to goad him into action. Resulting in getting four heavily armed goons on her tail, whom she manages to arrest. But just when she has made a deal with one of them to roll over on Ricker, the man is murdered, while being guarded by two cops!
Another cop from the same precinct gets murdered, and he really is a bad cop. He has been taking money on the side for years, but Eve has no way to prove it was Ricker buying him. The captain has some things to hide too, and she turns up highly on the suspect list. She new Kohli was working in Purgatory, she was seen visiting there as a customer.
And no cop would let a stranger get this close to him to get killed without even defending himself. Is this murderer really another cop?
A really great story this one. With a lot of action, where Eve is in danger a few times. Also a big fight between Roarke and Eve, and Eve getting drunk with Mavis to try to figure out how to patch things up between them. Some very hot love scenes are the result, and Roarke gets his revenge on Ricker, but not how he wants to. Webster makes a move on Eve, and Roarke trashes him for it. Even though Eve would have done that herself.
Ricker does his best to capture Eve, and to hurt Roarke, but of course he is out of his league. And Eve learns a little more about her past, when she gets another flash back.