vrijdag 18 maart 2011

J.D. Robb – Haunted in Death

Part of the anthology Bump in the night, with stories by Mary Blayney, Ruth Langan, and Mary Kay McComas. Published March 2006.


Number Twelve is an urban legend in 2060 New York City. The hot club in the 1960s, it is now reported to be haunted and cursed. Lieutenant Eve Dallas is called there to investigate the apparent murder of Radcliff Hopkins, its new owner and the grandson of the man who made Number Twelve a cultural icon. Several bullets from a banned gun end his dream of returning the building to its former glory.
With everyone around her talking about the supernatural, pragmatic Eve won't let rumors of ghosts distract her from hard evidence. The case becomes even more bizarre when it appears to be linked to the suspicious disappearance of a rock star a hundred years ago. As Eve searches for the connection, logic clashes with the unexplainable. She may be forced to face the threat of something more dangerous than a flesh-and-blood killer.

Even though this is only a novella, it is a really great story!
Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Detective Peabody are called to a murder in an old building. It is very rare to find someone shot to dead, since the gun ban. But Eve recognises what she sees as he has previous experience with those kind of wounds. The victim was shot nine times. The killer had to reload to take the last shot, with the gun pressed against his fore head. This was not only ice-cold, it was really personal. Not for profit as the vics wallet and other stuff was not taken. All the doors are locked from the inside, so Eve is going to check the rest of the building. To her enormous surprise, Peabody is scared to stay alone. This is the infamous number Twelve! It is haunted, and cursed! But Eve doesn’t believe in that crap, a ghost cannot pull the trigger. So she sends Peabody out to talk with the first on scene again, while she canvasses the building. On the fourth floor she finds a window open, and a diamond hairclip underneath it. A faint sound leads her to a hole in the wall, a hole with bones in it, the second hair clip, and the murder weapon. It appears she has found the body of Bobby Bray, a famous pop icon who disappeared almost a hundred years ago. Rumours where that she was murdered by Hop Hopkins, but that was never proven. He probably had bought of the cops, as they would have spotted the fresh wall in his apartment.
So now Eve has two murders on her hands, and they have to be linked. So she starts out looking for relatives of both victims. For once she doesn’t have to bribe the labtechnicians, Dickhead is elated with this find. And everyone around Eve seems to believe in the curse, the haunting, even her own husband Roarke. But Eve just won’t. There has to be an explanation to the sounds, the music, the cold.
But in the end of the story, she will have to believe …

As I said, a really great story. Of course I already knew what happened, but it was fun to read it again.

8,5 stars.

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