zondag 13 maart 2011

J.D. Robb – Purity in Death

Book 24 in the In Death series, published July 2005.


Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Wilfred B. Icove has been found dead in his office - murdered in a chillingly efficient manner by one swift stab to the heart. Struck by the immaculate condition of the crime scene, Eve Dallas suspects a professional killing. Security discs show a stunningly beautiful woman calmly entering and leaving the building - the good doctor's final appointment.
Known as "Dr. Perfect," the saintly Icove devoted his life to his family and his work. His record is clean. Too clean for Dallas. She knows he was hiding something and suspects that his son - and successor - knows what it is. Then, like father like son, the young Dr. Icove is killed . . . with the same deadly precision.
But who is the mystery woman - and what was her relationship with the good doctors? With her husband, Roarke, working behind the scenes, Dallas follows her darkest instincts into the Icoves' pasts. And what she discovers are men driven to create perfection - playing fast and loose with the laws of nature, the limits of science, and the morals of humanity.

While tying up a case in the same hospital, Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Detective Delia Peabody are called to the murder of Dr. Wilfred B. Icove Senior. It just happened while his assistant was out to lunch. The murderer is caught on video, as the security in the hospital is extremely severe to protect the identity of the many celebrity patients who come for body sculpting or other cosmetic surgery. The identity of the woman is fake though, and her face is not recognized by the computer in the police databases. But still Dallas thinks it a professional hit as it was done so clean, without anger. One stab through the heart with a medical scalpel. And the killer has to have help inside, as she would not have been able to smuggle the scalpel in the hospital with all the security and body scans.
So Eve starts digging in Dr. Icove’s past, which is not an easy thing, as almost everyone admired the man for his accomplishments in his field and his charities. His record is clean, too clean. His house is clean too, but she does find some encrypted discs in his extremely protected computer. And those discs are triggering her instincts. Those are not ordinary patient files, and Dr. Louise thinks so too. Data and pictures are missing, and why would he record the academic status of those young female patients? Bells are ringing, and Eve starts digging.
Then Dr. Wilfred B. Icove Junior gets killed in his own house, while his wife and kids are safely away. Security discs reveal nothing, but he must have known his killer, as he would never have been found as he was otherwise. Is it the same killer? Is it the wife? Who was a ward of the father when she was a child? What does that phrase mean she told Eve: I am exactly what he wanted …
And when Eve’s deepest suspicions become truth, the whole world will be in an uproar. So before the Government can decide to keep things secret, she is already under a code Blue, a total media blackout, Eve spills the beans to Nadine. This is not something that should stay secret, those woman are not to be used as guinea pigs, lab rats, they have rights too. And with Nadine’s help, they will have their freedom.

This story really gives you something to think about. The moral dilemma’s, who has the right to make those decisions? And where do you draw the line? Who will keep the doctors in line? Are people, babies, commodities?
The quest for the killer was not really important anymore, finding out the truth, the horrible truth, was.

A great book, a great story.

In the private life of Eve and Roarke, they are celebrating Thanksgiving. Roarke has invited his Irish relatives, and most of them have accepted. The house is overrun with them. Eve has invited her friends as well, but Peabody and McNab are visiting Peabody’s family. Something that makes McNab really nervous. The scary Trina gives Eve a valuable clue, and that is almost worth the torture of the dreaded body job. Eve really cannot understand why all the other women like it so much.
And Eve and Roarke are totally spooked that they have to start following birthing coach classes to be there for Mavis and Leonardo when she will have their first child.
But together, they are so great, as usual. Some nice love scenes. And this time, nobody gets wounded in the line of duty, at least not much.

8 stars.

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