I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Friday, September 30, 2016

Survivor In Death by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts)

This has to be one of the more horrifying books in the series for the reader, as well as Lieutenant Dallas and her husband Roarke.  A ten-year-old girl is happy that her mother is allowing her best friend to stay over on a weeknight, because the girl's parents are celebrating their anniversary.  At 2am, she awakens with a craving for an orange fizzy and asks her friend if she wants to go down to the kitchen with her to get one, but her friend just goes back to sleep.  Nixie, whose mother is a nutritionist and her a father a family lawyer, would most surely object to her having the drink, but she cannot resist.  While sitting at the breakfast table in the corner drinking it, she sees a man go into the maid's room.  Thinking she might get to see something naughty, she quietly follows.  Instead, she sees him slice open the maid's neck.  She shrinks back and the killer does not notice her.  After putting in a call to the police, she takes the back stairs to the second floor because she is scared and wants her mother, but when she crawls to her side of the bed, she feels her mother's blood and realizes her parents are dead.  She quickly scurries into their bathroom and hides in the bathtub.

When Eve and her partner Peabody arrive and do a search of the house, Eve is the one to find Nixie and immediately flashes back to her childhood.  Eve makes sure that Nixie is safe and Nixie has glued herself to Eve.  When social services arrives to take the child away, Eve refuses to let her go with the social worker, partly because the girl will not let go and partly for her safety.  This child has just witnessed the murder of her parents, brother, best friend, and maid by two men and is now in danger herself.  Eve decides to take her home.  Nothing can get into the fortress she and Roarke call home and Summerset, Roarke's majordomo, and the man who saved him from dying on the streets of Ireland, once had a daughter who was murdered and will know how to handle a traumatized child. 

The more they dig, the more they find that this family was the perfect Norman Rockwell family.  The couple were devoted to each other and their children and had no complaints or threats at work.  Who would want to take out an entire family?  The murders scream a pro job, but to kill a whole family means it was personal to someone.  The social worker is picked up off the streets and thrown in a van and later tortured.  She does not know where the girl is, but she gives up the locations of every safe house in the city she knows about.  This indicates that there are more than just the two men involved in this.

While Eve is trying to stay away from the child because she cannot look at her without thinking of the past Roarke finds himself remembering horrid childhood memories he thought he had long put to rest.  The best friend's parents are listed in the will as being the ones to take custody of Nixie and her brother if anything happens to her parents, but this couple cannot do it, so Roarke makes it his mission to try to find the right place for Nixie.

A break happens when a prostitute gets a look at two men leaving the scene of the murder of two police officers.  Suddenly, Eve realizes, that the murder of this family, was not an isolated incident.  It was the grand finale.  The coupe de gras.  This means that there were others connected to this in some way that had also been murdered, but these men are very controlled and very patient.  They have likely waited for their revenge for six to ten years.  Slowly, Eve's team puts together the missing puzzle pieces and arrive at a chilling and horrid conclusion.  These people will not rest until they have killed Nixie and completed their mission and its Eve's job to not only protect her, but to hunt these savage animals down. 

Link to Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Survivor-Death-J-D-Robb/dp/0425204189/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1475235618&sr=1-1&keywords=survivor+in+death+by+j.d.+robb

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