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Brotherhood in Death

J. D. Robb


  Naked in Death

  Glory in Death

  Immortal in Death

  Rapture in Death

  Ceremony in Death

  Vengeance in Death

  Holiday in Death

  Conspiracy in Death

  Loyalty in Death

  Witness in Death

  Judgment in Death

  Betrayal in Death

  Seduction in Death

  Reunion in Death

  Purity in Death

  Portrait in Death

  Imitation in Death

  Divided in Death

  Visions in Death

  Survivor in Death

  Origin in Death

  Memory in Death

  Born in Death

  Innocent in Death

  Creation in Death

  Strangers in Death

  Salvation in Death

  Promises in Death

  Kindred in Death

  Fantasy in Death

  Indulgence in Death

  Treachery in Death

  New York to Dallas

  Celebrity in Death

  Delusion in Death

  Calculated in Death

  Thankless in Death

  Concealed in Death

  Festive in Death

  Obsession in Death

  Devoted in Death

  Brotherhood in Death


  Silent Night

  (with Susan Plunkett, Dee Holmes, and Claire Cross)

  Out of This World

  (with Laurell K. Hamilton, Susan Krinard, and Maggie Shayne)

  Remember When

  (with Nora Roberts)

  Bump in the Night

  (with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  Dead of Night

  (with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  Three in Death

  Suite 606

  (with Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  In Death

  The Lost

  (with Patricia Gaffney, Mary Blayney, and Ruth Ryan Langan)

  The Other Side

  (with Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  Time of Death

  The Unquiet

  (with Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas)

  Mirror, Mirror

  (with Mary Blayney, Elaine Fox, Mary Kay McComas, and R. C. Ryan)

  Down the Rabbit Hole

  (with Mary Blayney, Elaine Fox, Mary Kay McComas, and R. C. Ryan)

  An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

  375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

  This book is an original publication of the Berkley Publishing Group.

  Copyright © 2016 by Nora Roberts.

  Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

  BERKLEY® and the “B” design are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

  For more information, visit

  eBook ISBN: 978-0-698-16148-1

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Robb, J. D., 1950–

  Brotherhood in death / J. D. Robb. — First edition.

  pages ; cm. — (In death)

  ISBN 978-0-399-17089-8

  1. Dallas, Eve (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Policewomen—New York (State)—New York—Fiction. I. Title.

  PS3568.O243B76 2016



  FIRST EDITION: February 2016

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.



  Titles by J. D. Robb

  Title Page




  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  About the Author

  The Present is the living sum-total of the whole Past.


  Justice is always violent to the party offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.



  Loyalty to the dead had him traveling to SoHo in icy rain rather than heading home. At home he could have put up his feet—tired today, he admitted. He’d have enjoyed a cozy fire, a good book, and a small glass of whiskey while waiting for his wife to get home.

  Instead, he sat in the back of a cab that smelled faintly of overripe peppers and someone’s musky perfume as it skated along the nasty street toward what he feared would be an ugly confrontation.

  He disliked ugly confrontations, wondered sometimes about people who, by all appearances, enjoyed them. Those who knew him would say he had a talent for evading or defusing them.

  But this time, he expected to go head-to-head with his cousin Edward.

  A pity, really, he thought as he watched the ice-tipped rain strike the cab windows. It hissed as it struck, he thought, like angry snakes.

  Once, he and Edward had been close as brothers. Once they’d shared adventures and secrets and ambitions—lofty ones, of course. But time and divergent paths had separated them long ago.

  He barely knew the man Edward had become, and understood him not at all. And sadly for him, liked Edward even less.

  Regardless, they had shared the same paternal grandparents; their fathers were brothers. They were family. He hoped to use those blood ties, those shared experiences to bring their opposing views to some reasonable middle ground.

  Then again, the man Edward had become rarely stood on middle ground. No, Edward staked a claim on his own ground and refused to move even an inch in any direction.

  Otherwise, Edward would hardly have engaged a Realtor to sell their grandparents’ lovely old brownstone.

  Why, he wouldn’t even have known about the Realtor, about the appointment made for a walk-through and assessment of the house if Edward’s assistant to his assistant—or whatever title the girl owned—hadn’t slipped up and mentioned it when he’d tried to contact Edward, arrange for a powwow.

  He didn’t have much of a temper—anger took such effort—but he was angry now. Angry enough he knew he could and would create a stink and a scene in front of the real estate person.

  He had a half
share of the property (as Edward had taken to calling it), and it couldn’t be sold without his written consent.

  He wouldn’t give it, he wouldn’t go against his grandfather’s express wishes.

  For a moment, in the back of the cab, he was transported to his grandfather’s study, with all its warmth and rich colors, its bookcases full of books smelling of leather binding, wonderful old photos, and fascinating memorabilia.

  He could feel the frailty of his grandfather’s hand, once so big and strong, in his. Hear the waver of a voice that used to boom like cannon fire.

  It’s more than a house, more than a home. Though that’s a precious thing. It has a history, has earned its place in the world. It’s earned a legacy. I’m trusting you, you and Edward, to honor that history, and continue that legacy.

  He would, he told himself as the cab finally pulled to the curb. At best, he would remind Edward of those wishes, that responsibility. At worst, he would find a way to buy out his cousin’s interest.

  If it was only property, only money, then money Edward would have.

  He overtipped the driver—purposely because the weather was truly horrible. It might have been the generosity that prompted the driver to roll down the window and call out that he’d left his briefcase in the back of the cab.

  “Thank you!” He hurried back to retrieve it. “So much on my mind.”

  Gripping the briefcase, he navigated the ice rink of a sidewalk, walked through the little iron gate and down the walkway—shoveled and treated, as he personally paid a neighborhood boy to see to it.

  He climbed the short flight of steps as he had as a toddler, a young boy, a young man, and now an older one.

  He might forget things—like his briefcase—but he remembered the passcode for the main door. Laid his palm on the plate, used his swipe card.

  He opened the heavy front door, felt the change like a fresh stab in his heart.

  No scent of the fresh flowers his grandmother would have arranged herself on the entrance table. No old dog to lumber into the foyer to greet him. Some of the furniture sat in other homes now—specific bequests—as some of the art graced other walls.

  He was glad of that, as that was legacy, too.

  Despite the fact he also paid a housekeeper—the daughter of his grandparents’ longtime employee, Frankie—to tend the place once a week, he scented the disuse as well as lemon oil.

  “Long enough,” he muttered to himself as he set his briefcase down. “It’s been empty long enough now.”

  He heard the sound of voices, and for a moment wondered if they, too, were just memories. Then he remembered his purpose—Edward and the Realtor. They were, he imagined, discussing square footage and location and market value.

  And neither thinking, as he was, of family dinners around the big table, of blackberry tarts filched from the kitchen, of proudly presenting the woman he loved to his grandparents in the living room on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

  He forced himself to push through the mists of time, start back toward the voices. Sentiment wouldn’t sway Edward, he knew. If another reminder of a promise made to a man they’d both loved didn’t do so, perhaps the reminder of the legalities would.

  Failing all, there was money.

  Still, he didn’t want to sneak up on them like a thief so called out his cousin’s name.

  The voices stilled, annoying him. Did they think they could hide from him? He continued back, clinging to the annoyance as a kind of weapon. And turning into the room he’d thought of in the cab, he saw Edward sitting in their grandfather’s desk chair.

  His cousin’s eyes were wide—even the one swollen with a darkening bruise. Blood trickled in a thin line from the corner of his mouth, stained his teeth as he started to speak.

  Annoyance forgotten in shock and concern, he stepped forward quickly.


  Pain erupted, a flash of fire bursting in the back of his head. Helpless to stop his own fall, he pitched forward. Seconds before his temple struck the old oak floor and turned everything black, he heard Edward scream.


  After a long, tedious day—the first half spent in court, the second half with paperwork—Lieutenant Eve Dallas prepared to shut it all down.

  At the moment all she wanted out of life was a quiet evening with her husband, her cat, and a glass—or two—of wine. Maybe a vid, she thought as she grabbed her coat, if Roarke hadn’t brought too much work home.

  Tonight—do the happy-time boogie—she was bringing home none of her own.

  She could extend that wish list, she decided as she dug out the scarf her partner had made her for Christmas. Maybe a swim, and pool sex. She figured no matter how many deals Roarke needed to wheel, he could always be talked into pool sex.

  She found the silly snowflake cap in another pocket of her long leather coat. Since the sky was heaving down ice, she tugged it on. She’d sent her partner home, had a couple of detectives out in the cold, working a hot. They’d contact her if they needed her.

  She reminded herself she had another detective, newly minted—whose induction ceremony was slated for the next morning.

  But right now, on a particularly ugly January evening, she had nothing on her plate.

  Spaghetti and meatballs, she decided. That’s what she wanted on her plate. Maybe she’d beat Roarke home, and actually put that together for both of them. With wine, a couple candles. Right down in the pool area—no, she corrected as she started out. Maybe at the dining room table, like grown-ups, with a fire going.

  She could program a couple of salads, use a couple of his half a zillion fancy plates.

  And while the ice snapped and crackled outside, they’d—


  She turned, spotted Mira—the department’s shrink and top profiler—all but leaping off a glide and rushing toward her, pale blue coat flying open over her deep pink suit.

  “You’re still here. Thank God.”

  “Just leaving. What’s the deal? What’s wrong?”

  “I’m not sure. I . . . Dennis—”

  Instinctively Eve reached up to touch the snowflake hat, one Dennis Mira had snugged down on her head in his kind way on a snowy day in the last weeks of 2060.

  “Is he hurt?”

  “I don’t think so.” The normally unflappable Mira linked her fingers together to keep them still. “He wasn’t clear, he was upset. His cousin—he said his cousin’s hurt, and now is missing. He asked for you, specifically. I’m sorry to spring this on you, but—”

  “Don’t worry about it. Is he home—at your place?” She had already turned away, called for the elevator.

  “No, he’s at his grandparents’—what was their home—in SoHo.”

  “You’re with me.” She steered Mira into the elevator, crowded with cops going off shift. “I’ll make sure you both get home. Who’s his cousin?”

  “Ah, Edward. Edward Mira. Former Senator Edward Mira.”

  “Didn’t vote for him.”

  “Neither did I. I need a moment to gather my thoughts, and I want to let him know we’re coming.”

  As Mira took out her ’link, Eve organized her own thoughts.

  She didn’t know or care much about politics, but she had a vague image of Senator Edward Mira. She’d never have put the bombastic, hard-line senator—sharp black eyebrows, close cropped black hair, hard and handsome face—on the same family tree as the sweet, slightly fuddled Dennis Mira.

  But family made strange bedfellows.

  Or was that politics?

  Didn’t matter.

  When they reached her level in the garage, she pointed toward her slot, strode to the unremarkable-looking DLE her husband had designed for her. Mira hurried after her, hampered by spike-heeled boots and shorter legs.

  Eve moved fast—sturdy boots and long legs—slid
behind the wheel, a tall, leanly built woman with choppy brown hair currently under a watch cap with a sparkling snowflake emblem she, cop to the bone, wore because it had been an impromptu gift given by a man she had a helpless, harmless crush on.

  “Address?” she asked when Mira, in her elegant winter coat and fashionable boots, got in beside her.

  Eve plugged the address into the computer, pulled out of the slot. And bulleted out of the garage, hitting lights and siren.

  “Oh, you don’t have to . . . Thank you,” Mira said when Eve merely flicked her a glance. “Thank you. He says he’s fine, not to worry about him, but . . .”

  “You are.”

  The DLE looked like your poky uncle’s economy vehicle—and drove like a rocket. Eve swerved around vehicles whose drivers considered the sirens a casual suggestion. She hit vertical to leapfrog over others until Mira simply closed her eyes and hung on.

  “Fill me in. Do you know why they were at the grandparents’ house—who else would be there?”

  “Their grandmother died about four years ago, and Bradley—Dennis’s grandfather—just seemed to fade away. He lived about a year after her death, putting his affairs in order. Though knowing him, most of them already were. He left the house in equal shares to Dennis and Edward—the two oldest grandsons. That maxibus—”

  Eve whipped the wheel, sent the DLE up. And took a corner as if in pursuit of a mass murderer. “Is behind us. Keep going.”

  “I can tell you Dennis and Edward have been at odds over the house. Dennis wants to keep it in the family, per Bradley’s wishes. Edward wants to sell it.”

  “He can’t sell it, I take it, unless Mr. Mira signs off.”

  “That’s my understanding. I don’t know why Dennis came down here today—he had a full day at the university, as one of his colleagues is ill and he’s filling in. I should have asked him.”

  “It’s okay.” Eve double-parked, turning the quiet, tree-lined street into a battlefield of blasting horns. Ignoring them, she flipped up her On Duty light. “We’ll ask him now.”

  But Mira was already out of the car, running in those treacherous heels across the slick sidewalk. Cursing, Eve bolted after her, grabbed her arm.

  “You run in those things, I’m going to end up driving you to the ER. Nice place.” She let Mira go as they went through the gate and onto cleared ground. “In this neighborhood, it’s probably worth, what, five or six million?”