Kindred in Death:In Death 29

By: J. D. Robb

“Thank you.”

She disengaged the communicator, turned to Roarke. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t.” He crossed to her, tapped his fingertip on the shallow dent in her chin. “A man’s lost his child, and that’s a great deal more important than a bit of beach. You know him?”

“Not really. He contacted me after I took Casto down.” She thought of the wrong cop who’d gone after her at her wedding eve party. “MacMasters wasn’t his LT, but he wanted to give me a nod for closing that case, and taking down a bad cop. I appreciated it. He’s got a rep,” she continued as she changed the holiday shorts for work trousers. “A good, solid rep. I hadn’t heard about his promotion, but I’m not surprised by it.”

She tidied her choppy cap of hair by raking her fingers through it. “He’s got about twenty years on the job. Maybe twenty-five. I hear he draws a hard line and sticks to it, makes sure those serving under him do the same. He closes cases.”

“Sounds like someone else I know.”

She pulled a shirt out of the closet. “Maybe.”

“Whitney didn’t tell you how the girl was killed.”

“He wants and needs me to come in without any preconceptions. He didn’t say it was homicide. That’s for me and the ME to determine.”

She picked up her weapon harness, strapped it on. Pocketed her communicator, her ’link, hooked on her restraints. She didn’t bother to frown when Roarke offered her the summer-weight jacket he’d selected out of her closet to go over her sidearm. “Whitney’s being there means one of two things,” she told him. “It’s hinky, or they’re personal friends. Maybe both.”

“For him to be on scene . . .”

“Yeah.” She sat to pull on the boots she preferred for work. “A cop’s kid. I don’t know when I’ll get back.”

“Not an issue.”

She stopped, looked at him, thought about bags packed just in case, and walks in the tropical moonlight. “You could fly down, check this villa out.”

“I’ve work enough I can see to here to keep me busy.” He laid his hands on her shoulders when she rose, laid his lips on hers. “Get in touch when you have a better handle on the situation.”

“I will. See you then.”

“Take care, Lieutenant.”

She jogged downstairs, barely breaking stride when Summerset, Roarke’s man of just about everything and the pebble in her shoe, materialized in the foyer.

“I was under the assumption you were off duty until tomorrow.”

“There’s a dead body, which unfortunately isn’t yours.” Then she paused at the door. “Talk him into doing something that’s not work. Just because I have to . . .” She shrugged, and walked out to meet death.

Few cops could afford to live in a single-family residence on the verdant edges of Central Park. Then again, few cops—well, none other than herself—lived in a freaking castle-manor estate in Manhattan. Curious about how MacMasters managed his digs, she did a quick run on him as she navigated the light holiday morning traffic.

MacMasters, Captain Jonah, her dash comp told her, born March 22, 2009, Providence, Rhode Island. Parents Walter and Marybeth nee Hastings. Educated Stonebridge Academy, further education Yale, graduated 2030. Married Franklin, Carol 2040, one offspring, female, Deena, born November 23, 2043. Joined NYPSD September 15, 2037. Commendations and honors include—

“Skip that. Finances. Where’s the money come from?”

Working . . . Current worth approximately eight million, six hundred thousand. Inherited a portion of grandfather’s estate. MacMasters, Jonah, died natural causes June 6, 2032, founder Mac Kitchen and Bath, based in Providence. Company’s current worth—

“Good enough. Asked and answered.”

Family money, she thought. Yale educated. Ends up an Illegals cop in New York. Interesting. One spouse and a twenty-year marriage, commendations and honors on the job. Promoted to captain. It all said what she already knew of him.


Now this solid cop she barely knew had specifically requested her as primary in the investigation of his only child’s death. Why was that? she wondered.

She’d ask.

When she reached the address she pulled in behind a black-and-white. As she engaged her On Duty light, she took a survey of the house. Nice digs, she thought, and got out to retrieve her field kit. And, though she was in danger of overusing the word, it struck her as solid.

Pre-Urban Wars construction, nicely rehabbed so it maintained its character, showed a few scars. It looked dignified, she thought, the rosy brick, the creamy trim, the long windows—currently shielded with privacy screens, every one.

Pots of colorful flowers stood guard on either side of the short flight of stone steps, a pretty touch she supposed. But she was more interested, as she stepped over and crossed the sidewalk, in the security.

Full cameras, view screen, thumb pad, and she’d bet voice-activated locks with a coded bypass. A cop, and particularly one with good scratch, would be sure to fully protect his home and everything—everyone in it.

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