“I’m tired of talking to whiny cheaters. I’d rather grill murdering bastards.” – Lieutenant Eve Dallas, Brotherhood in Death
Dennis Mira just had two unpleasant surprises. First he learned that his cousin Edward was secretly meeting with a real estate agent about their late grandfather’s magnificent West Village brownstone, despite the promise they both made to keep it in the family. Then, when he went to the house to confront Edward about it, he got a blunt object to the back of the head.
Luckily Dennis is married to Charlotte Mira, the NYPSD’s top profiler and a good friend of Lieutenant Eve Dallas. When the two arrive on the scene, he explains that the last thing he saw was Edward in a chair, bruised and bloody. When he came to, his cousin was gone. With the mess cleaned up and the security disks removed, there’s nothing left behind but a few traces for forensics to analyze.
As a former lawyer, judge, and senator, Edward Mira mingled with the elite and crossed paths with criminals, making enemies on a regular basis. Like so many politicians, he also made some very close friends behind closed—and locked—doors. But a badge and a billionaire husband can get you into places others can’t go, and Eve intends to shine some light on the dirty deals and dark motives behind the disappearance of a powerful man, the family discord over a multimillion-dollar piece of real estate... and a new case that no one saw coming.
Please reference the Brotherhood in Death Map for locations or approximate locations of sites listed here.
- Dennis Mira takes a cab to the empty SoHo brownstone he and his cousin Edward had inherited from their grandparents. Edward is determined to sell it, despite Dennis's objections and their joint promise to their dying grandfather to keep it in the family.
- He hears voices when he enters the house, and walks into the study to find Edward – bruised and bloody and terrified – in a chair.
- Something hits him and he pitches forward unconscious as Edward screams.
- After a day of court and paperwork, Lieutenant Eve Dallas prepares to head home.
- Mira catches her on her way out. Dennis called her, upset, to say that his cousin is missing. Dallas and Mira go to the brownstone, where they find drops of blood and signs that cousin Edward was dragged away.
- Dallas agrees to work this case with a Missing Persons detective, as a favor to the Miras.
- Former US Senator Edward Mira has a wife who is just as status-conscious and cold-hearted as he is, estranged grown children, many ex-lovers in a wide variety of ages, lots of political enemies, and serious money problems.
- Dallas decides that the attack must have been personal to Edward, and there were at least two people.
- More investigation into Edward Mira's disappearance, with Detective Peabody.
- The homicide division turns out in dress blues for the promotion ceremony at which Trueheart gets his detective badge.
- Edward's body is found at the grandparents' brownstone: beaten, kicked, sodomized, stripped, and hanged from a chandelier with a sign saying JUSTICE IS SERVED.
- Now Dallas and Peabody work the case as a homicide, with notifications and interviews. Some of Edward's ex-lovers give them a buzz and some don't.
- When Eve gets home, she is surprised to find a designer looking at her office with a view to redecorating. She and Roarke fight about it, but finally they agree she's changed in the three years since he first created that office to imitate her apartment so her current office should reflect who they are now, together.
- While investigating the ex-lovers who buzzed, Dallas discovers connections with Yale (where Edward went many years ago), drugs, and therapy for mental problems and insomnia.
- She comes to believe that Edward Mira was a serial rapist and that Charity Downing, Carlee MacKensie, and Lydia Su killed him for it. She needs to prove it, and determine if more women were involved.
- A call from Baxter wakes her "at four-fricking-thirty in the damn morning": Jonas Wymann has been found dead. He was beaten, kicked, sodomized, stripped, and hanged from a chandelier with a sign saying JUSTICE IS SERVED.
- He was a close personal friend of Edward Mira; he also was an important, powerful person who went to Yale and had extramarital affairs.
- Baxter and Trueheart join in on Dallas's case.
- During the autopsies, Morris finds that both men had a small tattoo in their groins: "a Celtic symbol for brotherhood".
- Mira adds her professional opinions: the tattoo was a symbol of for a sex-related bond, she knew both men and they were predators, and they were tortured and killed by partners in sexual retribution.
- Dallas wonders if Edward and Wymann had other "brothers" who shared their "predilections". The families and a friend give her Frederick Betz and Marshall Easterday, who shared a house with them at Yale.
- When Dallas interviews one of her trio of suspects, Lydia Su, her theory solidifies.
- Dallas and Peabody warn Easterday that he could be a victim.
- He also supplies another two names: also sharing that house at Yale were Ethan MacNamee (lives in Scotland) and William Stevenson (suffered from depression and hanged himself 15 years ago).
- Easterday's careful wording – about no relationships outside his marriage – rings Dallas's alarm bell because rape wouldn't be a relationship.
- He talks big but is "scared and defensive" about his "brothers".
- They go to warn Betz.
- He is gone and so are his security disks: the killers got him last night.
- One of the guest rooms is set up for a sexy visitor, a common occurrence when his wife is travelling.
- Easterday sent an email to Betz and MacNamee saying "my brothers, seek safety, come home".
- In a hidden compartment, they find a box containing two old metal keys and two new swipe-card keys.
- They talk to a social worker who specializes in counseling victims of rape and violence.
- Dallas swears to find the killers, but she also swears to bring the surviving men to justice if they were indeed in a rape club.
- Peabody points out that what the women are doing will not bring healing or inner peace, just more destruction.
- The counselor recognizes photos of Charity Downing, Carlee MacKensie, and Lydia Su.
- The three women have disappeared, each with a suitcase. "They've gone to ground." A fourth woman appears on security feeds but they can't see enough to ID.
- One of Charity Downing's neighbors tells the police about two paintings she'd seen in Charity's apartment studio: one of five women standing together, and one scary one of naked men in devil's masks.
- "Something happened at Yale, she [Eve] thought again. Something that had put her [Su] on a path to ugly revenge. And on that path, she’d met Downing and MacKensie—and two other women, yet unidentified, if Downing’s painting carried the weight Eve believed it did. Most likely met them in group or the crisis center. It cycled back to rape for her money. A brotherhood of rape."
- Peabody is concerned because this case hits so close to Dallas's own experiences. Dallas talks for a while about dealing with her abusive childhood: how she pushed it all down, how it came welling up with the Naked in Death case, how her relationship with Roarke enabled her to "start facing it because I could trust him to stand for me. Trust him to let me stand for myself", and how now she has "found that peace" because of Roarke and Peabody and others.
- EDD breaks the encryption on one of Betz's two swipe keys, and Dallas applies for a warrant to search that bank box.
- Yancy has reconstructions of the paintings from Downing's apartment.
- For the women: Downing, MacKensie, Su, and an older mid-40-plus woman surrounding and supporting a young early 20s woman. He also created individual sketches of each woman.
- For the men: the six rapists are recognizable, their "faces masks of evil and agony, falling toward a sea of flame. More flames shot out of the [rich old] house in the background. "
- Mira calls: “I would conclude, on the basis of known evidence, the killings are revenge for sexual abuse, rape, assaults, that have gone on for many years, involving many victims.”
- Dallas enlists APA Reo's assistance in getting search warrants for Edward Mira's and Easterday's houses.
- She believes that Mandy Mira knew something of the men's activities and ignored it but that Easterday's (relatively new and down-to-earth) wife is innocent of all knowing.
- Betz's bank box contains about half-a-million dollars in cash, 49 sealed plastic bags with locks of hair and marked with women's first names, and an old-style disk labeled "The Brotherhood: Year One".
- Dallas and Reo go to pick up Easterday for questioning, but he snuck out of his house with a suitcase. He left a note for his wife saying only "Forgive me". Video footage shows "his face a mask of fear and guilt."
- Dallas goes to tell Mr. Mira about Betz and Easterday – since he knows them – and the story of her childhood abuse spills out. He is grieved and kind.
- Reo takes the souvenir hair to Harvo in the lab for ID.
- At home, Roarke has jury-rigged a reader for the old data disk. They watch a tape of six young men – drunk and stoned – in what they call "the first annual Celebration of the Brotherhood. April 12, 2011" but is really gang-raping a young woman in restraints, both before and after they roofie her.
- Roarke is furious: “These are the men you’d work yourself to exhaustion for? These sick, spoiled, vicious animals are who you’re standing for?”
- Eve is shaking and sick, and she renews her vow for justice: "They are animals, and the ones who live, I’ll work myself to exhaustion to put in cages."
- Yancy has identified the young woman in the painting: Elsi Lee Adderman. She had gone to Yale for almost two years before dropping out suddenly. She self-terminated in September; her suicide note said she wasn't brave enough to face the demons.
- Dallas's three suspects had flown to Elsi's memorial service. Dallas also figures out the woman in her 40s because she flew with them: Grace Carter Blake, Yale graduate.
- Between September and January, the surviving four women had planned their revenge.
- Harvo, self-proclaimed Queen of Hair and Fiber, is already matching the hair pieces and IDs.
- Roarke digs out a secret property of Betz's in the Bronx.
- They find a chemistry laboratory (where Betz cooked up the roofies) and Easterday's clothes (that's where he bolted to, though his passport shows that he was planning to run far rather "than face what was coming").
- Then they find Betz's naked, beaten body hanging from the foyer chandelier.
- Based on blood stains and drag marks, the women now have Easterday.
- Dallas accessed Blake's apartment, although she gone.
- Exhausted, they fall into bed.
- A computer alarm awakens them before 4am, because a search has found something: another property owned under a pile of aliases by Grace Carter Blake.
- Dallas puts together an op with Peabody, McNab, Baxter, Trueheart, Feeney, Uniform Carmichael, three other uniforms picked by Carmichael, and Roarke.
- "At just past five in the morning", they enter the property.
- The police subdue and restrain the four women, two of whom were torturing Easterday when caught.
- Easterday is alive. Dallas tells him he's under arrest “for multiple counts of false imprisonment, for rape, for sexual assault, for conspiracy to rape.” He'll get medical treatment, but he'll be locked to the gurney and under guard from now on.
- In the hospital, Easterday tries to put a spin on the Brotherhood's activities but Reo is happy with his confession.
- MacNamee is being extradited to New York after spilling "plenty" to authorities in Scotland.
- The two living men and the four living women will all go into cages.
- Dallas consoles herself with the knowledge that the women will get help. "They’ll lose their freedom, but the law, the rules, may save their lives. I talked to them, Roarke, every one of them. And Elsi Adderman might not have been the only one in their group to kill herself to end it. I think the law they disregarded, the law they didn’t believe in, will save them. That’s going to help me sleep at night.”
Dallas, on the victim's "breathtakingly rude bitch" of a wife:
- “I don’t know if many people are born kind. Like it’s just part of their DNA. I think Mr. Mira was. So I really wish I’d punched the Mandy-Bitch.”
- “You have your visual of exploding blood.” Roarke patted her shoulder. “Let that be enough.”
Dallas, on successful marriages:
- Still smiling, she jabbed a finger in his belly. “Not that—though that was really nice. I guess my brain keeps circling around the Miras. You weren’t there with them at the crime scene. It was... it’s the way they look at each other, and touch. A couple times I had to look away because it felt like I was intruding. They’ve been married for decades, but when you see them like that... like last night? You know why.”
- She closed her eyes. “I want that. I never thought I did or could or would, but I want that. I want to be with you for decades and have you still look at me the way he looks at her.”
Dallas, on doll houses:
- [Dallas:] “If dolls aren’t alive, why do they need a house?”
- [Peabody:] “That’s where pretend comes into it.”
- “Does it? Does it really? Or is it when you’re sleeping or not around they start having parties in it, drinking brew, eating snacks, watching screen?”
- “You’re creeping me out.”
- “You should be creeped. What’s to stop them from having doll orgies in there? Ever think of that?”
- “Not until right now.”
- “Next thing you know, there’ll be doll weapons and vehicles.”
- “They already have those.”
Dallas, on what to drink after vomiting:
- He [Roarke] ran a fingertip down the dent in her chin. “No coffee.”
- “What?” She hadn’t thought anything more could appall her that day. “Did you lose your mind between here and the bathroom?”
- “You lost your lunch—or whatever passed for nutrition,” he reminded her. “If you need the caffeine, go with a Pepsi. Ginger ale would be better, but I suspect you won’t settle for it.”
- “My brain can’t function on the ale of ginger. I don’t even know what it is!”
List of Main Characters Appearing in this BookEdit
List of Secondary Characters Appearing in this BookEdit
List of Recurring Characters Appearing in this BookEdit
- David Baxter
- Detective Carmichael
- Uniform Carmichael
- Nadine Furst
- Dennis Mira
- Detective Reineke
- Cher Reo
- Detective Santiago
- Chief Harrison Tibble
- Troy Trueheart
- Commander Jack Whitney
- Detective Yancy
List of Minor Characters Appearing in this BookEdit
- Officer Shelby, from the Five-Two (first appears in Festive in Death), is mentioned.
- Dallas says: “I’m looking at her. If she holds up like I think she will, and wants it, I’m bringing her into Homicide. We need a fresh uniform.”