Plot SummaryEdit

In the year 2060, sophisticated investigative tools can help catch a killer. But there are some questions even the most advanced technologies cannot answer.

Ridley Pearson has praised J. D. Robb’s suspense as “taut” and “nerve-jangling.” Her latest thriller sets a new standard for suspense, as the priest at a Catholic funeral mass brings the chalice to his lips—and falls over dead.

When Detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas confirms that the consecrated wine contained potassium cyanide, she’s determined to solve the murder of Father Miguel Flores, despite her discomfort with her surroundings. It’s not the bodegas and pawnshops of East Harlem that bother her, though the neighborhood is a long way from the stone mansion she shares with her billionaire husband, Roarke. It’s all that holiness flying around at St. Christobal’s that makes her uneasy.

A search of the victim’s sparsely furnished room reveals little— except for a carefully hidden religious medal with a mysterious inscription, and a couple of underlined Bible passages. The autopsy reveals more: faint scars of knife wounds, a removed tattoo—and evidence of plastic surgery, suggesting that “Father Flores” may not have been the man his parishioners had thought. Now, as Eve pieces together clues that hint at gang connections and a deeply personal act of revenge, she believes she’s making progress on the case. Until a second murder—in front of an even larger crowd of worshippers—knocks the whole investigation sideways. And Eve is left to figure out who committed these unholy acts—and why.

--Product description from


Please reference the Salvation in Death Map for locations or approximate locations of sites listed here.


Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.

Approximate Story Start Date: May, 2060[1]

Day 1 Edit

  • Begins with the thoughts of Father Flores as he performs the "Mass of the Dead" for Hector Ortiz. He was 116 and died quietly in his sleep about 10 Months after his wife.
  • When Father Miguel Flores drinks the wine, he immediately dies.
  • Eve Dallas arrives as she begins to walk up to the alter, Peabody tells her that they should stop and genuflect before proceeding. Dallas states she only genuflects in private and strides up the two stairs. Peabody follows after a light kneel.
  • Eve notices that the body had been moved and noticed that the body was bright pink. She notes the gold challis and asks what the victim was doing.
  • Father Lopez answers her, stating that he was performing communion and there were two police officers attending the Mass and tried to revive Father Flores.
  • Father Lopez explains to her what the Hosts (thin wafers) and the Wine represent during Mass/Communion.
  • Father Lopez is the Pastor and poured the wine into the challis.
  • Father Lopez has only been the Pastor for 8 months.
  • Eve has Father Lopez show her where the wine is stored.
  • Father Lopez takes her to the tabernacle where the unconsecrated wine and hosts are held.
  • Eve questions Father Lopez regarding another Mass held that day. Lopez tells her that there was a morning Mass, only about 8-10 attended, due to the Funeral Mass being held later. Eve requests the names of those who attended.
  • Father Lopez asks to complete the Mass for Hector Ortiz and recognizes he is a suspect. Father Lopez is the one who prepared the Hosts and Wine for Father Flores.
  • Officer Ortiz approaches Eve. Eve establishes her relationship with Hector Ortiz. He was her Pappy. Her impressions of Father Flores. Father Flores connected with the kids and is shocked when Eve asked her if Father Flores made some moves on her. After shock registered in her eyes, she tells Eve that he never did and she has never heard of that happening. Eve asks her to talk to family members and get their impressions, especially those who new Father Flores better than her. She is from the 227 and has spent 3 years on the Job. Eve notes she doesn't see cop in her sizzling green eyes and will probably not remain a cop.
  • Peabody cannot decide if the statures and glass are really pretty or really creepy. Eve tells her that they remind her of dolls and they most likely have sharp teeth hidden.
  • Eve notes minimum security on the home of the 3 pastors of the Church.
  • Rosa O'Donnell hands Eve a hand written note with those how attended Morning Mass. She lets Eve know that Father Lopez is available if she needs to speak with him again. Eve declines and asks to see Father Flores's living quarters. Rosa O'Donnell cooked and cleaned for the 3 Pastors. When Eve asked her who Father Flores was he says he was full of energy and put most of that energy into the youth program. She also tells Eve that all three Priest got along but was closer to Father Freeman, they shared sports and ran together weekly. Rosa does not know of any family or friends from outside of the Parish and she had not noticed anything off in his routine lately. She prepared breakfast for Fathers Lopez and Flores this morning and notes that Father Lopez forgot to lock up the night before. After breakfast Father Flores went to his office to work on his sermon.
  • Father Flores living quarters was neat and tidy with no personal effects or photographs. Does have pocket link and a comb. Eve instructs Peabody to look at other rooms to see if they were the same. Peabody comes back and tells Eve they have more "man" stuff, which she goes on to explain is a golf ball on a tee, family photographs and screen tees with sports logos.
  • Eve checks the datebook. He went to a Yankees game on Wednesday and had dinner with the Ortiz family the night before.
  • Found a silver medal behind a drawer in Fathers Flores dresser and asks out loud who puts a medal in that place. After describing to Peabody, they identify the medal as the Virgin Mary. Eve notes an inscription on the back.
  • Peabody informs Eve of the Link Log contents: Transmissions in and out from Robert Ortiz with the oldest being last week from Father Freeman.
  • Chapter Two
  • Peabody runs background on Miguel Flores. Father Flores parents were killed and he was placed into the system. He did however attend private schools and Eve notes this is expensive and they will need to peal back layers to see how that was occurred.. Peabody notices a gap in employment for a year. No priors or sealed records. Eve wonders how the Priest get paid. Peabody wonders if the Pope pays them.
  • Eve and Peabody go by the morgue to see if Morris has determined COD. Eve and Peabody discuss and discount self termination. Eve speculates that Father Flores was the target, but will determine that after speaking with Morris.
  • Chief Examiner was in black today with electric blue shirt and red and blue cords through his hair.
  • Eve notices a floral scent and notices a forest of roses on the table that usually holds the tools of Morris trade and Morris states they were a token from a friend and he decided to bring them in today.
  • Morris tells Eve that a lethal does of Potassium cyanide and other than being dead he was very healthy. Notes scarring that he cannot explain. Between the fourth and fifth ribs and someone used new skin to help camouflage the scar but that could not help with the bones. Eve studies the ribs through her micro goggles. Eve notes its a knife wound. Eve notes the other scarring on the arm was tat removal. Morris then tells her that the victim had first class face work and one would think the price range would be out to the price range of a man of God. Morris speculates that both the knife wound and tat removal happened about 10 years back.

    • Sub-Point

Memorable QuotesEdit



Character ListEdit

List of Main Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Secondary Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Recurring Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Minor Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Peripheral Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

Trivia Edit

Eve goes "parking" for the first time (with Roarke of course).

Other Covers Edit

Additional covers here

UK edition cover French edition cover German 1st edition cover German Book Club edition cover Hungarian edition cover Salvation Audio
UK edition cover French edition cover German 1st edition cover German Book Club edition cover Hungarian edition cover Brilliance Audio unabridged edition cover

Other ReleasesEdit

Footnotes Edit

  1. Pg. 5. "The May sunshine beamed through the exit."


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