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Apprentice in Death (In Death, #43)
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In Death Buddy Reads 2016 - 2021 > Apprentice In Death Buddy Read - June 2020 - Spoiler Zone

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Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
Next up in our In Death series buddy read is another of my favorites - Apprentice in Death. Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. Open discussion begins June 8th!

Nature versus nurture...

The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be.

Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer.

Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources—and genius—at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two—one older, one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil...

Timeline: Jan. 2061

Character List:
Eve Dallas
Roarke
Ryan Feeney
Galahad
Ian McNab
Charlotte Mira
Delia Peabody
Lawrence Summerset
(view spoiler)

Quotes:
Eve, on Roarke's relationship with Summerset:

“You were the making of him, that’s what I see.” The stunned look on Roarke’s face had her shaking her head. “He wouldn’t be with you still if that wasn’t the way it is. You say you and I saved each other. Well, before I came along, the two of you did the same. Another way, another path, but just as true. You gave him purpose, and you gave him a son.”
******************************
Dallas, on how to eat a chocolate bar:

“Eat the damn thing, don’t mouse-nibble it to death.”


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
This is one of my favorites! Can't wait!


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments I'm in. This is one of my favorites too.


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan (cruelshoes) | 500 comments count me in


Michelle | 2274 comments Looking forward to a new favorite. First time read.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
This is now a Spoiler Zone. Feel free to openly discuss Apprentice In Death!

Has anyone finished this one? Share your thoughts!


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments I did. I will jump on tomorrow. my phone doesn't cooperate.


Michelle | 2274 comments I finished it last week. I liked it. The case was interesting. Nurture and nature was a strong question in this one.


message 9: by Sharon (last edited Jun 11, 2020 06:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments This is one of my favs. I enjoy knowing the murderer, and working with Eve and crew to capture them.

This storyhas one of the ugliest murderers. The fact that a father and former cop trains his daughter to be a sniper of innocent people is very sad.

In a way, I could understand if Mackie killed the people he blamed for his wife's death. Not that it would be any less wrong. Sometimes people need to place blame on someone other than admit to the actual reason. It is all the "collateral damage" and using Willow that makes the murders horrendous.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments There are a few funny moments. A couple of favorites is Roarke's joke when he showed her the initial pink design of Eve's redecorated office.

The Dallas Place is another good laugh.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments As I think about the story, I remember more.

I love how Roarke develops an app to evaluate the trajectory of the bullets, then refines the app for Lowenthau, and finally gifts the app to the NYPSD.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments I finished this one last week and enjoyed it very much.

The nature versus nurture debate is very interesting and it seems to me that Robb at times suggests that some people are born evil and their malevolent acts are not the result of the way they were raised, or of abuse or of society's dictates. The girl from Innocent in Death for example and Willow Mackie in this book.

Yes, Willow's father trained her but the desire to kill did not come from his training. He only honed an already existing predisposition within her. Her lack of empathy, lack of remorse and inability to acknowledge her wrongdoing are clear indications of her psychopathy. She could not control her need to inflict harm on others even in jail when it was obviously to her own detriment.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
I agree with you both. I found this one unsettling in that a father trains her daughter to shoot to kill senselessly. Robb often visits the nature vs. nurture debate in her books and it's super interesting each time. I'd love to have a chance to sit down with her & discuss this issue.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "As I think about the story, I remember more.

I love how Roarke develops an app to evaluate the trajectory of the bullets, then refines the app for Lowenthau, and finally gifts the app to the NYPSD."


I loved this also, Sharon. Roarke steps up as always and to gift it to the NYPSD spoke volumes I think. Eve's not the only one who's come a long ways - so has Roarke.


message 15: by Sharon (last edited Jun 11, 2020 07:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments Lauren wrote: "I finished this one last week and enjoyed it very much.

The nature versus nurture debate is very interesting and it seems to me that Robb at times suggests that some people are born evil and thei..."


Good points. I was trying to think about summing up the nature vs. nurture theme, but I couldn't articulate my thoughts. Your post is perfect.

Robb does run this theme throughout her books. Sometimes her focus is on people who don't allow their abuse to define them. Then she will show the bad seed that exists regardless of the love and affection they received from birth.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Sharon wrote: "Then she will show the bad seed that exists regardless of the love and affection they received from birth.."

Exactly!

I do believe, however, the one of Robb's most important messages is that while a person can be born evil this has nothing to do with their DNA. Evil is not inherited from a parent (like Eve is not evil despite her parents' malice). This is important because if evil were inherited it would reduce culpability. People are responsible for their choices and their actions - Willow chose to kill.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "I agree with you both. I found this one unsettling in that a father trains her daughter to shoot to kill senselessly..."

Yes, his training her was very disturbing. That said, while reading it became clear to me that Willow was manipulating her father. I have to ask myself if he would have come up with the agenda to seek revenge if she hadn't been subtly encouraging him during a time of weakness and grief.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 12971 comments Mod
Lauren wrote: "I do believe, however, the one of Robb's most important messages is that while a person can be born evil this has nothing to do with their DNA. Evil is not inherited from a parent (like Eve is not evil despite her parents' malice). This is important because if evil were inherited it would reduce culpability. People are responsible for their choices and their actions - Willow chose to kill...."

My exact feelings about the topic!!


Michelle | 2274 comments Sharon wrote: "This is one of my favs. I enjoy knowing the murderer, and working with Eve and crew to capture them.

This storyhas one of the ugliest murderers. The fact that a father and former cop trains his da..."



Your so right Sharon. Sometime having to blame someone or anything really does mess up a person. Mack was heartbroken by the death of his wife. But Willow? I think she was waiting for an opportunity and boy did this fit. She was psychopath that her father did not really see.

As for the ugliest? I'm hopeless saying which book or character name but I'm thinking of the son that kills his parent. The mother because she didn't want to make him lunch, then he waited for the father. That was the ugliest for me.


Michelle | 2274 comments Sharon wrote: "As I think about the story, I remember more.

I love how Roarke develops an app to evaluate the trajectory of the bullets, then refines the app for Lowenthau, and finally gifts the app to the NYPSD."


I liked that as well. But. I also liked how Whitney goes with Eve to the crime scene in her car and ask where she got her vehicle because he want one.

I sometimes wonder what else he has cooking that would be for Eve but would benefit the department as a whole.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Michelle wrote: "As for the ugliest? I'm hopeless saying which book or character name but I'm thinking of the son that kills his parent. The mother because she didn't want to make him lunch, then he waited for the father. That was the ugliest for me.."

Yes! I had forgotten about Jerry. He's another one of Robb's psychos with loving parents. There was also the corrupt policewoman whose father was a decorated officer. Violating one's oath to protect and serve is one of the most heinous crimes for me.


Michelle | 2274 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "I agree with you both. I found this one unsettling in that a father trains her daughter to shoot to kill senselessly. Robb often visits the nature vs. nurture debate in her books and it's super int..."

Like you I agree with both. I think this theme continues to fascinate because of Eve. She is constantly, well maybe not so much nowadays, but always she is comparing these criminals to her own situation. What if's. Why didn't I.... Maybe another way of affirming just how far she has come from were she started. Or just how things turned out, good or bad.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments Michelle wrote: "Sharon wrote: "This is one of my favs. I enjoy knowing the murderer, and working with Eve and crew to capture them.

This storyhas one of the ugliest murderers. The fact that a father and former co..."


You are right Michelle. I get wrapped up in the current book then forget about the other psychos of the past. Jerry is near or at the top.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments Lauren wrote: "Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "I agree with you both. I found this one unsettling in that a father trains her daughter to shoot to kill senselessly..."

Yes, his training her was very disturbi..."


Willow learned how to shoot at an early age. She would always have that skill to use on her own. I don't think Willow would have manipulated her father as easily if he weren't so addicted to drugs. The drugs messed with his thought processes and opened him up to her suggestions.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments Michelle wrote: "Sharon wrote: "As I think about the story, I remember more.

I love how Roarke develops an app to evaluate the trajectory of the bullets, then refines the app for Lowenthau, and finally gifts the ..."


I forgot about that scene. Whitney wants his own DLE


Michelle | 2274 comments Sorry ladies. I was reading and answering. Should have finished reading all the comment before adding my thoughts.

For me I think the father wasnt really training her to kill. I think that he wanted a boy. Even if it seems he excepted Willow he still wanted a boy who would have an interesting in guns specifically. Lucky him that she did show an interesting. Now the question I have is how genuine she was. At what point did she start to manipulate her dad to become a killer? The father had grief and let's say was ripe for the picking.


Michelle | 2274 comments I can't help but also thing that Brotherhood in death has a similar question floating around in the background. Nurture and nature. Although the case was primarily about the senator and his brotherhood, Dennis Mira and his cousin couldn't have been more dissimilar.


message 28: by Michelle (last edited Jun 11, 2020 08:49AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michelle | 2274 comments Lauren wrote: "Michelle wrote: "As for the ugliest? I'm hopeless saying which book or character name but I'm thinking of the son that kills his parent. The mother because she didn't want to make him lunch, then h..."

I'd forgotten about corrupt policewoman. But only because I don't think it was the ugliest. She falls under the heading of mental break for me.


Michelle | 2274 comments Sharon you mention the father's drug use. Now I'm questioning how he did get started using drugs. Alcohol I can understand but then to use drugs as well? Methinks Willow is behind that. She needed her father to be in a diminish capacity to fall in line with her plan to become a killer. Though I will say maybe she didn't see it as being a killer. He had. To be less than he was. Not able to shoot so that she had to be his hands and eyes.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Sharon wrote: "The drugs messed with his thought processes and opened him up to her suggestions.."

Yes, between his grief and the drugs, she was able to push the suggestion. The fact that she even went to some of the victims beforehand to threaten them really reinforced the idea that it was her idea all along.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Michelle wrote: "Dennis Mira and his cousin couldn't have been more dissimilar."

That is an interesting point. My impression from this book was that Edward Mira changed once he went to Harvard and became involved with the other boys. It was more a case of group-think and peer pressure.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Michelle wrote: "She falls under the heading of mental break for me."

I can't remember. Did she have some kind of psychotic break? I thought she was in some kind of internal competition with her father (in her own mind). Is that what you mean?


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Michelle wrote: "She needed her father to be in a diminish capacity to fall in line with her plan to become a killer. ."

I could definitely see her pushing her father toward drugs to make him more malleable.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
Michelle wrote: "Sorry ladies. I was reading and answering. Should have finished reading all the comment before adding my thoughts.

For me I think the father wasnt really training her to kill. I think that he want..."


You know - after thinking about it, I believe it was more her manipulating him. His motive was revenge, no matter how twisted. She loved the "kill".

It's great to see everyone's viewpoint. Sometimes, it gives me pause to back up & take another look and see how I feel about it now.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments I can see Willow introducing her father to drugs when he was in an alcoholic stupor.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments The policewoman was St. ? daughter. She always said she knows her father wanted a son, even though I never believed it. She is one of those people who always wants the easy way to the top. She used her position to steal.

I didn't consider her one of the ugliest because she is a "typical" murderer (IMO) who thought she would get a pass on any misdeed. She thought she knew how to setup the perfect crime.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
Any thoughts on the new bed Roarke surprised Eve with? And the covering??


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments Lauren wrote: "Michelle wrote: "Dennis Mira and his cousin couldn't have been more dissimilar."

That is an interesting point. My impression from this book was that Edward Mira changed once he went to Harvard and..."


I agree. Dennis and Edward were close as children. I felt that they changed paths in Yale. Edward used the Urban Wars to excuse their behavior because they felt trapped on campus. His crazy buddies and their ability to manufacture the date-rape drug added to his feeling of entitlement.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
Did anyone suspect Willow had something to do with Susann's death? I kind of thought things might go that way.

Also - on the father wanting a boy...I noted that he called Willow "Will" often. The evil might have always been in her, but I do believe that the way her father treated her nurtured it - fostered it.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "Any thoughts on the new bed Roarke surprised Eve with? And the covering??"

I loved it. The story that goes with it matches up with Roarke and Eve's in a way. On the surface it doesn't appear that they are life partners. However, once they are together they fit perfectly.

Eve never had a problem with Roarke's big platform bed, but Roarke must have thought about it for awhile. I love that he wants their new bedroom to be theirs and not just his.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Sharon wrote: "I felt that they changed paths in Yale."

Lol! Harvard/Yale... I knew it was one or the other :)

It was definitely a sense of entitlement that being with the others reinforced.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
How about Roarke's reaction to Summerset being hurt? And his snapping at both Eve & Summerset? I loved this scene!


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "Did anyone suspect Willow had something to do with Susann's death? I kind of thought things might go that way.

Also - on the father wanting a boy...I noted that he called Willow "Will" often. The ..."



I don't think she had anything to do with Susann's death, but she would have killed her and the baby at some point in the future.


message 44: by Lauren (last edited Jun 11, 2020 09:36AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "Did anyone suspect Willow had something to do with Susann's death? I kind of thought things might go that way.."

I did think so at one point but couldn't figure out how she could be as all the witnesses said Susann ran out into the street. Willow wasn't there to push her even though she probably would have if she had had the opportunity.

I agree that his desire for a son and his teaching and training "Will" definitely nurtured the kernal of sadism that was already there.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
How do Willow and Rayleen from Innocent compare? How do you view one vs. the other?


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "How about Roarke's reaction to Summerset being hurt? And his snapping at both Eve & Summerset? I loved this scene!"

It tells us a lot about Roarke's love for Summerset. Every time he deals with him getting hurt. Sometimes I think it is on his mind that Summerset is getting older and won't be around much longer. That will be a terrible tragedy if it is in a future book.

I love how Summerset recognized the reason behind Roarke's snipping and explains it to Eve.


Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10206 comments Mod
Thoughts are Roarke buying Eve business establishments? Ice Cream anyone?? lol


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "How do Willow and Rayleen from Innocent compare? How do you view one vs. the other?"

To a certain extent, Rayleen's youth made her even more diabolical. Also, IIRC, she actually did kill her brother and almost killed her mother. Willow hadn't gotten there yet despite her intentions.


Sharon Kallenberger Marzola | 2234 comments Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥ wrote: "How do Willow and Rayleen from Innocent compare? How do you view one vs. the other?"

Good question. They are the same in my opinion. Rayleen strikes at people who cross her path. Her victims try to take her down a peg from her Princess throne. Rayleen uses multiple ways to kill, a push down the stairs, poison, etc.

Willow uses her rifle or guns and doesn't care who she kills. She hates everyone and treats people as a video game waiting for her to strike to add points to her score. I believe Rayleen would get there too in the future.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 867 comments Sharon wrote: "I love how Summerset recognized the reason behind Roarke's snipping and explains it to Eve.."

I loved this scene!
While I enjoy Summerset and Eve's banter (which is now more out of affection than animosity), I really like those moments when their true caring for each other comes out. Like when Summerset tells Roarke that Eve needs him or Eve protects/saves Summerset.


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