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Lewis and Lindsay Thorpe were the perfect couple: young, attractive, and ideally matched. But the veil of perfection can mask many blemishes. When the Thorpes are found dead in their tasteful Flagstaff living room (having committed double suicide), alarms go off in the towering Manhattan offices of Eden Incorporated, the high-tech matchmaking company whose spectacular success, and legendary secrecy, has inspired awe around the world. The Thorpes, few people knew, were more than the quintessential happy couple – they were Eden’s first perfect match.
A short time later, Christopher Lash, a gifted former FBI forensic psychologist, receives an urgent plea from Eden to perform a quick – and quiet – investigation into the deaths. Lash’s psychological autopsy reveals nothing suspicious, but inadvertently dredges up the memories of a searing personal tragedy he has kept at bay for years.
The situation changes suddenly when a second Eden couple is found dead -- by all appearances, another double suicide. Now Eden – particularly Richard Silver, the company’s brilliant and reclusive founder – has no choice but to grant Lash unprecedented access to its most guarded secrets if he is to have any chance of determining what is going wrong. The hidden world he discovers is a stunning labyrinth of artificial intelligence, creative genius, and a melding of technology that does indeed, to Lash’s surprise, deliver on Eden’s promise to its clients: the guarantee of a perfect, lifelong mate. But Lash’s involvement in the investigation becomes more personal and dangerous than he could have imagined, nearly as soon as it begins.
With tremendous imagination and skill, master thriller-writer Lincoln Child renders a setting too frighteningly believable not to be real. Infused with relentless suspense and a riveting pace, DEATH MATCH is Child at his best.
terrible. I have a first-aid kit in the bathroom—would you like me to fetch it?” Lash waved this away. “Why don’t you sound surprised?” Silver fell silent. “My medical history has been tampered with. False information about deviant juvenile behavior has been added. My FBI history has been altered in a way that insults dead colleagues. I now have a criminal record. Evidence has been fabricated linking me to the scenes of death at both the Wilners and the Thorpes. Plane tickets, hotel
started a pilot program to phase in employee applicants, based on merit and seniority. In a pool with other Eden employees, not the general pool.” Lash sipped his drink. “I’m not sure I see why the policy was needed in the first place.” “The staff shrinks recommended it from day one. They called it the ‘Oz effect.’” “As in, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?” “Exactly. They thought employees wouldn’t make desirable candidates. See, we know too much of what goes on, how things go
on, behind the scenes. They thought we’d be cynical.” Then she leaned toward him suddenly, an intensity in her face he hadn’t seen before. “But you have no idea what it’s like, day after day. Bringing people together. Sitting in the dark behind one-way glass, watching couples at class reunions talk about how wonderful everything had become. How Eden changed their lives, completed their lives. I mean, if you’ve already got someone and you’re happy, maybe you can rationalize. But if you don’t . .
the same way. He’s singling out the women, making them self-destruct. In just two days, the third couple will—” He stopped abruptly. Tara was no longer listening. Her expression had shifted from his face to somewhere else: somewhere over his shoulder. He turned. Edwin Mauchly was approaching from the front of the diner, surrounded by half a dozen other men. Lash did not recognize them, but he knew they must be Eden security. Quickly, Tara pulled her hand from his. Lash, stunned, was slow to
to the supercouples, but to Eden itself. She’d alerted Mauchly to the meeting in the coffee shop. She’d turned Lash in. Could he be threatening her in some other way? That seemed equally unlikely. Tara was eminently capable of defending herself. And Lash was unarmed: Mauchly had made sure of that himself. He tried to put himself in her shoes, tried to follow her train of thought. But one could only make assumptions about a person one understood. And Mauchly was not convinced he really