Blurb: In a decrepit, long-empty New York building, Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s husband begins the demolition process by swinging a sledgehammer into a wall. When the dust clears, there are two skeletons wrapped in plastic behind it. He summons his wife immediately—and by the time she’s done with the crime scene, there are twelve murders to be solved.
The place once housed a makeshift shelter for troubled teenagers, back in the mid-2040s, and Eve tracks down the people who ran it. Between their recollections and the work of the force’s new forensic anthropologist, Eve begins to put names and faces to the remains. They are all young girls. A tattooed tough girl who dealt in illegal drugs. The runaway daughter of a pair of well-to-do doctors. They all had their stories. And they all lost their chance for a better life.
Then Eve discovers a connection between the victims and someone she knows. And she grows even more determined to reveal the secrets of the place that was called The Sanctuary—and the evil concealed in one human heart.
Book Thirty-Eight ( let that sink in for a moment… thirty eight books in one series… wow ) of the In Death series: Concealed In Death by J.D Robb takes places around Christmas time. The tree is decorated ( Roarke’s mansion has twenty! ) there’s a chill in the air and discovered in one of Roarke’s newly acquired buildings behind a fake wall is the bones of twelve dead girls. Children. Children who had all at one point been associated with a sanctuary for tearaway teenagers. The book centres on a brother and sister team who ran that home for kids, and now their new place, it has a spiritual vibe about it, but they seem to do right by their kids, both are devastated to hear of the murders and cooperate fully with Dallas. A case involving children as always for Eve Dallas and Roarke affect them both personally, more so that the kids are runaways and victims of abuse. I’m glad it didn’t touch too much on Eve’s past, it’s nice that with each passing book now that part of her is distant, that it doesn’t overshadow each story.
Unlike some of the previous reads, this was not a book where you were aware of the criminal(s) right away. It was painstakingly slow in big chunks of the book that lost my attention, so much so that I set it aside for a while, a rarity with an In Death book. It just chugged along, nothing major happened, usually halfway you find there is a huge plot bomb, something to spike the story into hyper-drive again and there was none of that in this chapter of the series.
What I found more interesting was the introduction of new faces, some I hope to see again. Especially the new anthropologist Dr DeWinter, who I would put money on her being Morris’ new love interest in books to come. There was endearing heartwarming back-stories for the poor victims, all of which you saw clearly Eve felt responsible to bring justice for them and their grieving families. The second half of the book picked up and I was unable to put it down and finished it in one giant gulp.
There’s always a point with In Death when you see Eve has her guy, she knows who it is and it sparks the book alive. I love those moments, so for me, the first half of the book was forgettable, with a few saving points with Roarke ( naturally! ) and the Mira’s. ( I love Eve has such a crush/and father figure love for Mira’s husband ) But the last half of the book was a really enjoyable read. It never gets old being in Eve Dallas’ mind, she’s calculating to the point of scary, she can read a person, just KNOW if they’re capable of murder of being a wicked person. I love that about her. I liked the outcome, it was justice served, but not in the way Eve had predicted and there was a lovely sentiment from my favourite couple at the very end concerning one of the victims. It was very typical of Roarke, and one more aspect to make you love him.
My few soft moments were watching Roarke and Eve decorate their personal Christmas tree, they’re so in love. How romantic can one book boyfriend continue to be? Very is the answer. By the end Roarke was planning a trip away to their island with white sands and blue sea. I was already packing my bikini and sun cream and waiting for him on the jet!
“The rap sheet of a dick”
“Dick’s kill as much as anyone”
“I do try to keep mine nonviolent”
The smirk that crossed her face felt good. “It’s got some punch”
“Thanks, darling. I’d love to punch you later”
“You always want to punch me”
“That’s love for you”
Amused, she angled her head, studied him. “Maybe I’ll punch you back”
“I’ve put it on your calendar, but as we both know I might as well write it on air. Take care of my cop until I see you , then Ill look out for her”
I thought about the rating for a good long while, going back and forth on what my head and heart wanted to give it. Being a giant In Death fangirl it pains me when they’re not immediate hits with me, but I did enjoy this one, some are hit and miss, and parts of this fall into the “miss” section.
So for that reason I give Concealed in Death by J D Robb 3.5 out of 5.
PS. Must I advocate/bully/peer pressure to those In Death and Roarke virgins the importance of going right back to book one and starting this series?? [grin] I thought not. Go forth and fall in love with that devilishly handsome Irishman.