Review: Concealed in Death by J D Robb

concealed in death by jd robbFormat read: ebook borrowed from the Library
Formats available: Hardcover, Paperback, audiobook, ebook
Genre: mystery, romantic suspense, futuristic
Series: In Death #38
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Putnam
Date Released: February 18, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

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.

My Review:

Thankless in Death by J.D. RobbConcealed in Death was way more enjoyable than Thankless in Death. It was great to see the story from Eve and Roarke’s point of view, and NOT spend time in the mind of a scumbag killer. This one was old-school police procedural, and it was good to see the series back to its usual form.

This is almost a cold case story. The crime occurred 15 years in the past, and it has been hidden for all that time. But when Roarke breaks a wall and discovers the first (and second) of 12 wrapped bodies, the action is off to the races.

A big part of this case is the identification of the bodies–after 15 years in an abandoned building, all that’s left is the bones. Which means that Eve needs a forensic anthropologist to ID them for her. The new addition to the team, Dr. Garnet DeWinter, is accustomed to being the alpha female of her own team. Even though Garnet gets along well with Morris, she and Eve jostle against each other through the whole case. It’s fun to see Eve run up against another woman who will not subordinate herself to anyone but she can’t treat as an enemy.

One of the best parts of the story is that we learn more about Mavis; where she came from, what she was involved with before she and Eve became friends. There is a reason why Mavis and Eve bonded in spite of not just being opposites, but originally being on opposite sides of the law., and we get to see what makes them best friends, despite being so very different.

The cop shop parts of the story were often laugh out loud funny, as was Eve’s never-ending battle of wits with Summerset. I’m particularly fond of Galahad the cat, that big lazy moocher is just my kind of feline.

The case was interesting in that there wasn’t a true resolution. Even though the team did figure out who done it and why it was done, there wasn’t the kind of satisfactory punishment that readers, and Eve herself, want. It’s totally appropriate for this particular case, but it left me hungering for a nice, juicy trial, or a high-speed chase scene.

Escape Rating B+: There’s an aspect of Bones meets Dallas, but it was a great way of introducing a new character to the team. (Also DeWinter is way more socially ept than Temperance Brennan)

It was also good not to have either Eve or Roarke dealing with an overwhelming amount of angst; although the case does have resonance for both of them, it doesn’t send everyone into nightmares and depression. It was great to have a case be mostly just a case, and not a trip to the angst-factory.

Among the usual crew, this story focused on Mavis, and had some absolutely marvelous moments with Denis and Charlotte Mira.

I read this series for mind-candy, and to catch up with the gang. This story was just about a one-sitting read, and that was great!

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