Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: Concealed in Death by J.D. Robb

Title: Concealed in Death
Series: In Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: February 18, 2014
Publisher: Berkley

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 rating:

Roarke slams his sledgehammer into a rickety wall in his new acquisition, and finds two bodies, skeletons, really, wrapped in plastic. He, naturally, calls his wife, and after the cops are done with the old building, there are ten more plastic-wrapped bundles of remains.

They were all girls, between twelve and fifteen years of age, most of them runaways or from broken homes, and they all died fifteen years ago. The old building is connected to a shelter for teenagers, all Eve has to do, is find the connection to the bodies.

There's a formula to these books. Yet mostly the plot is so engrossing with constantly increasing tempo, and the characters and their connections to interesting, I don't pay attention to the formula or template and can easily ignore it.

This one failed to deliver the goods for me to ignore how terribly formulaic it was. It was slow, even plodding in places, predictable (especially after the half mark), and the fact they were dealing with mere remains, and without a "hot" case, that sense of danger and urgency that often characterizes the plots, was missing.
In the end it was all procedure, drone work, and guessing until proof magically poofed onto the scene.

The cast of characters was great, as always, but not enough to elevate the story.


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