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Concealed in Death by JD Robb

concealed in deathWhy I read it:  I bought it. It’s a trade paperback – it bugs me that my In Death collection is all different sizes but what can you do?

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  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.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  This is book 38 in the series and I’m not sick of it yet.  While there is less focus on the romance aspect (Roarke and Eve are happy – no conflict means there’s not a lot of story that can be told in an interesting way), what there was in this book was satisfying in its way. Eve realised some things about where she is now as opposed to before she met Roarke and it’s not just (or even) about the money, but more about the sense of home and connection she didn’t even know she wanted until there it was.

As usual, Robb can make me care about a character very quickly and the parts where Eve and Peabody were doing notifications once the remains began to be identified were particularly moving.  While the suspense part of the story didn’t blow my mind – I picked it early and I’m not usually good at that sort of thing; plus, I was hoping for a twist in the tail which didn’t really arrive – it was a solid entry in the series. There is a melancholy sadness to the ending which I won’t go into because spoilers but I had a tear in my eye on the last page.   The villain as it turned out, wasn’t your run of the mill criminal.  While I would have liked to understand some aspects of said villain a little more, I did appreciate the variety in terms of the villains in past books.  I also appreciated that there was no torture porn or gratuitous violence.

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