Genre: futuristic romantic suspense
Cover: ugly, like they all are
The incomparable J. D. Robb presents the latest moving and suspenseful novel in the #1 New York Times - bestselling Eve Dallas series.
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.
12 young girls have been murdered in the old building, hidden behind fake walls, wrapped in plastic. Who could have done this, and who could have known about this? The first part of the job is to identify the remains, and the new forensic anthropologist is certainly up for the job. Dallas is a bit apprehensive at first, especially as the beautiful dr. Garnet DeWinter knows Roarke. But Garnet and her team are good at what they do. Elsie Kendrick manages to reconstruct the faces with her computer wizardry, and so Eve and Peabody can match these to the missing persons reports of children of that age, gone missing in the appropriate time period.
The investigation keeps leading them to Philadelphia and Nashville Jones, brother and sister, the previous owners and operators of the building where the remains were found, called Sanctuary back then. Nowadays they are running a more classy shelter, called the Higher Power Cleansing Center for Youths. It is meant for children who are homeless, runaways, or taken by child services or for whatever reason cannot live at home. They will get and education, have to do chores, are thought how to take care of themselves and get therapy. All with the hope that they will become productive members of society. The Center does good work, but they cannot save all the children. And it is not a coincidence that Roarke has the same kind of plan for the old building. It has been used for that purpose a few times before.
It does bring back nasty memories for Eve and Roarke, as both of them could have been one of those victims, but they survived, and made their own lives. But someone else is closer to these girls still, and helps Eve to crack the case.
After 38 books, I still love this series and eagerly anticipate the next book in the series. I really like the interaction between Eve and Roarke, their relationship is still growing and going strong. They deeply care for the other, and try to work out the rules of being married. Neither of them has ever lived as a family before.
Then there are Peabody and McNab, two very colourful police detectives, and also very much in love. Dr Mira and her husband Dennis, on whom Eve has some sort of crush. He is absentminded and just huggable. And he makes the best hot chocolate there is.
Mabel, Eve’s first girl friend, her husband Leonardo, the fashion designer, and their sweet baby girl Bella. And of course Nadine Furst, Eve’s other girl friend and ace reporter. They all interact together and complement the story, and I enjoy reading about their lives and loves and every day thingies.
Back to the story though. It had kind of sad feeling to it, so many young lives sniffed out before the girls could redeem themselves, or not, before they reached their potential. And I admit, I did miss the action part, where Eve has to outsmart the killer and has to actually find him and arrest him and make him confess. This one was kind of non-surprising. I did guess who the killer was, as soon as he was mentioned in the book. It was more about finding out the identity of the girls, and who they were, and if they were beloved or not. Some stories were heartbreaking for the victims, others for the parents or guardians. But overall, I was a bit detached.
I was missing the adrenaline that usually goes with catching a killer before he kills again, as everything happened 15 years ago, there was no urgency.
I don’t think this one will be re-read, and I do hope the next one will be full of suspense and cat and mouse games again. But I do read these books as much for the characters as for the story, so I still enjoyed it a lot. It was just lacking some intrigue, some suspense.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian