Author: J. D. Robb
Series: In Death (Book 38)
Publication: Putnam Adult (February 18, 2014)
Description: The incomparable J. D. Robb presents the latest moving and suspenseful novel in the #1New 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.
My Thoughts: This 38th visit to Eve and Roarke's world was a quieter episode than some. The story begins when Roarke finds some skeletal remains in a building that he has just purchased. It turns out that there are twelve sets of bones of young girls between the ages of 12 and 14,
Eve is determined, as usual, to find out who the girls are and to find out what happened to them. But most of all she is determined to bring the person who committed these crimes to justice. A new forensic anthropologist is introduced. She knows Roarke and is a beautiful, brainy fashion plate. Eve has to depend on her to identify the girls which rubs her the wrong way because it is giving up some control to a person she doesn't know or trust.
When tracing the history of the building, they learn that it was a shelter for young kids from abusive or disrupted backgrounds. The former owners - brother and sister Nashville and Philadelphia Jones - have moved their operation to a bigger and better space. Their operation is faith-based but in a non-denominational way. Their father was a missionary. Their younger brother was a missionary who was serving in Africa when he was killed by a lion.
As each girl is identified, the connections to the Jones' facility strengthen. But there is also a connection to a Fagin-like character who also helped girls on the street. However, his choice was to teach them to steal, pick pockets, and run various scams. Mavis was one of his protegees before she ran into Eve and became her friend. In fact, Mavis knows some of the girls who are discovered in the walls of the building. This case builds slowly to a conclusion I really didn't see coming.
On the personal front, Eve and Roarke are settling into their marriage. There were no fights or arguments in this one. Both were on the same page as they sympathized with the young victims and recalled that they could have been the same had they not been smarter, meaner, and luckier. It brought back uncomfortable childhood memories for each of them but showed how they have reached acceptance of their pasts.
I also really liked the dynamic of Eve looking at Dr. and Mr. Mira's marriage and wanting that sort of love and closeness for herself and Roarke. I really like her crush on Mr. Mira who is the role model for the father she didn't have.
Fans of the series won't want to miss this episode. I can't wait to see what happens for Eve and Roarke next.
When they got out of the car, he took her hand. "I asked myself today what might have happened if I hadn't bought that place. Those girls might have been there years yet. Then I thought, no, not at all. It was meant to be now, and me, and you."This series is on my "must buy" list. I bought this book. You can buy your copy here.
"You're awfully damn Irish sometimes."
"Meant to be," he said with a shrug. "We know those children, and caren't so far from being them once. So we'll neither of us stop until we find who they are, what happened to them, and who took the rest of their lives."