Friday, February 23, 2024

FFB Review: Concealed in Death: In Death Series by J.D. Robb


Long ago the neighborhood that holds the aging and neglected building was named “Hell’s Kitchen.”  In the here and now of 2060, the decrepit structure is a recent purchase of Roarke’s. He plans to gut the building, rebuild it, and restore it to its former glory. Roarke has a vision for the old place and isn’t willing to level it. As has long been established, Roarke has the money to accomplish anything.


Along with a crew of workers, the job boss, Pete Staski, and head architect, Nina Whitt, Roarke is on site. It would be cheaper to tear it all down and start over, but Roarke is having none of that. Pete suggests that Roarke should take the first couple of whacks as it is good luck when the boss takes the first demolition strikes. Roarke agrees and goes to work with two hard blows of the sledgehammer.


The group quickly realizes that behind the first wall that was not up to code, was an inner space to the actual real wall. In that inner space between the two walls sits two bundles wrapped in plastic. There are literally bodies in the walls.


Roarke alerts his wife and before long she, Peabody, and others are at the decrepit three-story building and going to work. While Roarke now owns the building, he has not had it long, so unlike other cases where he owned the location holding a crime scene and or knew folks involved, this time his connection is straightforward and nearly non-existent. He is still going to be very involved.


Roarke’s involvement will help as the building has been derelict for years since the previous owners, Nashville Jones, and his sister, Philadelphia Jones, moved out in September of 2045. They were using the place for a shelter for kids, runaways, and others, before moving to a new place. The building has been sitting vacant as a target for squatters, vandals, and thieves that took everything they possibly could.


It also served as a graveyard. In addition to the two bodies Roarke found, police investigators have found ten more skeletons. All twelve are clearly female and of a young age. Most likely early to mid-teens. The gender and age range that the place known as “The Sanctuary” took in from May of 2041 to September 2045.


It is up to Lieutenant Eve Dallas, Peabody, and the team to not only identify the 12 victims in a case that goes back at least 15 years, but identify the killer or killers. They could be alive, having escaped for all this time, or the person(s) responsible could be dead. Nobody knows. What is clear is that the list of unidentified victims is long and this case is going to take quite some time. Identifying the dead and notifying the next of kin of each person is step one in what will be a massive case.


What follows is a complicated police procedural. Having somebody around with massive resources is a huge help, though as always, painstakingly slow and detailed work by the police and others is what actually solves cases. As one always knows in this series, Dallas is going to get answers and some form of justice. The question is how. That certainty that some sort of justice will win out in the end is what makes these reads fun and an escape from the real world. 


My Amazon Associate Link: 


My reading copy came by way of the Libby/OverDrive App and the Dallas Public Library System. 


Kevin R. Tipple ©2024

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