Abandoned in Death
reviewed by Pam Guynn
Abandoned in Death by J. D. Robb (pseudonym for Nora Roberts) brings murder, romance and suspense to a well-written futuristic police procedural set mainly in New York City. This novel has a slightly different format for this series in that it alternates timelines between the early part of the twenty-first century and June of 2061. What happens when the past and the present collide?
Our protagonist, Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the NYC police department, arrives at a crime scene at a playground near friends Mavis and Leonardo’s new house. Joined by her partner, Detective Delia Peabody, they find the body of a young woman with vintage make-up, hair, and clothing and a note written in crayon saying “Bad Mommy.” With clues pointing to an older antagonist and no records of crimes with a similar MO, how will Eve, Delia, and the team solve the crime? Learning that other young women have recently vanished, they know they need to solve this case quickly.
Time spent with Eve, her husband Roarke, and Eve’s colleagues is always entertaining. Eve is definitely a compelling and three-dimensional character. Her need to serve and protect comes through in every book, but the underlying impetus for this is best understood by reading this series in order. Due to the way Eve was raised, she often doesn’t understand commonly used phrases and this comes into play a few times in this book making her seem more real and less perfect. As always, the interactions between Eve and Roarke are enjoyable and bring a different facet of Eve’s personality to light. Many of the reoccurring police characters play significant roles in this book. In addition, readers also get to see a bit of their private lives. I especially enjoyed seeing the character development of intern Jamie Lingstrom. Additionally, I was delighted to see a different side of Detective Jenkinson near the end of the book. As always, Dr. Mira’s psychological profiling, Morris’ autopsy results, and Roarke’s computer skills, as well as Eve and Delia’s efforts, work against time to solve the case.
The writing is fluid and flows well. The prose is suspenseful and engrossing in this intense race against the clock. A thought-provoking, stunning, deeply involved, and tragic plot gripped this reader immediately. It is appalling in places and uplifting in others. Will you guess the identity of the killer? This one was a surprise to me. As always, the interview segment near the end of the story is compelling. Seeing Eve and Delia working it together with Dr. Mira added another dimension to it.
Robb manages to embed humor in her novels, providing some much needed levity to offset some of the more serious and grim aspects of the story. She brings strong characters, great plots, wonderful relationships, and excellent pacing to this series. Themes include murder, justice, and family dynamics, as well as standing up for the innocent and the dead.
If you enjoy engaging near-future police procedurals with some romance and humor, then I recommend this series. This is the fifty-third book in the In Death Eve Dallas series and I have read all of them up to this point. Overall, it is entertaining, and over time, it is like spending time with old friends. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and are not biased in any way. Publication date was February 8, 2022.