Book Review – Abandoned In Death by J. D. Robb – Well Written
My Rating – 4 out of 5
Plot Summary (Storyline) – Abandoned In Death
Author Nora Roberts, who writes the Lieutenant Eve Dallas series under the pen name of J.D. Robb has another winner on her hands! Abandoned in Death is a very well written novel, particularly in the way that the author builds up each character and their motivations behind doing what they do. Be it criminal or be it romantic, the build-ups and reasonings are well constructed, making the reader far more invested in the way the story is shaping up and how it reaches its conclusion. Though the setting is in the future (in June 2061) but one doesn’t feel that there is any science fiction in it, more like a little more technologically advanced than what we have today.
One early morning, Lt. Dallas is called to a kids’ playground near her home to a grisly sight! A young woman is posed on a bench, well dressed and all made up, with her throat slit – then neatly stitched up and covered with a black ribbon. She is later identified as Lauren Elder, a bar worker who used to live nearby with her cohab and was reported missing almost ten days ago. A crudely handwritten sign placed near the body screams – ‘Bad Mommy’! Puzzled at the crime, Dallas consults with psychologist Dr Mira, and a profile starts to build up slowly. The murderer is trying to punish his own mother/mother figure for something bad that she did.
His memories of her are from 50 years ago, as the clothes on the corpse and the make-up etc. are from that era, indicating that he is trying to recreate her look from back then. In his twisted mind, he is raging against her abandoning or torturing him in some way, maybe even death, where that kid feels abandoned. But the trigger of such rage so late in his life doesn’t make sense, until and unless there has been some incident that has set the ball rolling on this track of violence. Assuming that mother was from 50 years ago and wore cheap supermarket clothes and makeup, Dallas and her team lean towards the woman having lived a tainted life.
On enquiring about more missing persons in the same area who looked similar, Dallas comes across three more women who have gone missing in the last 7-10 days – of which one was later found to be unrelated to this case – who have still not been found. By looking at the two women and the similarities between them and their lifestyles, Dallas guesses that Anna Hobe and Mary Kate Covino are both victims of the same perpetrator, and are either still in his custody or are both dead and yet to be found. As the clock on these two women’s life ticks down, Dallas and her team race against time to capture the murderer!
Conclusion – Book Review of Abandoned In Death by J.D. Robb
I would have said that the pace of the book was pulse-pounding, were it not for the digressions in between! Pages are devoted to Peabody and McNab‘s new house and how they plan to decorate it and what thought has gone behind it. After a while, it does get a bit boring. In my opinion, it impedes the flow of the story without adding much value to it. Dallas and her husband Roarke‘s chemistry and mutual affection are both refreshing and endearing. Even Delia Peabody, Dallas’s assistant, is not portrayed as a side-kick without brains, but as an equal contributor to the investigation. The murderer’s identity disclosed near the end of the story comes as a shock!
Definitely a must-read, but be prepared to fight through a few pages where the story stalls due to the digressions mentioned above. It doesn’t make the novel any worse, just a teeny-weeny struggle to get through some pages!
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