A grisly discovery in a decrepit Hell’s Kitchen building opens a case for Lt. Eve Dallas that has its roots all the way back in 2045.
Eve’s billionaire developer husband, Roarke, who’s purchased the hard-luck site in order to rehab it, strikes the first blow into a wall that’s crumbling even more badly than the rest of the place. And with good reason, since behind the wall are two corpses wrapped in plastic bags. A systematic search of the building reveals 10 more dead bodies, all teenage girls who went missing 15 years ago. It’s a challenging case for Eve and her partner, Detective Delia Peabody, since the skeletal remains seem well-nigh anonymous, and there’s no point in asking suspects where they were half a generation ago. But forensics have advanced as the bodies have decayed, and between them, medical examiner Li Morris and forensic anthropologist Garnet DeWinter work miracles at identifying the victims and pinpointing the times and manners of their deaths, which all came just as righteous, creepy sister-and-brother team Philadelphia and Nashville Jones were abandoning The Sanctuary, a care facility in the building they’d run for troubled teens, and establishing the Higher Power Cleansing Center for Youths in the much splashier digs donated by their angel, Tiffany Brigham Bittmore. The gradual identification of the dozen victims allows Robb plenty of time to detail each of their sad stories, bringing several of the girls to life long after their deaths but sapping momentum from the investigation.
More heartfelt than most of Eve’s futuristic adventures (Thankless in Death, 2013, etc.) but less suspenseful, since Eve decides pretty early on, based on little more than a hunch, who the killer is, and she turns out—lo and behold—to be right.