cover image Abandoned in Death

Abandoned in Death

J.D. Robb. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-27821-0

When a young woman’s body turns up at a Manhattan playground in bestseller Robb’s solid 54th thriller set in mid-21st-century New York (after 2021’s Forgotten in Death), Lt. Eve Dallas of the New York City Police Security Department and her team investigate. Under the victim’s folded hands is a sign written in crayon in a childish scrawl reading “Bad Mommy.” The victim’s clothing (ripped jeans and a short, spangly top), elaborate makeup, body piercings, and tattoos all seem in line with styles from the late 20th century. Other women in their 20s have also recently disappeared, and Eve and her colleagues realize they’re looking for a serial killer, and that if they don’t catch him soon, another innocent will die. Chapters that follow the police alternate with ones from the killer’s perspective that shed light on his “Bad Mommy” issue, creating some suspense. For fans, the details of Eve’s life with her sexy, supportive, and staggeringly wealthy husband Roarke, such as the renovation of their house, will be of even more interest than the somewhat stock mystery plot. This outing’s not for newcomers. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Feb.)