I was surprised when I saw Romance sticker on Karen Robards book, Justice. I do not read Romance novels. Possible it was face front on New books section shelves; reading the blurb, it seemed to be a Danger/Thriller type mystery novel. Justice certainly started out sounding like a romance.
Lots of homeless mentions in the novel starting with two teen runaways. The girls escaped from Shelter House and spent a scary night on the streets. The girls try selling Street Sense, "the homeless version of craigslist that was available for free in newspaper form at soup kitchens." One of the girls suggested they visit a friend where they might crash on the floor. They found the friend gone, home in foreclosure and turned into "a kind of flophouse" where they hung out, staying out of the way, sleeping on the floors.
They considered crashing "in one of the tunnels that ran beneath city, where colonies of the homeless camped.
In the meantime, Shelter House started posting fliers to locate the missing teens. Admin :...notified the social service groups in the area---homeless shelters, soup kitchens that kind of thing."
There was "a bum picking through a sidewalk wastebasket..." and a woman that looked like a bag lady, sitting under the roof of a Plexiglas-sided bus shelter. "She'd worn a kerchief around iron gray hair, a man's white shirt, and a long floral skirt that had just skimmed her tennis shoes. Plastic grocery bags bulging with stuff had crowed around her feet. "
The story is set in Washington, D.C. "Unlike New York, the city that never slept, D.C. was the city that went to bed early...". "Only street people..." "...were out and about" at 11PM.
Justice is not a story about the teen runaways adventures on the street, although they had a place in the plot. I guess it could be about a soured romance between the attorney and FBI agent. But to me it is a plain, old whodunit murder mystery.