Linda A. Fairstein
Doubleday, Jan 2009, $26.00
Manhattan’s Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper convinces librarian Tina Barr to go to the hospital after a thief masquerading as a firefighter assaults the woman in her East Side apartment. Soon after Tina disappears without medical treatment; a female corpse appears in her abruptly abandoned apartment.
The dead body resembles Tina’s affluent landlady Minerva Hunt, but she discovered the corpse of her Romanian housekeeper Karla Vastasi. Alex and her NYPD Police Detective partner Mike Chapman investigate the Hunt family and Barr learning that the latter used to work for Minerva’s father Jasper, a rare book bibliophile and ardent collector of priceless maps. The inquiry leads to the rare book and map collection of the New York Public Library, who has had valuable items stolen and vanishing into private collections, but Mike and Coop know to stay focused though the thefts are more fascinating.
The New York Public Library depth brings freshness to the latest Coop legal investigative thriller. The story line is fast-paced from the onset and never slows down as the heroine who some insist “walk on bottled water” and her cohort follow the clues into the library. Readers will appreciate this strong entry which also sets up a cold case as number twelve for the intrepid Alex to investigate.