The Bone Vault Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Bone Vault

The body of a museum researcher is found murdered inside the sarcophagus of an ancient mummy princess. Alex cooper is called to investigate. Her investigation uncovers some ugly secrets of the museums past. In the course of the investigation, another museum employee is found murdered. The friend of the murder victim reluctantly agrees to fly in from Europe to aide in investigation. The friend fears coming forward could endanger her own life. The friend uncovers clues previously unseen, giving Alex just what she needs to find the murderer. But, will it be in time?
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The review of this Book prepared by Tracey Ray

Scribner, Jan 2003, 25.00, 384 pp.
ISBN: 0743223543

At the reception for a controversial show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Director Pierre Thibodaux speaks with guest attendee Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Alex Cooper. Pierre informs Coop, the head of Sex Crimes Division, that the corpse of a modern day female rather than the mummified remains of an Egyptian princess was found in a sarcophagus during a routine customs inspection.

Coop brings in her “team” of NYPD detectives, Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, to investigate the homicide. The threesome quickly learns the identity of the deceased Katrina Gooten, a worker at the Cloisters, Manhattan's monastery. The trio digs deeper into the museum, that of the Cloisters, and the Museum of Natural History as the trail takes them on a tour seemingly all over Manhattan in an attempt to find the killer.

This police procedural story line is well designed and fun to read especially with the charged sexual relationship that both Coop and Mike react to by competing in cerebral contests that keeps the flesh from any lusty formations. When Linda Fairstein goes into her prosecutor's role on sidebars such as ancient funeral rites, the subplot provides well-written interesting information, but also slows down the prime theme. Still Coop is a great character starring in a strong investigative tale that sub-genre fans will welcome as long as the audience avoids betting on Jeopardy.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Bone Vault

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Murder of certain profession?    -   museum nerd Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards lover Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Europe    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning    -   dropped from large heights    -   perforation--bullets Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Linda Fairstein Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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