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?
This report prepared by Tracey Ray
Scribner, Jan 2003, 25.00, 384 pp.
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.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner