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Lethal Legacyby Linda Fairstein
Synopses & Reviews
In Linda Fairsteins outstanding new novel, the New York Public Library houses dazzling treasures—and deadly secrets.
When Assistant District Attorney Alex Cooper is summoned to Tina Barrs apartment on Manhattans Upper East Side, she finds a neighbor convinced that the young woman was assaulted. But the terrified victim, a conservator of rare books and maps, refuses to cooperate with investigators. Then another woman is found murdered in that same apartment with an extremely valuable book, believed to have been stolen. As Alex pursues the murderer, she is drawn into the strange and privileged world of the Hunt family, major benefactors of the New York Public Library and passionate rare book collectors.
Eventually Alex connects their internal family rivalries to a priceless edition of Alice in Wonderland, which also contains the worlds oldest map. Would one of the well-bred Hunts be willing to kill for the treasures? The search for the answer takes Alex and her team on a breathtaking chase from Manhattans grandest apartments to the secret tunnels and chambers of the New York Public Library, and finally to a nineteenth-century underground vault. There, in the pitch-black darkness, Alex comes face-to-face with the killer who values money more than life.
Featuring a cast of elite, erudite, and downright eccentric characters, and a complex trail of clues that will have you guessing until the final pages, Lethal Legacy is Linda Fairsteins most beguiling thriller yet.
"At the start of bestseller Fairstein's entertaining 11th legal thriller to feature ADA Alexandra Cooper of Manhattan's Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit (after Killer Heat), Alex persuades librarian Tina Barr to go to the hospital after a burglar posing as a fireman assaults Tina at her East Side home. After Tina disappears, a woman's corpse turns up in Tina's abandoned apartment that looks like Tina's landlady, heiress Minerva Hunt, but in fact is Minerva's Romanian housekeeper. Alex and her sidekick, NYPD detective Mike Chapman, later learn that Tina was once employed by Minerva's father, Jasper Hunt, a rare book and map collector. The investigation leads Alex and her team into the dark depths of the New York Public Library in search of stolen items that certain bibliophiles and antique map enthusiasts would kill for. Full of fun information about the NYPL, the plot builds to a cool resolution that sets up Alex's next adventure involving a disturbing cold case. Author tour. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In "Lethal Legacy," New York assistant D.A. and sex-crimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper answers a call about Tina Barr, a rare-books restorer who resists the police's help in her rape case. Soon Barr is dead, and so is another woman, a maid who happened to be dressed in the clothes of her employer, Minerva Hunt. All investigative roads seem to lead back to the Hunts, a very wealthy, unpleasant and competitive... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) family of possibly criminal bibliophiles, who seem to own more of Manhattan than the Astors and the Vanderbilts put together. What makes "Lethal Legacy" one of Linda Fairstein's stronger offerings is the intriguing setting: the catacombs beneath the New York Public Library. It also helps that the author downplays the unrealistic girlie-girl aspects of Cooper's life (the "Sex and the City" wardrobe, the French gourmet-chef lover) in favor of a heightened focus on the mystery and its mix of high society, rare maps, library crimes and literary restoration. Fairstein presents the latter, interestingly and in great detail, as just another form of forensic science. Fans of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" will find this a familiar formula (Fairstein has been a consultant for the show), but the author's squeaky-clean approach to procedurals (no gore, no swearing, no explicit detail) gives the Cooper series a proper, sedate feel that's closer to "Murder, She Wrote." That seems to be just the recipe craved by Fairstein's many fans, and for them (and perhaps them only), the author also serves up plenty of platonic beefcake in the form of Detective Mike Chapman, Cooper's eternal sidekick, who is as handsome and unrealistic as ever — and ever ready to rescue the woman he calls "Blondie" from whatever hairbreadth scrape she gets into. Kevin Allman is a frequent mystery reviewer. Reviewed by Kevin Allman, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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Assistant district attorney Alex Cooper and her crew are drawn into the strange and privileged world of rich collectors, eccentric library trustees, and the treasures of the great New York Public Library, in this latest breathtaking thriller from "New York Times"-bestselling author Fairstein.
When Assistant District Attorney Alex Cooper is summoned to Tina Barr’s apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, she finds a neighbor convinced that the young woman was assaulted. But the terrified victim, a conservator of rare books and maps, refuses to cooperate with investigators. Then another woman is found murdered in that same apartment with an extremely valuable book, believed to have been stolen.
Alex discovers that the apartment belongs to a member of the wealthy Hunt family, longtime benefactors of the New York Public Library. As Alex, Mike, and Mercer meet each member of the eccentric family, they like them less and less. But does that mean they could be capable of murder? The search for the answer leads them to forgotten underground vaults in lower Manhattan where the Hunt patriarch took his greatest secrets to the grave—literally.
In this beguiling mix of history and suspense, the New York Times bestselling author of Killer Heat truly outdoes herself as she takes readers on a breathtaking ride through the valuable first editions, lost atlases, and secret rooms and tunnels of the great New York Public Library.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author LINDA FAIRSTEIN is one of Americas foremost legal experts on crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence. She lives in New York City and on Marthas Vineyard.
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