This is the fifteenth crime novel featuring 38-year-old Alexandra (“Alex”) Cooper, 38, the prosecutor in charge of the Special Victims Unit (SVU) in Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Alex has been called to the scene of a murder that took place near the Angel of the Waters statue in Central Park. Summoned as well is her friend and police SVU detective Mercer Wallace, and homicide detective Mike Chapman.
Because the crime has taken place in Central Park, the police need to scan the park for clues, so we, along with them, get thoroughly briefed in the history, background, and topography of the park, which is the best part of the book.
We find out, for example, that Central Park is 843 acres – six percent of the total size of Manhattan! – with an annual budget of $46 million (85% of which comes from private funds). As Alex and Mike and Mercer explore the Ravine and the Ramble and the Sheep Meadow and so on, I very much wished I could take the book with me as a guidebook in the park.
Otherwise, the story is pretty standard fare: a bit of a mystery, a bit of tension, and a bit of romance. Fairstein generates reliably entertaining books that could readily be transformed into a winning television series.
Published by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2013