My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Assistant Manhattan DA Alex Cooper has her hands full, prosecuting a rape case in which there is very little evidence. Things are looking dim, then even dimmer when her plaintiff is murdered for no apparent reason. Concurrently, an elderly dancer, famous during the Harlem Renaissance era, is also killed. The rest of the plot centers upon the melding of these two crimes into a single case. The characters are a motley mix, not all of whom have an active role; these include Egypt’s deposed King Farouk, an abused child, a foster parent candidate, the schizophrenic accused rapist, and, of course, Alex’s cop friends Mercer and Chapman. True to form, bad things happen to Alex, and the denouement takes place on the channel between Manhattan and the New Jersey shore, known as the Kills (from the Dutch). This complicated tale comes together surprisingly effectively, and the historic element, involving smuggled treasure, adds substantial interest to what would otherwise be a typical legal thriller.