Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein is the 11th book in the “Alex Cooper” crime drama mystery series. Publisher: Doubleday, February 2009
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. 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 world’s 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 Manhattan’s 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 Fairstein’s most beguiling thriller yet.
Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper arrives to talk to the victim, Tina, and convinces her to go to the hospital. When they arrive, the girl runs away. Later Alex, along with NYPD Detective Mike Chapman arrives at the same apartment because another woman is found dead with a valuable book that may have been stolen. While Alex, Mike and Mercer look into the murder, they find themselves thrown into the Hunt family who are collectors of rare books. When Tina is found dead behind the New York Public Library, Alex and the team realizes both murders and the internal strife among the Hunt family involving rare books and maps are connected and look into clues to find the murderers of the two women. I really enjoyed this story especially the history of the establishment of public libraries in New York. [4 stars – really liked it]