It was a crime scene Edgar Allan Poe himself could have conjured, only it was all too real: workers demolishing a nineteenth-century Greenwich Village brownstone where Poe once lived unearthed the skeleton of a young woman — buried standing upright behind a brick wall. Manhattan Assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper takes on the gruesome case while in pursuit of the Silk Stocking Rapist, who is terrorizing the Upper East Side. But Alex discovers that one crime thread leads to the other as she follows a trail of clues to the Bronx Botanical Gardens, where a group of Poe devotees may shed light on a stone-cold, modern-day murder of gothic proportions…and a cunning killer with a bone-chilling tale to tell.
Series heroine Alexandra Cooper, head of Manhattan’s sex crimes unit, returns in a novel that might have been titled “Nevermore,”: focused as it is on the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe. When the body of a two-decades-old skeleton is found bricked up behind a wall in a soon-to-be-demolished building where Poe once lived, it looks like a very cold case indeed. But then that old murder is linked to a more current slaying, one that at first looks like the work of the Silk Stocking Rapist, Alex’s old enemy, who terrorized the upper East Side of Manhattan several years ago but hasn’t been heard from since. As usual, Alex and her good friends, detectives Mercer Wallace and Mike Chapman, take the reader to an area of New York most tourists never see–in this case, the Bronx Botanical Gardens and its wild, forested environs–and bring it dramatically to life. Just in case Poe ever has his own category on Alex’s favorite TV show, there’s enough trivia included about the master of the macabre’s life and work to propel any reader to Final Jeopardy. Entombed is a smart, stylish, well-told tale. –Jane Adams