When Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper is summoned to Tina Barr's apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, she finds a neighbour convinced that the young woman has been assaulted. But the terrified victim, a conservator of rare books and maps, denies that and refuses to co-operate with Alex and the police investigators. Tina disappears, and then another woman is found murdered in the same apartment, with an extremely valuable book at her side. The book has probably been stolen, but from whom and how? Pursuing the murderer Alex is drawn into the strange and privileged world of rich and secretive book collectors, where avarice and greed is as strong an inheritance as wealth..
In a beguiling mix and history and suspense Linda Fairstein takes readers on a breath-taking ride through collections of beautiful first editions, supposedly 'lost' atlases, and deep into the hidden rooms and tunnels of the great New York Public Library.