Monday, November 13, 2017

Death in the Manuscript Room

Libraries are usually quiet, calm places, but add librarian Raymond Ambler to the mix and there is room for trouble. Con Lehane's Murder in the Manuscript Room is a taut, tense mystery full of secrets and lies where people's rights are infringed upon in the name of national security.

Caught in the middle of a custody battle for his grandson Johnny with his socialite grandmother, Raymond is in a foul mood when he reaches the library on 42nd Street. He is greeted by two people; one he knows - Mike Cosgrove, an NYPD detective, and another he doesn't - Paul Higgins, an amateur writer and former police intelligence officer.

Higgins wants to donate his papers to the library's crime fiction collection. Although Ray doesn't think there is much value in the papers, he is intrigued when Higgins wants some of the papers restricted from view. And when he mentions the name of a long-dead truckers union leader, Richard Wright, Ray is all ears. Ray's childhood friend Devon Thomas was accused of the murder and is serving a life sentence.

Days after the papers are brought to the library, research assistant Leila Stone is found murdered in Ray's office. The police leap to
arrest an Arabic doctoral student for the crime. Gobi Tabrizi is researching the origins and evolution of Islamic law, Sharia. He seems unassuming and not the least bit interested in murdering a library researcher.

Tabrizi is carted away by a mysterious government unit and Ray decides to get more involved. As he digs deeper he finds gains soe scary insights into the world of secrecy and political expediency.

When someone else dies, Ray feels himself in danger and worries about his grandson and his library colleague Adele. Murder in the Manuscript Room is an excellent puzzle with a frightening outcome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was excellent, thank you for your review!