Murder in the Manuscript Room

Murder in the Manuscript Room (A 42nd Street Library Mystery #2)Murder in the Manuscript Room by Con Lehane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was looking forward to reading this book, the main reason is the place where the murder took place – New York Public Library! This is a second book of the “A 42nd Street Library Mystery”. I haven’t read the first part.

The beginning of the story takes place in the 80s, with the murder of Richard Wright, a union representative who uncovered a contract between NY gangs and NYPD officials. An innocent man, Devon, is sent to jail. Years later he contacts his childhood friend, Raymond Ambler, and asks him to look into the case.

Ray Ambler, a librarian, is in charge of a new exhibit at takes place at New York Public Library – A Century-and-a-Half of Murder and Mystery in New York City. He is being introduced to Paul Higgins, retired detective and a murder mystery book writer. Paul “donates” to the exhibion his notes and some police files that he has been collecting and used as a material for his books. Ray questions Paul regarding the documents and Devon’s case, however, Higgins denies having any knowledge or info on Devon/Wright case. Days later Paul’s ex-wife Laila, a librarian and undercover cop, is found dead in Raymond’s office. Godi, an Islamic scholar whom Laila was investigating is a suspect in the murder.

Mike Cosgrove, an NYPD retired cop and a friend of both Ambler and Higgins, is looking into the case. It seems that all the roads lead him to Richard Wright’s murder back in the 80s. Coincidence? Mike doesn’t think so. He is sure that Godi is framed for Laila’s murder and Paul has to reasons to go after his ex-wife. Days later and both murders of Devon and Paul are confirming Mike’s suspicions. He takes the investigation into his own hands and takes down NYPD Intelligence Department and the man behind it all – Bradley Cooper.

The idea of the book is very catching. In my opinion, there are too many characters involved, way too much inside drama that didn’t have much to do with the actual case. Bradley Cooper was portraited as a dirty cop since the first pages, so I expected him to be behind the murders by the end of the book. I still do not understand what exactly Godi was researching in the library, why it was important, and why Laila was investigating him. And who exactly shot Richard Wright?! I wish the story included Cooper’s trial and how it actually ended.

As I said, I like the idea of the book, I just don’t feel it was completed, it has a few loose ends, and I wish it had more reasons to be tied to the Library.Screenshot_20171222-183427_1514007747063

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