The Bone Vault (Hardcover)
Scribner, 9780743223546, 400pp.
Publication Date: January 21, 2003
Other Editions of This Title:
Mass Market (1/1/2004)
"The Bone Vault" begins in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's glorious Temple of Dendur, where wealthy donors have gathered to celebrate a controversial new exhibit.
An uneasy mix of scholarship, showbiz, and aggressive marketing, "A Modern Bestiary" will be a joint venture of the Met and the American Museum of Natural History. With its IMAX time trips and Rembrandt refrigerator magnets, the "Bestiary" has raised fierce opposition from some of New York's museum elite.
Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper, off duty for the evening, observes the developing tensions with bemused interest until Met director Pierre Thibodaux pulls her aside. He needs her advice. There's an urgent problem out at a loading dock on a New Jersey pier.
A Twelfth Dynasty mummified princess, enclosed for eternity in a huge stone sarcophagus, is about to take a long voyage to Cairo as part of a routine museum exchange. But Cleopatra is missing, and in her place is the not-so-mummified body of a woman many centuries younger than her royal predecessor.
Who is this woman with the small physique, the dark hair, and the shiny barrette? What is her connection, if any, to the rarefied world of priceless art and objects? And how and when did she become entombed in the sarcophagus?
Teaming with cops Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, Alex must explore behind the scenes at the elegant but severe Metropolitan, travel uptown to the remote setting of the Cloisters and its medieval trove offunerary art, and on to the massive array of beasts and bones at the Museum of Natural History. Somewhere deep within the bowels of one of these great cultural centers, a killer may wait.
Atmospheric, chilling, and rich with the kind of procedural authenticity that only Linda Fairstein can provide, "The Bone Vault" is a page-turning tour de force from one of crime writing's brightest stars.