Harris' Manhattan series continues with this expertly crafted mystery. Detective Jane Bauer investigates a suspicious suicide from eight years ago. Wealthy socialite Flavia Constantine uses her connections to get police to reopen an investigation into the suicide of her brother, Anderson Stratton. A talented poet, Anderson suffered from depression and was discovered dead in his apartment in the Alphabet City section of Manhattan, after apparently starving to death.

Jane and partner Gordon Defino search for clues in his bizarre death, but the apartment's super remains secretive and uncooperative, and the investigation suggests a connection to Anderson's former social worker as well as a nearby Chinese laundry.

Harris' characters are gritty and realistic, especially Jane, who remains conflicted in her long-standing relationship with a superior as she becomes involved in the case. This author draws readers into this top-notch novel with a mystery that's as compelling as the relationships between the players. In the subgenre of police procedurals, this is one of the very best. (Nov. '04, 304 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick