Why would a madman deposit a series of corpses in the neighborhood around Grand Central Station? To prepare New York City's second most popular tourist attraction for the Fairstein treatment.
Whoever killed Red Cross worker Corinne Thatcher meant business—railroad business. Why else would he have stolen a trunk from the Yale Club in order to pack her up, bring her to a room on the 45th floor of the Waldorf Astoria, strip her, rape her, stab her to death and carve an elaborate series of railroad tracks into her body? Alexandra Cooper, who heads the Special Victims Unit of the District Attorney’s office, is on hand to shudder at the crime scene. Even though she’d just as soon be prosecuting suspended cop Gerardo Dominguez for threatening to kill and eat his terrified wife, Alba, Coop is pulled off that case and plopped down in the middle of this one, with orders to wrap it up over the weekend before the president arrives at the Waldorf for an emergency meeting of the United Nations. The most promising suspect—Corinne’s violent boyfriend, Paco, who’s carried a grudge against the president ever since his brother lost both his legs to a bomber in Afghanistan—promptly hightails it back to the Dominican Republic, leaving Coop with nothing but the promise of more similarly disfigured victims killed in and around Grand Central and more conversations laden with background information about the terminal, the real estate it sits on and the network of tunnels beneath it.
From the violated landmark to the return of all the regulars to the acrobatic chase finale to the casual logic behind both crime and detection, the results are so formulaic you’d swear this installment consisted entirely of outtakes from Coop’s first 15 cases (Death Angel, 2013, etc.).