As a pricey new Big Apple condo development threatens to obscure current residents’ view of the Hudson, a college teacher unearths dark doings at the construction site.
English professor Alison Bergeron isn’t crazy about working off the community-service hours she earned for last fall’s run-in with some New York State Troopers (Extracurricular Activities, 2007) at the Lord’s Bounty, a free-meal program run by a local church. But at least she’s enjoyed meeting some of the regulars: Mrs. Dwyer and her guide dog Patty; ex-cons Joey and Tiny; and the Escalante family. Hernan Escalante and his daughter Amalia couldn’t be sweeter, but Hernan’s nephew, Jose Tomasso, is a hothead. So it comes as only a minor shock when Alison’s current squeeze, NYPD Detective Bobby Crawford, tells her that Jose’s body was fished out of the river right where Richie Kraecker has some guys with suspicious-looking green cards pouring the foundation for his multimillion-dollar Riviera Pointe project. To help her new friends, Alison, who couldn’t afford a doorknob in Riviera Pointe’s zip code, poses as a potential buyer, letting gorgeous Rangers publicist Jack McManus squire her to Kraecker’s black-tie party. But if troll-like Richie’s manners and his model girlfriend Morag Moragna’s fashions don’t scare Alison out of her sleuthing, what chance do Crawford’s warnings have?
Barbieri’s third college-themed mystery has little college and less mystery. Getting Alison into scrapes and having Crawford save her bacon is the main item on the syllabus.