A skeleton found in a Brooklyn row home opens a door to a past mystery and maybe a present-day killer.
When overworked, underpaid grad student Erica Donato’s contractor, Joe, knocks down a wall while fixing up her little Park Slope home, he finds the last thing either of them expects or wants: a small skeleton tucked into the wall. Erica’s teenage daughter, Chris, feels a connection with what she dubs “our girl,” perhaps since the mysterious bones are clearly those of a girl close to Chris’ age. When Chris starts to investigate, Erica receives a vague but menacing warning of the dangers of Chris’ involvement. Instead of waiting for more specific threats, Erica takes up Uncle Rick’s offer to send Chris to camp. But the detective bug takes hold of Erica in Chris’ absence, and before she knows what’s happening, her eye for history has her trying to understand the secret of their skeleton. The stakes get higher when someone close to her is murdered, and she comes to believe that whoever was hiding the skeleton may have something more to lose. Her search teams her up with a curmudgeonly ex-journalist who may know a little too much about the old neighborhood. Now Erica needs to make fast decisions about whom she can trust before she’s in danger of her own.
Although Stein (Digging Up Death, 1998, etc.) generates a few memorable exchanges between the quirkier characters, most of what happens is no more exciting than you’d expect from a week in Brooklyn.