Forgotten City: A Claire Codella Mystery

Crooked Lane. Dec. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781629537672. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9781629537863. M
In this follow-up to Silent City, NYPD detective Claire Codella is back on the job after cancer treatment, but her supervisor at the 171st Precinct has kept her off any major cases. When Julie Merchant asks Claire to investigate her mother's death, no one at the 171st wants an inquiry. Broadway star Lucy Merchant had suffered from early-onset Alzheimer's and died at the age of 56 in a private Manhattan hospital. Claire will have to put aside her own feelings of inadequacy and dark memories of childhood abuse to ferret out the clues. By presenting a cancer survivor as a heroine, Smith offers a positive message of empowerment. Claire is not a victim of a deadly disease but a strong survivor. Smith also handles the challenges faced by a transgender character very adroitly, allowing for a sympathetic relationship to build between reader and character.
VERDICT This well-crafted police procedural is recommended for admirers of Robin Burcell or Alafair Burke.

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