When the police are called to a building on New York's Upper East Side, Detective Mike Chapman and Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper respond quickly. A resident, Tina Barr, is alleged to have been assaulted, but she refuses to co-operate with their enquiries. Within a day Alex and Chapman are back at the same building, confronted with the body of a woman, battered to death and with a mysterious jewel-encrusted book beside her. But the victim isn't Tina Barr, and Tina has disappeared. The book is part of a rare collection at the New York Public Library and Alex and Chapman are plunged into the deadly world of the super-rich - those who protect their fortunes and collections more carefully than other people's lives.