Liberty Falling by Nevada Barr

If there’s anything that makes Anna more claustrophobic than Lechugilla Cave (Blind Descent), it’s a city.  Not only are cities crowded with the living but they are also filled with memories of her long-mourned husband Zach.  Her sister Molly is seriously ill though, hospitalized and in the Intensive Care Unit, so off to Manhattan Anna goes.    When she arrives, her anxiety escalates when she discovers that Frederick Stanton is also in town:  the same Frederick Stanton she was dating before he met and fell in love with her sister.

When she’s not in the ICU, Anna escapes the crush of humanity by staying with a friend on Liberty Island.  Exploring the abandoned structures on Ellis and Liberty Islands provides some way to work through her fears for Molly and her angst about Frederick.  Of course, it also leads her into danger as she stumbles across evidence that something crooked is afoot.  She suspects that everything ties together with the young girl who jumped–or was pushed–from the Statue of Liberty.  Why would the girl take a nosedive from the monument?  Why did someone take her backpack immediately after she fell?  Why has no one claimed her body?  Why is one security guard so obsessed with the incident?

Solid, well-plotted mystery; interesting characters.    Fascinating behind-the-scenes look  at areas of Liberty and Ellis islands that are off-limits to tourists:  I loved the eerie otherworldiness of the abandoned structures gradually being reclaimed by nature.

http://www.statueofliberty.org/

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