The Graving Dock
A floating coffin draws Brooklyn homicide detective Jack Leightner into a murder investigation in hidden parts of New York Harbor and the old Brooklyn Navy Yard in this second novel in Edgar Award finalist Gabriel Cohen’s acclaimed crime series.
At a bed and breakfast in upstate New York, Brooklyn homicide detective Jack Leightner is doing his best to propose to his girlfriend. When the hotel staff loses the engagement ring, romance is put on hold and Leightner returns to Brooklyn to tangle once more with death. A boy has been found floating by the Red Hook pier in a handmade coffin that suggests a burial at sea. But when a second victim turns up, Leightner senses a vile pattern.
The last time he worked Red Hook, the old waterfront was a ghost town. Now, gentrification is reshaping the quiet cobblestoned streets, with big-box stores and condos being built where longshoremen once lived, worked, loved, and died. But even in this shiny new Brooklyn, Leightner knows, there are corners where darkness reigns.
The Graving Dock is the 2nd book in the Jack Leightner Crime Novels, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
Death and recovery consume Det. Jack Leightner in his second appearance and validate the praise Cohen received for Red Hook (2001). Winter is settling over New York harbor and a small coffin containing the body of a boy floats off a Red Hook pier. The box was assembled without nails and the corpse treated carefully. But by whom? Jack is temporarily assigned to his old Brooklyn neighborhood, once the hub of a thriving shipping industry, now decrepit but on the brink of gentrification. Tommy Balfa, the other officer on the case, leaves Jack alone except for favors he can call in. Oddly, Jack welcomes this challenge as a distraction from personal problems such as his repeated failure to propose to his magnificent girlfriend, even though working in Red Hook brings up his guilt over his brother's death when they were kids on the streets. Cohen offers not just a mystery but a satisfying elegy for vanished ways of life.