Manhattan Serenade: A Novel
by Joseph Steven
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The discovery of a body floating in New York City’s East River leads to the re-opening of the murder of Lacy Wooden,
an aspiring young dancer. As NYPD Lieutenant James Francis Moran and his team follow each clue, they are brought
face-to-face with some of the city’s most influential powerbrokers. As each layer of the case is peeled away, the secret
life of each of these individuals is revealed, as well as their mutually unbeknown connection to the deceased woman.
Finding the murderer against this backdrop of characters, while at the same time not ruffling feathers, is a fine
line Moran must walk. This, and dealing with a gravely ill wife and his own personal issues, all add up to what seems
to be an insurmountable task for the detective.
"Lacey Wooden was a young woman with dreams of becoming a professional dancer in New York. Those dreams were
ended when she was brutally murdered. After DNA evidence exonerated the only suspect, the case went cold.
NYPD Lieutenant James Francis Moran has just been given a reason to open an old case; the suspected murderer of
Lacey Wooden has become a victim himself. As the investigation takes off, the suspects begin to multiply and the
body count quickly rises. Every time the team seems to be getting somewhere, a new development forces a change in
the direction of the case. Alongside the murder investigations that continue to become more complicated, Moran is
faced with the fact that his wife is suffering from a serious disease.
The author of Manhattan Serenade, Joseph Steven, is a former New York trial defense attorney. Steven tells
an interesting tale in this crime drama. The story deals with some very high-profile characters and their involvement
with the "seedier" characters produces a multi-layer story with a fast-paced plot. The characters are enjoyable, while
the interaction between the investigation team is both realistic and entertaining. At times, the connections and motives
of the suspects seem a bit forced, but overall the mystery is an engaging read."
- Rebecca Wire, roundtablereviews.com
"Things were not going very well for NYPD Lieutenant James Moran. He had been through a failed marriage when his
wife decided to "redefine" herself in California. For the next four years he lived a very lonely life. He thought his
career was over when his knee was shattered by an assailant's bullet. However, his life was now making a turn around
when he received a new knee and an exciting job as head of the Cold Case Task Force. He also met a new love, Sandra
Mazzetti, in the gym he attended as part of his physical therapy. Sandra's husband was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Sandra and James got married.
Sandra was now very ill and needed a bone marrow transplant in order to have a fighting chance. There were only two
choices - she had a half-brother who could possibly be a match or maybe she could be moved up the list. James was
informed by the doctor that this was only done in extreme cases. This answer really annoyed James because how much more
"extreme" can you get when you have been given a death sentence without the transplant?
While on the way home from the doctor's appointment, James received a call on his cell phone. He was informed that a
floater had been found in the East River. The dead man was identified as Paul Myer. James could not understand what this
had to do with the cold case unit. Myer was released six months ago after serving one year of a life sentence for the
murder of Lacy Wooden. He had been cleared by DNA evidence. Moran was informed that Lacy Wooden's murder is a cold case
with top priority. Due to the connection between Lacy and Paul Myer, Moran was ordered to investigate both cases at once.
As Moran and his team start to follow the clues, they come in contact with some of the cities most powerful
individuals. They also discover secrets and connections to the dead woman.
James Moran knows this is not going to be an easy case with all the obstacles in the way plus he had the additional
stress of dealing with his wife's illness.
Will James Moran and his team be successful in solving this case?
After reading the first couple of pages of this book, I knew I was in for a treat. The author has a writing style
that reminds me of James Patterson because of the short chapters and a "tease" at the end of each one that makes you
want to go on and continue reading no matter how late it might be. Joseph Steven does an excellent job with his
character creation. They are strong and well defined. I really liked the lead character because he really lets the
reader know exactly what is on his mind. You just have the feeling with him on the case, it is a "very good thing".
What really impressed me is the flair this author has with descriptive writing. No matter what the author is talking
about, whether you are being introduced to a new character or he is telling you about a certain place, you are given
detailed descriptions. Joseph Steven makes you feel like you are right there in the room or at the scene of the crime.
Joseph Steven has the talent needed be a good writer and one day I expect to see his name at the top of the bestseller
lists. Manhattan Serenade never gets boring. In fact, it just keeps getting better and better with the turn of
each page. If you are looking for a novel that is full of suspense, has great characters and has an intriguing plot,
be sure to add Manhattan Serenade to your reading list. I highly recommend this novel."
- Nancy Eaton, bestsellersworld.com
“It was impossible to put down Joseph Steven’s latest novel. The book is a riveting page-turner that takes the
reader through many twists and turns through the heady world of New York City society. The well-developed film-noir
characters are not only interesting but also amusing.”
— Robert Walker, screenwriter.
“A great mystery that guarantees you wanting to keep reading. Never a dull moment, with interesting and
About the Author
— Charles Cordova, author of Journey to Myridia.
Joseph Steven, the author of several novels, is a former New York trial defense attorney and listed in the Who’s Who
of America. He resides in Southern California with his wife and is working on his next novel.
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