Linda Fairstein was the Assistant DA of Manhattan's sex crimes unit before taking early retirement in 2002 to concentrate on her writing. She divides her time between New York and Martha's Vineyard.
The specter of Edgar Allan Poe hovers, chillingly, over bestseller Fairstein's seventh thriller featuring Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper. Alex's labyrinthine path to a serial killer travels through a lot of forensic evidence and two initially unconnected cases: the Silk Stocking rapist is terrorizing women after a few years' respite and a woman's skeleton is discovered in the wall of an East Village building. Said discovery takes on additional dimension when it's learned that the victim was walled up alive and that the house was once inhabited by Poe. Freelance writer Emily Upshaw appears, at first glance, to be the Silk Stocking rapist's latest victim, but several details feel off to Alex and NYPD detective sidekicks Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace. Emily, it's determined, is the victim of a copycat, but she does have a tenuous link to Poe and to a secret organization called the Raven Society. These are the puzzle pieces that Alex and company work with, in a tale that develops like the proverbial peeled onion, a layer at a time. Alex, fresh from a breakup, also continues her unconsummated flirtation with Mike. It's a tribute to Fairstein's integrity and her clear, measured prose that the novel never tips into prurience. Her methodical presentation of authentic detail engages reader interest more than narrative flourish or cheap thrills. She's the real deal. Agent, Esther Newberg. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
'Alexandra Cooper, like her creator, Linda Fairstein, is a force to contend with' Sue Grafton.
Detective Mercer Wallace and Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper investigate an attempted rape and murder of an exchange student on New York's Upper East Side that appear to be the work of the Silk Stocking Rapist. Shortly thereafter, laborers in a lower Manhattan brownstone once home to Edgar Allen Poe uncover a human skeleton that looks to have been buried alive sometime in the past 25 years. Detailed information regarding the law, the criminal justice system, and investigations are intermixed with factual elements of various New York City locations (New York Botanical Garden, Hall of Fame for Great Americans). The characters make the story appealing; the large amount of minute detail does at times take away from the plot, but overall this is a well-told tale, dramatically brought to life by narrator Barbara Rosenblat. Recommended.-Denise A. Garofalo, Astor Home for Children, Rhinebeck, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.