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.
Appealing Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper is back for a fifth adventure (after The Bone Vault), and this time out, the D.A. and her sidekicks, cops Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, are involved in a complicated mix of crime all set against Fairstein's usual New York City backdrop. Paige Vallis accuses Andrew Tripping of raping her, and Alex is prosecuting. Then the elderly McQueen Ransome is found murdered in her tenement apartment. These events don't seem to be related until Alex and her cohorts discover that Paige's father worked for the U.S. Foreign Service in Egypt in the 1950s and that, at the same time, McQueen gathered intelligence for the U.S. government as Egyptian King Farouk's mistress; the plot thickens when Paige is found murdered. This is a typical Alex Cooper thriller: fast-paced, with lots of New York City detail and a nice, twisted plot. Alex still has her television anchor boyfriend and her second home on Martha's Vineyard but seems more grounded in reality this time. Recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/03.]-Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"Author Fairstein's done it again! The Kills is a roller coaster ride that delivers everything--breathtaking suspense in courtrooms and on mean streets, hidden treasure, rich history and compellingly real characters. A great book!" --Jeffery Deaver 'F
The title of the newest installment in Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper crime series (The Bone Vault; The Deadhouse; Final Jeopardy) refers not only to the several bodies that turn up in the course of the novel but to the creeks and channels that crisscross the watery periphery of Lower Manhattan. From her downtown office-and with the aid of NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace-the doughty assistant DA tackles a complicated case, the rape of 36-year-old Paige Vallis. Psychotic Andrew Tripping is accused of the rape as well as of the physical and mental abuse of his own 10-year-old son, Dulles. While trying to convince a jury of Tripping's guilt, Alex is handed another kill, this one the suffocation of elderly Harlem Renaissance dancer McQueen Ransome. Queenie turns out to have a fascinating history, having been both an espionage agent in WWII and the mistress of the legendary Night Crawler, King Farouk of Egypt. On her way out of the palace door, Queenie pocketed enough of the king's treasure to set her up for life, which finally gets her killed. There are complications in the form of CIA agents, crooked lawyers, smalltime hoods and a surrounding cast of friends, lovers and enemies, all adding texture and realism to the story. Alex survives several attempts on her life and sleuths her way to a solution of both murders while untangling the knotted history that connects them. Fairstein's style and skills have matured over the years, making this a consistently dependable series with a likable and intelligent heroine. (Jan. 6) Forecast: The author's last several outings have been bestsellers and there's no indication that this one won't join them. Look for her on an extensive 11-city author tour including an appearance on the Today Show. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.