Reissue of the second in Linda Fairstein's gripping and authentic series of crime novels featuring Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper.
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.
A prominent woman neurosurgeon is sexually assaulted and stabbed in her own mid-Manhattan medical center office. Heroine Alexandra Cooper, who heads the Manhattan D.A.'s sex crimes unit, and her team of homicide detectives banter comically to cheer themselves as they winnow through witnesses, including transients who swarm the tunnels beneath the hospital and roam hospital corridors, snatching lab coats and trays of food. In her second Alex Cooper novel, Fairstein (Final Jeopardy, LJ 4/15/96) calls upon her expertise as a Manhattan assistant D.A. to conjure up a world so real, its brittle police babble and mounting suspense make the pages crackle. Although there is little art to the language, it is crystal clear, and deft descriptions abound. The precise coverage of Alex's daily rounds has a documentary feel that slows the narrative, as do the intrusive explanations of criminal procedures. But classy Alex and her sidekicks, Mercer and Mike, a refreshing, if cartoonish, "equal opportunity offender," all denizens in their beloved New York, are treats. Recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/97; Mystery Guild main selection; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club featured alternates.]‘Molly Gorman, San Marino, Cal.
Has the impact of early Cornwell. - Time OutGripping. - Sunday Express
Several notorious recent crimes perpetrated in New York City and elsewhere inform Fairstein's follow-up to last year's Final Jeopardy, foremost among them the murder and assumed rape of a prominent Manhattan physician in her hospital office. When Fairstein, who's head of the Manhattan DA's sex crimes unit, sticks to the basics of these cases and the prosecutorial and police procedures used to handle them, she writes with an authority that crime buffs will relish. But Fairstein has already chronicled the life of a sex-crimes prosecutor in her 1994 memoir, Sexual Violence. Here, she seems to be mythologizing her life and work: returning narrator Alexandra Cooper is Fairstein's apparent alter ego (from job to personality to hair color), and too often the book feels self-aggrandizing. Whatever talent at fiction Fairstein possessed she apparently drained in writing the superior Final Jeopardy. The investigation into the doctor's killing unfolds with minimal suspense. There are a few false leads, flatly presented, a couple of clichéd attempts at tension‘a car tries to run Cooper down; she receives a threatening note‘and a villain who, when revealed, seems arbitrary. The circuitous road to justice is cluttered with story debris, including a lackadaisical side-trip to England and pedantic lecturing on criminal justice issues by both Cooper and the cops she works with, plus juvenile banter among these characters and tips on how a stylish ADA does her hair and nails. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates; Mystery Guild main selection; author tour. (June)