Blood Oath (Alexandra Cooper Series #20)

Blood Oath (Alexandra Cooper Series #20)

by Linda Fairstein

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein explores the depths of Manhattan's secretive Rockefeller University in this timely, captivating thriller about the deep—and often deadly—reverberations of past sins.

Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper of the Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit is finally back at work following a leave of absence, and not a moment too soon. With more women feeling empowered to name their abusers, Alex is eager to return to the courtroom to do what she does best. But even she can't anticipate the complexity of her first case when she meets Lucy, a young woman who testified years earlier at a landmark federal trial . . . and now reveals that she was sexually assaulted by a prominent official during that time.

Yet Lucy's isn't the only secret Alex must uncover, with rumors swirling about one colleague's abusive conduct behind closed doors and another's violent, mysterious collapse. As the seemingly disparate cases of her client, adversary, and friend start to intertwine, Alex, along with NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, finds herself in uncharted territory within Manhattan's Rockefeller University, a premier research institute, hospital, and cornerstone of higher learning. But not even the greatest minds in the city can help her when unearthed secrets begin to collide in dangerous ways . . . and unless she can uncover the truth, the life-saving facility just may become her grave.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984827562
Publisher: Diversified Publishing
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Series: An Alexandra Cooper Novel Series , #20
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 387,049
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney’s office in Manhattan for more than two decades and is America’s foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her Alexandra Cooper novels are New York Times and international bestsellers which have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and she is also the author of the Devlin Quick Mysteries for middle grade readers. Fairstein lives in Manhattan and on Martha’s Vineyard.

Hometown:

New York, New York and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

May 5, 1947

Place of Birth:

Mount Vernon, New York

Education:

B.A., Vassar College, 1969; J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1972

Read an Excerpt

ONE

 

"Back from the dead, are you, Ms. Cooper?" the judge bellowed from the bench as I let the courtroom door close behind me.

 

I forced a smile and walked to the front row, taking a seat next to Helen Wyler, one of the young lawyers in the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit.

 

"What's the matter?" Judge Corliss asked. "Cat got your tongue?"

 

There were only twenty people in the large room. There was the law secretary assigned to Corliss, who was sitting beside him, scribbling notes in her log; the clerk, who was at his desk to the left, pretending to fumble with the day's calendar; the stenographer, who had rested his hands at his side when Corliss started to yell; a defense attorney sitting at counsel table, looking over his shoulder and laughing at me; and the defendant himself-on trial for first-degree rape-fixated on the pretty face of the young law secretary who was working with the judge. The others, except for the jury and my colleague, Helen, had probably been corralled by the defense attorney to pretend to be family members interested in the outcome of the trial.

 

I raised my hands to my sides, palms up, and just shrugged at Corliss.

 

"Looks like I lose my bet, Alexandra," the judge said, standing up on his raised platform and pulling back his black gown-hands on his hips-expecting everyone would admire his fit torso and his bespoke shirt with monogrammed cuffs. "You're going to cost me fifty bucks."

 

"I'm so sorry, Alex," Helen said, leaning closer to me as she whispered. "I didn't want to bother you on your first day back in the office, but Corliss is totally trying to steamroll over me and I don't have the experience to stand up to him."

 

"Pay attention to me," Corliss said to me. "Not your sidekick. Ms. Wyler will get it right one of these days, with or without your help."

 

Now the defendant's entourage was engaged, too, trying to figure out who I was and why the judge was spending time and energy on me.

 

"Fifty large, Alexandra. I bet three of the other judges in the lunchroom you'd never set foot in this building again."

 

I poked Helen in the side so that she would get to her feet and address Corliss from her proper place, within the well of the courtroom.

 

She stood and pushed through the low wooden gate, taking her place at counsel table.

 

"May I have ten minutes with Ms. Cooper?" she asked.

 

The defendant-a serial rapist who specialized in attacking teenagers-put his head in his hands and groaned.

 

"You can have ten, Ms. Wyler," Corliss said, "so long as I get fifteen."

 

"The witness room is empty, Your Honor," Helen said. "We'll just go in there."

 

"I'm first," Corliss said. He motioned to me with his forefinger, telling me to approach him so we could have a private conversation. "And you'll stay right where you are, Ms. Wyler."

 

I ignored his summons and walked to the prosecution table, which was stacked high with trial folders and papers. Helen stepped back briskly, as though moving away from an out-of-control car coming in her direction.

 

"Why the silent treatment, Alexandra?" Corliss asked.

 

I turned to the stenographer, who had recorded the testimony at several of my trials. "Lenny, let's go on the record, please."

 

"Who's giving the orders in here? Somebody make you a judge while I wasn't looking?" Corliss asked. "Lenny, why don't you go help yourself to a cup of coffee?"

 

When Lenny stood up to leave the room, I turned my back to the bench and started to retrace my steps.

 

"Whoa, whoa!" Corliss said. "Let's slow this down, Alexandra."

 

Raymond Santiago looked up, leaning over past his lawyer to check out the minor commotion. His right hand moved instinctively to his groin, where he seemed to like to keep it most of the time, when he wasn't stalking his victims. What Santiago's lawyer referred to as his client's hypersexuality was likely to be on constant display for the jury.

 

I swiveled again. "I'm happy to talk to you, Your Honor," I said. "I want everything we say to be on the record. That's why I didn't answer when you first called out to me."

 

"Stick around, Lenny," Judge Corliss said, motioning to the stenographer to sit. "Ms. Cooper wants on the record, we'll give her on the record. Like I was saying, she's just back from-"

 

"I wasn't dead, Your Honor," I said, smiling at him. "Sorry to disappoint, but I wasn't even on life support."

 

The Honorable Bud Corliss liked to bully young assistants like Helen Wyler. He would shut down the stenographer and launch verbal arrows at the prosecutors, each one tipped with a poisonous comment about his or her skills. Sometimes, if his target was an attractive young woman, he'd add a remark about her anatomy. Then, if she chose to complain to a superior about the comment, there were no traces of Corliss's bad behavior in the transcript.

 

"I guess you really dodged a bullet, in the most literal sense," he said, sitting in his high-back leather chair and adjusting his gold cuff links. "I mean, the night your late lamented boss was shot in the head just a few feet away from you-dodging that bullet."

 

This was a conversation I didn't want to have in front of strangers-no less a perp charged with seventeen counts of rape and aggravated sexual assault.

 

"Strike that word 'lamented,'" Corliss said to Lenny, editing his own remarks. "Not everybody got broken up about the forced retirement of Paul Battaglia after a few too many terms in office, did they, Alexandra?"

 

"The district attorney mentored me, Your Honor," I said. "He put me in charge of the Special Victims Bureau a dozen years ago. I had nothing but respect for the man."

 

"Let me ask you something," he said, leaning forward and putting both elbows on his blotter. "I have a few questions about what happened that-"

 

"Judge Corliss, this is neither the time nor place," I said. "You've got jurors waiting for the testimony to resume, my colleague is anxious to complete the People's case by the end of the week, and the defendant-well . . ."

 

"What about him?"

 

"Mr. Santiago probably needs to get some medical attention for that itch in his groin he keeps scratching throughout our conversation," I said. "This might be a good time to give him a short restroom break and throw him some calamine lotion before I have Ms. Wyler add in a count of masturbating in a public place."

 

"Good to know you haven't lost your sense of humor, Alexandra," Corliss said as Santiago's inexperienced court-appointed lawyer struggled to find grounds for an objection. "Ten-minute break, ladies and gentlemen. Let's clear the courtroom."

 

Court officers handcuffed the prisoner and took him out to the holding pen that serviced the thirteenth-floor trial rooms. His hangers-on-impervious to my comments-wandered out into the large corridor that ran the entire length of the enormous building.

 

I sat at counsel table with Helen Wyler. "What do you need?"

 

"I've made a terrible mistake, Alex," she said. "I don't think I'll get my first two victims back here if Corliss declares a mistrial."

 

"What have you done?" I asked.

 

"The fifteen-year-old who testified Friday-the one who was raped on the rooftop at Taft Houses?" Helen said.

 

"Yes, I remember." I knew the case well. Helen had indicted it before my leave had started almost three months earlier-after an incident that was unrelated to the murder of the district attorney.

 

"On cross this morning, she admitted texting me six or seven times before the trial began," Helen said, slouching lower in her chair.

 

"Did she?"

 

"Yeah. Yeah, she did."

 

"But you didn't turn the texts over to the defense?"

 

I could see Corliss out of the corners of my eyes, pacing back and forth, trying to catch a fragment of our conversation.

 

"The texts weren't significant to the case facts, Alex," Helen said to me, stopping to bite her lip. "Graciela was just asking if she had to see Santiago in the courtroom and about how terrified she was to be within twenty feet of him. That kind of stuff."

 

The perp had grabbed the girl as she got off an elevator to go to her home in the projects, holding a knife to her neck to force her to the roof, where he raped her repeatedly for almost two hours.

 

"That kind of stuff, as you call it," I said, as calmly as I could, "is still Rosario Material. The defense is entitled to every one of those texts, Helen. You know that as well as I do."

 

"They got away from me," she said. "They were coming in at all hours of the night and somehow they just got away from me."

 

"So you didn't print them out?" I asked. "You didn't save them?"

 

"Graciela's emails, yes. The defense has them all. Her texts-well, I just forgot."

 

The New York Court of Appeals had mandated the disclosure of all of a prosecution witness's prior recorded statements in a ruling in the Rosario case, many decades ago. Each new form of social media ratcheted up the number of ways a nervous witness could communicate.

 

"Corliss knows?" I asked.

 

"Yes, because of her answers on cross," Helen said. "He's threatening to strike all of Graciela's testimony. Maybe even declare a mistrial. I'm screwed if he does that. She'll never go through this again."

 

"How much time has he given you?"

 

"Until tomorrow morning," Helen said, avoiding eye contact with me and lifting her head to stare at the light fixtures on the ceiling. "But that won't help because they don't exist. I deleted them."

 

"Have you tried TARU?" I asked, putting my hand on hers, which was on top of a pile of her notes. "They're wizards."

 

The NYPD's Technical Assistance Response Unit was a small, elite force of detectives responsible for all investigative tech support and the most complex computer forensics.

 

Helen shook her head. "I was too embarrassed to tell the SVU detectives last night. I just assumed it was a lost cause once I hit Delete. I've never worked a matter with TARU."

 

"Focus on your case," I said, standing up. "Where's your phone?"

 

"Top desk drawer."

 

"It won't be there when you get downstairs, but you'll have it back tonight," I said. "These TARU guys can retrieve stuff that's gone off into the Twilight Zone. Nothing ever gets fatally lost in the ether. Tell Corliss you'll have what he wants by morning."

 

"Shouldn't I ask for an adjournment?"

 

"Call your next witness, Helen," I said. "Raymond Santiago has preyed on young girls for the last time. Just don't let Corliss beat you down along the way."

 

I stepped away from her and waved to Corliss. "Thanks for giving me the time."

 

"Now I get my fifteen with you," he said, tucking his thumbs into the front of his leather belt, the sides of his robe pushed back, and striding down the three steps from his bench to walk to his robing room. "C'mon, Alexandra."

 

Helen Wyler was on her feet, apologizing to me for putting me in the judge's scope.

 

"It's okay. But don't you ever do what I'm about to do," I said. "The man's a pig. Don't let him bully you into being alone with him."

 

"But you-"

 

"I had my first felony trial in front of Corliss a dozen years ago," I said. "My entire team were guys-really good guys. You've met them all. My knees used to wobble when he demanded that I come into his robing room to discuss a plea deal or a procedural issue. So my pals swore that if I ever walked out with any of the judge's dandruff on my suit, they'd know I'd been too close to him and they'd take him down."

 

Helen laughed.

 

"Thanks for your concern," I said, "but at this stage in our relationship, Corliss doesn't have any real interest in me-and he certainly lacks the balls to take me on."

 

I followed him into the small cubicle behind the courtroom. There was a wooden chair and desk and two more chairs for visitors. Bud Corliss was staring out the window, looking down at the traffic on Centre Street.

 

"You've had a rough autumn," he said, his back to me. "First the kidnapping, and then the shock of witnessing Battaglia's murder."

 

"It was a pretty miserable couple of months, but I'm back on my feet, Judge," I said. "And I didn't mean to be rude when I came into your courtroom, but I just wasn't ready to throw this all out in front of Santiago and his crew."

 

I was being polite now, more for Helen Wyler's sake-and the salvation of her case-than my own.

 

"You ready for the grind?"

 

"You know I love it. My friends and family have been great, and my shrink is amazingly solid. Nobody seemed to like me when I was whining and needy, so I might as well do the one thing I know how to do."

 

Bud Corliss turned around to face me, half sitting on the radiator cover below the windowsill. "You think they got the right guys? I mean, Battaglia's killers?"

 

"I do." I hadbeen involved in that investigation up to my eyeballs.

 

"There were so many rumors floating around," Corliss said.

 

"Most of them were groundless and stupid, but you know how that goes," I said.

"Some of them even had me as a conspirator in his murder."

 

"Then there's all the gossip about you running to take his place."

 

"That's just what it is, Judge. Gossip," I said, laughing with him. "You've known me a long time. Do you think I have the temperament for politics?"

 

"You'd be easier on the eyes than that mean old bastard you worked for," Corliss said, tiptoeing toward the line that he had crossed so many times before, as he looked me up and down, from the ankles to the crown of my head. "And your perfume smells a lot better than his foul, cheap cigars."

 

I took a step toward the door. "I'll miss the cigars, actually. That smell wafting my way always gave me ninety seconds' warning that Battaglia was coming to my office to needle me about something."

 

"There was also talk about you and that detective-Mike Chapman-eloping to the Vineyard together."

 

"Eloping?" I said, reaching for the door handle. "That's one I hadn't heard. Way too many rumors for me in one day. Be good to Helen Wyler, Judge. She's well on her way to becoming an outstanding trial lawyer."

 

"About rumors, Alex," Corliss said, walking toward me and pressing his hand against the door to keep it closed, "you're going to hear something about Janet and me, and I'd just like to be sure you're in my corner."

I didn’t know what he was talking about, and my expression gave that away.

“So word hasn’t reached you yet?” he asked.

Bud Corliss was better known for his infidelities than for the legal reasoning in his opinions. His wife, Janet, had inherited a substantial sum of money from her father and added to it with a successful career as an interior designer sought after by Manhattan socialites and bicoastal movie stars.

“Which word would that be?”

Corliss had carried on a two‑year affair with one of the women in my office that had prompted Battaglia to move her to the Appeals Division, to avoid the conflict of trying cases in front of her lover. The DA had used just about every favor owed to him to keep the entanglement off Page Six of the New York Post.

“Janet’s unstable. I’ve tried to get help—”

“Look, Judge,” I said, “this conversation is making me terrifically uncomfortable. I’d like you to take your hand off the door so I can quietly go on my way.”

“A drink, then? One night this week?”

“That’s not in the cards,” I said, shaking my head. “Not happening. I don’t know Janet well, but I’m not stepping in the middle of whatever you’ve got going on.”

Bud Corliss removed his hand from the door. “This stays between us, Alex, because I might need your help, your advice.”

“I’m listening.”

“Janet told her best friend something,” Corliss said. “She was desperate, I guess, and you know what these times are like.”

“Her best friend writes speeches for the senator, doesn’t she?” I asked.

“Yes, and that’s the friend who’s encouraging her to go public.”

“What—with the fact that you’ve been unfaithful again?” I said. “I’d hardly call it breaking news.”

Bud Corliss had both hands on his hips. I could see the gold cuff links and Patek Philippe watch that Janet had given to him, catching the sunlight that beamed through the dirty window of the robing room.

“That’s all in her imagination, Alex,” he said. “Janet has cried ‘wolf’ so many times that even her friends don’t believe her.”

I turned the knob and tugged on the heavy oak door. “When you’re ready for my help—and to tell me the truth—give me a call.”

“I’ll make it quick, then,” Corliss said, his jaw tightening as he spoke the words. “Janet’s claiming I hit her.”

I spun around to face him, with barely a foot separating us. “You hit your wife, Judge? And you’re coming to me for help?” “You know the reasons women claim this kind of thing,” he said. “You know how people exaggerate when a marriage seems headed for the rocks.”

“Did you hit her?” I asked, pushing against the door with my shoulder and backing into the dark, narrow hallway that led to the public corridor. “Because that’s really all I need to know. And if the answer is yes, Bud, then you’d better get yourself a lawyer and not a prosecutorial stooge to try to hide behind.”

“You’re talking to me like I’m a common criminal, Alex,” the judge said, holding his arms out to his sides in apparent disbelief. “Harvard College, graduate degree from Oxford, Columbia Law School—law review, in fact. I left a partnership at Dewey to come on the bench. I’m not some street thug you can threaten with a prosecution.”
“Wife beaters come in every shape and size, Judge,” I said.

“Too bad you live in Bronx County, because it’s out of my jurisdiction. Is that where you threw the punch?”

“I didn’t punch—”

But I wasn’t in the mood for mealymouthed excuses, so I cut off Corliss at his first hint of a denial. “After three months away, there’d be nothing like a domestic violence case to whet my appetite for a guilty verdict.”

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Blood Oath: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
As always when reading her books I can not put them down. Don’t wait. Get started now. You will love it
Anonymous 6 months ago
Quick read . Good characters.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Loved+it+like+all+20+Alex%27s+adventures.++Egarly+awaiting+her+next+one%0A
TropicalDelusions 6 months ago
Blood Oath – Linda Fairstein Alex Cooper has returned to her office after a lengthy absence following a kidnapping. Ready to assure everyone that she is up to the task, she immediately finds herself involved in the past of a young woman, Lucy Jenner, who has a fascinating tale to tell. When she was 14, and a witness to a murder she was befriended, and then she claims raped, by the prosecutor of the case. A man that is now running for District Attorney for New York City. Meanwhile, a friend and colleague of Alex’s collapses on a city sidewalk in convulsions and is rushed to the ER where she is deemed critically ill. Then she is mysteriously transferred out of the ICU to another facility, and no one seems to have any information. Alex gently coaxes the entire story out of a reluctant Lucy, who claims she and ‘Jake’ shared a blood oath not to tell, and a scar to prove it, and begins to suspect that Zach is a predator, and has been for a long time. She and partner Mike Chapman begin to investigate her story, its timeline, and the DA wanna-be, Zachary ‘Jake’ Palmer. Meanwhile, they are able to find the mysterious hospital where Francie has been taken and are stunned to learn that she was thought to have been poisoned by a toxic nerve agent. Alex has also inadvertently learned that her friend was pregnant. Holding her unconscious friends’ hand one night, Alex discovers a scar on Francie’s hand, much like that of Lucy. Determined to keep Lucy safe, she and Alex go into hiding. But someone has learned what she knows and will do anything to silence the opposition… This was one of the best of the Fairstein novels that I’ve read! It captured my attention from page one, and I could not flip the pages fast enough. Alex’s sassy attitude and the glimpse into the behind-the-scene’s courtroom drama, along with all the intrigue and suspense you’d expect from a crime drama, make this book a winner!! I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Keep+them+coming+%21
Anonymous 10 months ago
Another great one! Kept my interest from the first word.
Nanna51 10 months ago
The twentieth book in Fairstein’s Alexandra Cooper series is one not to be missed. The setting is her office, the courts and a really spooky hospital known as the Rockefeller Institute. I was quickly drawn into the story as Alex investigates the allegations of a waif of a girl who just shows up and makes allegations about a very powerful public figure. I was a little confused about the side story of defense lawyer Francie Fain who was headed to a party for Alex when she collapsed and was near death’s door in a matter of days. However, Fairstein did a masterful job of combining the two stories and making me want to keep reading until the end when all was revealed. I enjoyed the characters as usual, especially the friendly repartee between Alex, Mercer and Mike. Their “Jeopardy” bets are always interesting to me since I have been a diehard fan of that show since my youth. Anyway, the bad guy is super evil and Alex’s life is in danger as she is determined to stop him, legally, of course. There were several twists that I did not see coming that definitely added to the central story. Readers of legal thrillers will certainly want to read this book the sooner, the better! Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
CraigHart 10 months ago
New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein explores the depths of Manhattan’s secretive Rockefeller University in this timely, captivating thriller about the deep—and often deadly—reverberations of past sins. Linda Fairstein is an amazing author and she works her magic yet again with Blood Oath. There are two things that stand out to me about Blood Oath in particular and Fairtstein's writing in general. One is that, while part of a series--Blood Oath is book number 20--you can dive right in and enjoy the book as a standalone novel if you happen to be new to the series. Not many authors accomplish this. The second thing is the sheer confidence with which Fairstein writes. Her work is bold yet not pushy and fast-moving without lapsing into implausibility or melodrama. Blood Oath gets five stars from me, and I look forward to the next installment in the series.
Nanna51 10 months ago
The twentieth book in Fairstein’s Alexandra Cooper series is one not to be missed. The setting is her office, the courts and a really spooky hospital known as the Rockefeller Institute. I was quickly drawn into the story as Alex investigates the allegations of a waif of a girl who just shows up and makes allegations about a very powerful public figure. I was a little confused about the side story of defense lawyer Francie Fain who was headed to a party for Alex when she collapsed and was near death’s door in a matter of days. However, Fairstein did a masterful job of combining the two stories and making me want to keep reading until the end when all was revealed. I enjoyed the characters as usual, especially the friendly repartee between Alex, Mercer and Mike. Their “Jeopardy” bets are always interesting to me since I have been a diehard fan of that show since my youth. Anyway, the bad guy is super evil and Alex’s life is in danger as she is determined to stop him, legally, of course. There were several twists that I did not see coming that definitely added to the central story. Readers of legal thrillers will certainly want to read this book the sooner, the better! Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Anonymous 12 months ago
Best+Coop+book+in+awhile.+fast+paced.+Interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I+loved+this+book
diane92345 More than 1 year ago
Blood Oath has a plot ripped from both the #metoo and the mysterious UK poisonings headlines. NYC head prosecutor Alexandra Cooper and her police detective boyfriend Mike are investigating Lucy’s claim of being sexual assaulted at fourteen. Lucy states while she was serving as witness, the prosecutor, Zach, took advantage of her naiveté. Concurrently to Lucy’s case, defense attorney and Alexandra’s friend, Francie, takes ill on the street. This is the twentieth book in the series but the first I’ve read. It works well as a standalone read. There are many twists and coincidences in the bumpy ride to the conclusion of Blood Oath. Though the plot dragged a bit in the middle, the slam-bam conclusion was well worth it. My one complaint was there was no courtroom drama but it still is highly recommended for fans of the series. 4 stars! Thanks to Dutton Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nfam More than 1 year ago
An Old Rape Sparks a Recent Crime Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper has returned to work after a devastating experience. With more women feeling empowered in the “Me Too” era the case load in the sex-crimes division is heavy. An engrossing case comes along in the person of Lucy. She’s been arrested on an old shop lifting charge, but strangely she freaks out in the police station after viewing the pictures of prominent police officers on the wall. Although Lucy has a reputation for embroidering the truth, Alexandra believes her and promises to find her attacker. Alexandra also faces a tragedy when her friend, Francie Fain, collapses on the street on the way to Alexandra’s welcome home party. At first it seems a tragic accident, but soon it begins to look more like murder. This is a complex mystery, but it’s easy to follow the various clues. The thread involving Francie is much harder to guess than Lucy’s case, but both are interesting. Alexandra is a driven character. Sometimes it’s hard to like her when she single-mindedly pursues a line of inquiry and puts herself in danger. Luckily, Detective Mike Chapman is there to rescue her and Detective Mercer Wallace supplies calm support. I enjoyed the book. It’s typical of the Alexandra Cooper mysteries, and can seem predictable and slow paced at times, but if you’re a fan, it’s a good one. I received this book from Penguin Random House for this review.
booklover- More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite authors and one of my favorite series. I've been following her and reading her since 1996 with the arrival of the very first Alexandra Cooper sighting. Alexandra is back after taking off several months following the murder of her boss. First day back and she's thrown right in the middle of a case that I could see as headline news today. A young woman has come forward to claim she was assaulted 10 years ago ... when she was just 14 years old. The name of her attacker comes as a huge surprise to Alex ... and it's going to take some maneuvering to get this case to court. She's also dealing with one of the court judges .. who has warned Alex that he is divorcing his wife. Alex wants no part of this as she doesn't even like the judge. But a different story is presented when the judge's wife calls Alex with details. And then there the death of Frannie Fain .. a colleague who sits on the other side of the courtroom, but is a good friend nevertheless. She is found outside on the street, convulsing. There's lot of secrecy involving the way she was killed. And when these cases collide, Alexandra, along with her lover. NYPD Detectives Mike Chapman, and Mercer Wallace, one of her best friends, find themselves embroiled in secrets and lies .. some of which somebody will kill to keep them from seeing the light of day. There is so much about this book ...and this series ... that I really enjoy. History trivia is present and accounted for. The three of them love to play JEOPARDY and generally stop wherever they are to watch on TV and make their own wagers. I really like how Alex and Mike's relationship has evolved over the years. I thought they'd never get to this point! Although 20th in this series it can be read as a stand alone .. but this is one series that would be so worthwhile starting at the very beginning. Many thanks to the author / PENGUIN GROUP Dutton / Netgalley for the advanced digital copy of this crime fiction. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Renwarsreads 11 months ago
I have never read a Linda Fairstein book before and I was able to pick right up in this book within the series even though I didn’t know the backstory. Alex Cooper is a formidable character and lawyer, who is returning to the Sex Crimes Unit after a leave of absence. On her first day back she is thrown into a series of cases involving some of her peers. The twists and turns kept me turning to the next page, anxiously awaiting what lies ahead. I liked that there were some current issues added into the narrative, like the “Me Too” movement. After reading this book I would definitely go back to the beginning of this series and read them from the beginning.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Tightly+plotted%2C+a+great+read+with+enough+history+to+give+it+depth+without+being+too+wonky.
Anonymous 12 months ago
I%27ve+read+each+and+every+one+always+worthy+