Bad Blood finds Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper deeply involved in a complicated, high-profile homicide case. Defendant Brendan Quillian, a prominent young businessman, is charged with the brutal strangulation of his beautiful young wife, Amanda. His conviction is not a certainty: Quillian was conveniently out of town on the day of the killing, and he has hired a formidable defense attorney who seems one step ahead of Cooper as the trial opens. But with the help of detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, she is confident she can prove Quillian paid a hit man to commit the crime.
Halfway through the trial, a major catastrophe alters the course of Alex's case. A cataclysmic explosion rips through New York City's Water Tunnel #3, a spectacular feat of modern engineering that will be completed years in the future. Cooper is quickly drawn into the tragedy when she discovers a strange connection linking Brendan Quillian to the tunnel workers killed in the explosion. She and Chapman descend deep into the earth to penetrate the subterranean universe of the sandhogs, as the brotherhood of tunnel workers are colorfully known. Their probe soon leads to another murder victim, whose blood may hold the key to Cooper's mesmerizingly complex case. One closely held secret reveals another, and soon Alex discovers that only by unraveling ancient rivalries among sandhog families will she be able to solve the murder of Amanda Quillian -- and save her own life as well.
In the exciting ninth Alexandra Cooper legal thriller from bestseller Fairstein (after Death Dance), the Manhattan prosecutor is confronted with the trial lawyer's greatest fear-a witness who's destroyed on the stand. When the defense attorney shows that Kate Meade, the lead witness in Cooper's circumstantial case against Brendan Quillian for the murder of his wife, Amanda, has concealed her affair with the defendant, this revelation of Meade's potential bias has a devastating effect on the prosecution's case. As Cooper struggles to recover, the case takes a whole new twist when a fatal explosion in New York City's third water tunnel, which is under construction, suggests that Amanda's death is connected with other violent acts in the Quillian family's past. While Cooper may engage in a few too many action sequences for legal purists, the crisp writing and Fairstein's enviable capacity to translate her own experience as a prosecutor into an accessible plot puts this series a cut above most entries in this crowded subgenre. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
January 15, 2007
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Bad Blood by Linda Fairstein
I was alone in the courtroom, sitting at counsel's table with a single slim folder opened before me. I had studied the photograph inside it hundreds of times in my office, but this morning I stared at it again for a different purpose.
The overhead shot of Amanda Quillian on a steel gurney had been taken at the morgue, shortly before her autopsy was performed eight months ago. Circular bruises were clustered on her throat, and crescent-shaped abrasions ringed the discolored areas of her skin, outlining the exact place where someone had ended her life by crushing her neck with his hands.
"Loneliest seat in town. Prosecutor in a domestic standing up before twelve good men and true -- plus a few whacky broads mixed in -- with a wee bit of circumstantial evidence, a snitch with a rap sheet longer than a roll of toilet paper, and no idea who actually squeezed the breath out of the late, lovely Mrs. Quillian."
I looked up at the sound of Mike Chapman's voice. "I didn't hear the door open. Is it unlocked already?"
Mike's smile was readiest at any chance to tease me. He brushed back his dark hair from his broad forehead, even his eyes laughing as he shook his head while reminding me of the uphill struggle that was about to unfold at trial.
"No. Artie Tramm let me in. Said to tell you the judge gave him orders to admit the riffraff at nine fifteen. Get rid of your coffee and say a little prayer to Our Lady of the Perpetually Hopeless Case."
"It gives me such a warm feeling in my gut when the detective who made the arrest lacks conviction before even one of my witnesses is cross-examined."
"Conviction? This may be the last time you get to use that word for a while, Coop."
Mike walked toward the well of the courtroom as I stood and took the last slug of cold coffee. "Three cups should do it," I said, tossing the cardboard container into the trash can. "Three cups and several hundred butterflies floating around inside me."
"You still get 'em?"
"Put me out to pasture if I'm ever trying a major case and tell you I don't."
He looked at the blowup of Amanda Quillian's face. "She talking to you, Coop? That why you slipped up here at eight thirty?"
I didn't answer. Mike Chapman and I had worked together on homicides for more than a decade, well familiar with each other's habits. We were professional partners and close friends. Mike knew that yesterday I had asked Artie, the officer in charge of Part 83 of the Supreme Court of New York County, Criminal Division, for permission to come up early to spend an hour in the courtroom before the day's proceedings began.
The large shopping cart that had become the favorite conveyance for prosecutorial case files over the last twenty years was parked behind my chair. It was loaded with Redwelds, part of every litigator's organizational system, and within them an array of colored folders -- purple for each civilian witness, blue for NYPD cops and detectives, green for medical and forensic experts, and a few yellow ones for the names my adversary had turned over as part of the defendant's case. The lower rack held the dozens of physical exhibits I planned to introduce into evidence, all of which had been pre-marked for identification to save time during the trial.