A chilling new Alexandra Cooper thriller from the acclaimed Manhattan Assistant D.A. who lives the gritty and glamorous life she writes.
The raves are in for Linda Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper novels. "Riveting authenticity," says Vanity Fair. "Grisham-esque," says Time. "There is an anger and a passion in Alex Cooper that is clearly not fictional," says The London Times.
From its dramatic opening scene when a silk-clad corpse washes up from the turbulent waters at Manhattan's northern tip to its stunning conclusion when Alexandra runs for her life, Cold Hit transports the reader behind the scenes with the cops, the criminals, the victims, and the denizens of the art world. Here is the authenticity, the vision, that only Linda Fairstein can provide.
On a steamy August evening, after an exhausting day in the courtroom, Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper joins her longtime pals and partners-in-investigation, NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, at a somber crime scene. In her ten years as a sex crimes prosecutor, Alex has seen many victims, but few more poignant than this one, pulled from the water with her hands and feet obscenely tied to a ladder.
Sleep comes uneasily after such a vision, but the knowledge that monsters walk the city's streets, preying on the innocent, motivates Alex and her colleagues in their sometimes heartbreaking work. Perhaps this time they will be lucky. A "cold hit" could match DNA from the crime scene with a suspect's DNA profile in the police database. Or is this case a more sinister kind of "cold hit"? Who was this latest victim?
From a luxurious Fifth Avenue apartment to famous midtown auction houses to the avant-garde galleries of Chelsea, Alex, Mike, and Mercer hunt for a killer in a very special world where priceless art meets big money in a lethal mix. Whether it's a missing Rembrandt, a Vermeer in need of authentication, or doors paneled with precious amber and missing since the great Nazi art thefts, the stakes are high, the consequences potentially fatal.
Illuminating and inspiring, Cold Hit takes us from the paint-chipped offices of cops and D.A.s to the elegant restaurants of Alex's privileged Upper East Side life. The contrast is striking, but it's all part of the extraordinary world that author Linda Fairstein has brought so vividly to life in this magnificent novel of suspense.
The discovery at Manhattan's northern tip of the body of a woman tied to a ladder leads Assistant District Attorney Alexandra "Alex" Cooper, head of the borough's Sex Crimes Unit (as is her creator, Fairstein), and her associates, NYPD Detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, on a circuitous trek through the rarefied but far from savory New York art world. Denise Caxton collector, co-owner of a gallery and estranged wife of wealthy connoisseur Lowell Caxton seemed to want for nothing, but as Alex and her team dig into the victim's background, they uncover contradictions and conflicts in her privileged existence. What part did gallery partner Bryan Daughtrey or antiques expert Frank Wrenley play in the dead woman's life Her investigation into Denise's shady deals come to endanger Alex, and the lives of those close to her as well. Fairstein (Final Jeopardy; Likely to Die) once again uses her own experience and knowledge of the city to strong advantage in balancing the case at hand with the day-to-day workings of the system. Her thick layerings of the legal background at times slow the action, but they add immeasurably to the reader's understanding and appreciation of what is entailed in making a case. Fairstein's rough-and-tumble courthouse scenes ring true, as do her descriptions of the mundane police work of Mercer and Mike, whose easy wisecracking and addiction to the television show Jeopardy are a cover for their affection for each other and Alex. Alex herself remains a shining protagonist, comfortable in the upper echelons of New York society but eager to roll up her sleeves at work, her heart aching for her staff and the victims they defend. Fans of the assistant D.A.'s previous adventures will be mightily pleased with this one. Mystery Guild main selection; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate selections; 7-city author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 31, 2002
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Excerpt from Cold Hit by Linda Fairstein
It was after eight o'clock, and all I could see of the sun was its gleaming crown as it slipped behind the row of steep cliffs, giving off an iridescent pink haze that signaled the end of a long August day. Brackish gray water swirled and broke against the large rocks that edged the mound of dirt on which I stood, spitting up at my ankles as I stared out to the west at the Palisades. The pleats of my white linen skirt, which had seemed so cool and weightless as I moved about the air-conditioned courtroom all afternoon, were plastered against my thighs by the humidity, and I swatted off the mosquitoes as they searched for a place to land on my forearms.
I turned away from the striking vista across the Hudson River and glanced down at the body of the woman that had snagged on the boulders less than an hour earlier.
The detective from the Crime Scene Unit reloaded his camera and took another dozen shots. "Want a couple of Polaroids to work from till I get you a full set of blowups?" I nodded to him as he changed equipment, leaned in above the head of his partially clothed subject, and set off the flash attachment.
The old guy with the fishing rod who had made the grim discovery was twitching nervously while he answered questions hurled at him in Spanish by a young uniformed cop from the Thirty-fourth Precinct. The officer pointed at something bulging in the man's pocket, and the fisherman's free hand shook uncontrollably as he pulled out a small flask of red wine.
"Tell him to relax, Carrera," Detective Mike Chapman called over to the rookie. "Tell him this one's a keeper. Catch of the day. Haven't seen anything this clean pulled out of these waters since Rip Van Winkle used it as a bathtub."
Chapman and his good friend Mercer Wallace had been talking with each other from the time Mercer and I reached the site ten minutes earlier. They had walked away from me so that Lieutenant Peterson could fill Mercer in on what he and Mike had learned since being called to the scene, while I stood at the woman's feet, staring down at her from time to time, half hoping she would open her eyes and speak to us. We were all waiting for one of the medical examiners to arrive and take a look at the body so it could be bagged and removed from this desolate strip of earth on Manhattan's northernmost tip before onlookers began to gather.