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Hell Gate [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Linda Fairstein
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 9 2010
Unabridged CDs, 9 CDs, 11 hours

Read by TBA

"Long before sex crimes became everyday fictional fare on America's favorite cop shows, Linda Fairstein was in court and on the streets working ripped-from-the-headlines cases." (USA Today)

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Product Description


'A tight story with a lot of curves and turns...Linda's books always make me want to take walking tours of New York Bookreporter.com A top-notch plot and realistic situations make Hell Gate a first-class tale Sun-Sentinel Thrills, gossip, sex, history, self-righteous indignation and hints of parallel to the contemporary rich and famous, all whipped to a fine frenzy. Fairstein's most powerful cocktail since Entombed Kirkus Grabs readers at page one and doesn't let go until the breathtaking climax Library Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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 assauly and domestic violence. Her Alexandra Cooper novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She lives with her husband in Manhattan and on Martha’s Vineyard.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great plot, great characters, great series! March 12 2010
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Linda Fairstein is firmly on my list of must read authors. She has a fantastic series featuring Alex Cooper of the New York P.D. Sex Crimes Unit and two homicide detectives - Mike and Mercer. Hell Gate is the 12th book in the series.

Alex, Mike and Mercer are called out to a shipwreck. Not usually their type of case - until the cargo is discovered to be human. Among the dead is a woman with connections to a prominent politician. The deeper the three dig, the more the past collides with the present. Human trafficking happened in New York City hundreds of years ago - but it looks like it's still happening.....

The plotting is believable, combining political intrigue with crimes ripped from today's headlines. What I always find fascinating in Fairstein's novels is the level of historical detail used. New York City is always the background, but I would wager that even native New Yorkers would not be aware of the history behind many of the settings.

The camaraderie of 'Coop', Mike and Mercer is a major part of the success of this series. The banter between Alex and Mike is a source of amusement and the attraction between the two grows stronger with every book. (Linda - you're making me crazy - will they or won't they?!) Mercer provides the calm voice of reason.

Fairstein knows what she writes. She herself was chief of the sex crimes unit in Manhattan for over 25 years and is a noted expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her novels have the unmistakable ring of truth and authenticity to them.

Hell Gate is a fantastic read on it's own - but I'm sure you'll be hunting down the rest of the series!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Plot with Depth and Detail July 11 2013
By Debra Purdy Kong TOP 500 REVIEWER
Assistant district attorney Alexandra Cooper is called out on a freezing January morning to investigate the body of a young woman washed ashore. The woman is only one of several bodies from a Ukrainian freighter containing 300 illegal aliens, however, this woman was stabbed to death before she hit the water. She also bears the tattoo of someone destined for sexual slavery. Complicating Alexandra’s job is the murder of a congressman’s mistress who was sporting a similar tattoo. How do these women’s lives converge, and who’s behind all this misery?

Hell Gate is a complex story about how a little power in the wrong hands can be so dangerous when greed and lust are involved. Author Linda Fairstein expertly weaves the two stories together while throwing in a fair bit historical detail regarding the few mansions still existing in New York. This is the first Fairstein novel I’ve read and the depth and detail make it a really good read. Those who prefer a lot of action in crime fiction, however, will probably feel bogged down by the eight pages of description for just one mansion. Still, if you enjoy detail and historical facts with your fiction, then you’ll enjoy this story.
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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  69 reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Getting bored with it March 19 2010
By K Mo in Omaha - Published on Amazon.com
In all honesty this book was closer to 2 stars than 3 but I have to give Linda Fairstein props for her attention to detail and research. But the last three books in this series have felt more like text books about New York history than mystery novels. I enjoy knowing some detail and history if it's relevant to the story. But it seemed like every time a character asked a question about something or they entered a building we would have to go into pages upon pages of history and background which took away from the story and started to get annoying. I've followed these books for years because I enjoy the characters. Specifically the relationship/chemistry between Alex and Mike. And can Alex ever have a 'lover' who isn't rich, French, famous...etc? If she isn't going to be involved with Mike then why can't it be a 'regular' guy? Like a detective or even another lawyer? I'll read the next installment in the series but may borrow it from the library instead of purchasing it.
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery in a great political thriller March 9 2010
By Carrie Dunham-LaGree - Published on Amazon.com
Hell Gate, Linda Fairstein's twelfth novel featuring ADA Alexandra Cooper, is another ode to the history and architecture of New York City and a fascinating mystery. Fairstein has a knack for weaving multiple storylines and cases without muddling the narrative. As we all know, only ADAs on television have the luxury of having one case at a time.

The usual cast of characters is back in Hell Gate. The novel opens with the wreck of a human cargo ship and a promising New York politician crashing his car after fighting with his mistress. Sex scandals abound, yet Fairstein keeps the story from becoming salacious. As always, New York City itself is a character in the story, and the reader learns so much about the city's rich history. Some of it's tied to crimes, but much of it is there because it's fascinating.

Hell Gate borrows a few characters from the headlines. Bloomberg isn't mayor here, but he was. Paterson is the governor of New York, and Spitzer did fall from grace. There's a currency to this book that I really enjoyed. If you follow New York City and state politics, you'll enjoy quite a few snarky jabs at familiar faces, names and characters.

If you're a fan of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, you should really read Linda Fairstein. She ran the SVU at the Manhattan District Attorney's office for decades, and now she writes wonderful novels. Thankfully, she manages to write one each year, but I find I even enjoy rereading them, which is rare for mystery novels. She is one of my favorite authors.

Normally, I recommend starting with Fairstein's first novel (Final Jeopardy), but I think the political storylines in this novel might entice fans of political thrillers, and these storylines have some amount of currency to them. Yes, some of the characters may be unfamiliar to new readers, but the focus is really on the mystery and politics in this novel; there are mentions to the social lives of our favorite detectives, but even new readers will be able to follow the story. The novel does begin with a lot of characters. I've read all of Fairstein's novels, and there were a few faces popping up I could not remember. I wasn't sure if they were knew to this book or not, but Fairstein provides enough background that it doesn't really matter if you remember the characters or not. Either way, I really enjoyed it.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Huge disappointment April 7 2010
By Maria Holt - Published on Amazon.com
I love Linda Fairstein's novels - that is, until this one. Her latest is overcrowded by a vast cast of characters, mostly NY City Hall types, and the names just keep coming and coming. Even though I've read every one of her novels, and know most of the continuing cast of character , this was simply too overwhelming and became a major chore. A totally charmless effort.

The tone is very dreary and dull, the book is tedious. First time in many years that I did not finish a novel -and to admit this about a LF novel is a huge shock. Life's too short to waste on dreary careless writing. When I read a thriller, I want to be enthralled. This one is like reading a list of city employees, none of whom is likeable, nor any would I want to know or meet. Don't waste your time or money.

Sorry, Linda.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awkward May 1 2010
By M. S. Butch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It seems as though most successful authors hit a point at which either they have no more ideas, they no longer have time to do the job well, or they just don't care any more. "Hell Gate" is the clearest indication yet that Fairstein has hit this point. As others have mentioned, there are two plot threads. One involves a Congressman whose political career may be derailed by a girlfriend (and yes, of course he's married) claiming that he tried to kill her. This hardly seems like Alex Cooper's territory. The other plot thread involves the shipwreck of a ship carrying three hundred passengers who were intended to be smuggled into the US and sold as slaves. That, at least, is within Cooper's bailiwick, although she's in the mix a little bit early -- the passengers haven't even been identified before she's interviewing them.

Unfortunately, the human trafficking plot takes a back seat to the political maneuverings, as Cooper and her cop friends more or less stumble over clues to what is really going on with the Congressman's girlfriend, and how it relates to the trafficking operation. In this volume, it's a real stretch to connect the story with a bit of New York history, and the connection of the crimes with Gracie and two other federal-era mansions is tenuous. As noted by another reader, the usual history lessons are not well integrated into the story (although, unlike that reader, I thought they were more interesting than the political plots) and really stick out.

Romance has never been Fairstein's forte. That's OK -- she should just give Cooper a boyfriend, stick him in occasionally, and forget about it. We can imagine most of the relationship. This, however, does not seem to be the direction in which she (Fairstein) is headed. Instead, she seems to be heading toward a Mike/Alex romance. DON'T DO IT, Ms. Fairstein! I, for one, would find it highly unbelievable. The fact is, I dislike Mike. I don't think it's intentional on Fairstein's part, but I find Mike's so-called "banter" to be a lot like the teasing of adolescents -- meant to seem like teasing while carrying a real bite. The things he says are often mean, and certainly unprofessional and inappropriate in a business context. Another way of looking at it is that he is trying to "claim" her in front of other parties by saying things that suggest that they are intimate (although not necessarily in a sexual way). I hate it. Alex should hate it and call him on it. Certainly no romance should happen unless he grows up a LOT.

In short, read this book if you like Cooper, but don't expect too much from it.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Linda I tried !!!!! April 13 2010
By Michael F. Star - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
God knows I loved the early books in the series and I have tried and tried to love the last 3 or 4 but , Linda, time to stop. If I needed to know the esoteria of Ole New York I would have purchased a history not a crime novel.
Unfortunately you are travelling the same downward route as the Scarpetta novels and you have become just as dreary and just as platitudinous and patronising in the exercise of your art. Send Alex out to the suburbs , marry her off, let her have babies but for God's sake dont let her have any further adventures. We dont need to know and you dont need to waste our time.How sad to see such a decline in talent and such a pathetic misconception of fading skills ( or laziness ).
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