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Killer Heat (Alexandra Cooper Novel) [Hardcover]

Linda Fairstein
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

March 11 2008 Alex Cooper

It’s August in New York, and the only thing that’s hotter than the pavement is Manhattan D.A. Alex Cooper’s professional and personal life. Just as she’s claiming an especially gratifying victory in a rape case, she gets the call: the body of a young woman has been found in an abandoned building. The brutality of the murder is disturbing enough, but when a second body, beaten and disposed of in exactly same manner, is found off the Belt Parkway, the city’s top brass want the killer found fast, before the tabloids can start churning out ghoulish serial killer headlines.

Between dodging the bullets of the gang members who are infuriated by Alex’s most recent courtroom victory and keeping a rendezvous with a charming restaurateur, a serial killer on the loose is the last thing she needs on her plate right now. Then a third victim is found, and it becomes clear to Alex and her team that time is not on their side.

Through Alex’s peerless interrogation skillsand one big breakthe search becomes focused on someone who has a twisted obsession with the military, and things grow increasingly dangerous when the chase leads to a chain of small, abandoned islands around New York harbor.

Once again Linda Fairstein brilliantly orchestrates a page-turning mix of cutting-edge legal issues and forensics, New York City history, and spine-tingling suspense. And at the center of it all is Alex Cooper—stunning, single-minded, accomplished, and not to be trifled with whether she’s in or out of a courtroom.


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From Publishers Weekly

At the start of bestseller Fairstein's nail-biting 10th legal thriller to feature alter ego Alex Cooper (after 2006's Bad Blood), the Manhattan ADA takes a hit from a cigar at the urging of her longtime police ally, Mike Chapman—to cover the stench of a badly decomposed female body at a crime scene in an abandoned building near the Staten Island ferry. The victim later proves to be the first of a number of women in uniform targeted by the murderer, who may have military ties in his past. The trail leads to a notorious bar catering to underage drinkers, before a chance observation by a civilian shifts the inquiry dramatically. Meanwhile, Cooper is preparing to try Floyd Warren, a rapist whose first trial three decades earlier ended in a hung jury. Fairstein, whose professional résumé includes groundbreaking work in the field of sex crimes prosecution, manages to both entertain and educate, as Cooper struggles with the evidentiary challenges of the Warren rape case and with tracking a vicious serial killer. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review


PRAISE FOR KILLER HEAT:
“Fairstein delivers a scorcher of a crime novel —her hottest yet.” -Library Jounal
“Fairstein’s nail-biting 10th legal thriller… manages to both entertain and educate.” -Publisher’s Weekly
“Intriguing… fans will love the result.” -Kirkus
“Fairstein proves what a fantastic legal mind she has.” -The Mirror

PRAISE FOR LINDA FAIRSTEIN:

"One of the best crime fiction writers in America today." -Nelson Demille
“Fairstein . . . makes the legal issues more exciting than any high-speed chase."
-New York Times
"Alexandra Cooper, like her creator Linda Fairstein, is a force to contend with; smart, tough, and literate to boot!" -Sue Grafton
"The romantic tension, the fast-paced plotting, and the New York setting will keep fans of Fairstein's series engrossed." -Booklist
"No-holds-barred adventure." -Kirkus Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE MORE SPLENDID NARRATION FROM BLAIR BROWN April 19 2008
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Those who want their heroines tough, strong, and super intelligent know they've found her in Alex Cooper. She's a D.A. in Manhattan and as we meet her again in the tenth offering by Linda Fairstein, she's enjoying victory. It was a tough rape case but Alex won it (and incurred the animus of Latin Princes gang members along the way).

Nonetheless, her winning feeling is soon lost as she is notified that the body of a young woman has been found in an abandoned building. Now, author Fairstein knows this territory well as she once headed the Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's Office, and she minces no words.

After viewing the victim, Alex is offered a cigar by Mike, a detective with the Manhattan North Homicide Squad. Despite the oppressive August heat he puffs on a stogie and encourages her to take one with this advice, ""The stench from that corpse is going to stay in your brain for weeks unless you infuse it right away with something more powerful. Why do you think I've always got a couple of these in my pocket?"

As stated, Alex is tough and while she may be able to get over the sickening smell of death, what she cannot get over is another beaten woman's body found and then a third.

Being directed to catch the killer before the city is deadened by fear is one thing, trying to stay alive when those gang members want revenge is quite another.

Since the introduction of Alex Cooper in 1996 Ms. Fairstein has turned out nine additional thrillers, each more exciting than the last. Tony Award winner Blair Brown gives another sterling performance in her narration of this spine-tingling novel.

- Gail Cooke
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  63 reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE MORE STERLING NARRATION FROM BLAIR BROWN April 19 2008
By Gail Cooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Those who want their heroines tough, strong, and super intelligent know they've found her in Alex Cooper. She's a D.A. in Manhattan and as we meet her again in the tenth offering by Linda Fairstein, she's enjoying victory. It was a tough rape case but Alex won it (and incurred the animus of Latin Princes gang members along the way).

Nonetheless, her winning feeling is soon lost as she is notified that the body of a young woman has been found in an abandoned building. Now, author Fairstein knows this territory well as she once headed the Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's Office, and she minces no words.

After viewing the victim, Alex is offered a cigar by Mike, a detective with the Manhattan North Homicide Squad. Despite the oppressive August heat he puffs on a stogie and encourages her to take one with this advice, ""The stench from that corpse is going to stay in your brain for weeks unless you infuse it right away with something more powerful. Why do you think I've always got a couple of these in my pocket?"

As stated, Alex is tough and while she may be able to get over the sickening smell of death, what she cannot get over is another beaten woman's body found and then a third.

Being directed to catch the killer before the city is deadened by fear is one thing, trying to stay alive when those gang members want revenge is quite another.

Since the introduction of Alex Cooper in 1996 Ms. Fairstein has turned out nine additional thrillers, each more exciting than the last. Tony Award winner Blair Brown gives another sterling performance in her narration of this spine-tingling novel.

- Gail Cooke
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Ten March 12 2008
By Jake Demartini - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Killer Heat, prosecutor-turned-author Fairstein's 10th book, is by far her best. All of her mysteries feature little-known NYC locales (Poe's house, underground water tunnels) or a behind-the-scenes look at famous institutions (Natural History Museum, Metropolitan Opera House). This one doesn't disappoint, taking the reader from an abandoned ferry terminal downtown to a thrilling conclusion on Governor's Island. Fairstein deftly weaves courtroom drama, real-life cases and thrilling action into a seamless tapestry. Fabulous!! A perfect "10".
23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lifeless March 23 2008
By M. S. Butch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was surprised to see all of the 5-star reviews. I have been a big fan of Ms. Fairstein since the first book, but this one felt like a paint-by-numbers. For the first time with one of her books, instead of reading straight through, I put it down a few times and had to make myself keep going.

For me, none of the victims ever came alive, making it difficult to care for them. Similarly, the perpetrator never felt real. I felt as though Ms. Fairstein has completely lost interest.

The connection among the murders, while coherent, was supreficial enough that when Alex figured it out, the reader didn't have the sensation that lots was now explained.

Some of the other commentors said they enjoyed having less character development and conversation, fewer digressions into personal lives, and therefore more straightforward plot movement. To me, those are the sections that matter most, and without them, the story didn't pull me in.

Although the New York lore existed, it was a lot less integral to the story (although it was connected) and had a lot less depth.

In sum, a huge disappointment.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't hold my interest......... April 21 2008
By Beverly A. Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This was the first Linda Fairstein book I've read. I wondered about the Five-Star ratings and didn't feel this book warranted that. Maybe it's just not my type of "sleuth" novel. I thought it was boring and it didn't hold my interest. I guess I like more action and not so much courtroom and legal blah blah blah. The characters didn't grab me one way or the other --- they were just "there." I lean more towards the quirky types --- not the run-of-the-mill detectives, DA, etc.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Series still good but slowing down June 5 2008
By Dr. Cathy Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Fairstein's novels are still better than many books out there. But I have to agree with the reviewer who said the series has gotten a cookie-cutter feel. The characters aren't growing from book to book. Alex hangs out with the cops and a limited group of girl friends. She and her cop friend Mike have the Jeopardy bet. She spends time on crime scenes working with the police.

What Fairstein does instead is introduce us to different parts of New York and we get a sense of history. That's good but as mystery readers, we want character and plot.

The strongest parts of the book take us behind the scenes, so we learn how a prosecutor prepares for trial, how she works with witnesses, and similar background. But Alex has to get out of her own history and show some growth. Maybe it's time to send her off to private practice, so she can capitalize on what she's learned. Or give her a challenging personal life. She's almost too perfect: I want to see how she struggles and grows.

One quibble: Perhaps my sensibilities as a mystery reader have changed since I've become aware of the Innocence Project, the DVDs Capturing the Friedmans and Paradise Lost, and the infamous Duke lacrosse player case. To buy into the mystery (especially police procedurals like this one) you need to accept good guys vs bad guys -- and our heroine is on the side of the angels, of course.

So I was a little dismayed when Alex keeps a witness in the station house. She admits she couldn't legally force the woman to remain but she bluffed. Lacking a lawyer and thoroughly intimidated, the woman believed her.

That's great if you really need to capture a serial killer and the witness really has solid information for you. But from what I've read, the lines often get blurred. Innocent people are afraid to leave and after a long, scary interrogation, they say anything to get food or sleep. Look at the Amanda Knox case, where we've just been told the interrogators even hit her at one point.

Innocent people do confess under these conditions and witnesses tweak their memories. So I was somewhat appalled to see this scene in a popular novel in 2008. It seems to reinforce the negative portrayal of DAs we are getting in the media.
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