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Likely to Die [Mass Market Paperback]

Linda Fairstein
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 1998 Alexandra Cooper Mysteries
The real-life work of sex-crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein brought "riveting authenticity" (Vanity Fair) to her bestselling debut novel, Final Jeopardy. Now Fairstein's fictional counterpart -- smart and savvy assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper -- returns in "[a] Grisham-esque page turner" (Time) that puts Alex in the line of fire.
New York City's oldest and largest medical center is the scene of a ghastly attack: top neurosurgeon Gemma Dogen is found in her blood-soaked office, where she has been sexually assaulted, stabbed, and designated by the cops as a "likely to die." By the time Alex has plunged into the case, it's a high-profile, media-infested murder investigation with a growing list of suspects from among those who roam the hospital's labyrinthine halls. As Alex's passion to find the killer intensifies, she discovers this hospital is not a place of healing but of deadly peril -- and that she is the next target for lethal violence.
A high-style thriller that sweeps from Manhattan to London to Martha's Vineyard, Likely to Die is an exhilarating tale from a justice system insider and provocative novelist.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

A prominent woman neurosurgeon is sexually assaulted and stabbed in her own mid-Manhattan medical center office. Heroine Alexandra Cooper, who heads the Manhattan D.A.'s sex crimes unit, and her team of homicide detectives banter comically to cheer themselves as they winnow through witnesses, including transients who swarm the tunnels beneath the hospital and roam hospital corridors, snatching lab coats and trays of food. In her second Alex Cooper novel, Fairstein (Final Jeopardy, LJ 4/15/96) calls upon her expertise as a Manhattan assistant D.A. to conjure up a world so real, its brittle police babble and mounting suspense make the pages crackle. Although there is little art to the language, it is crystal clear, and deft descriptions abound. The precise coverage of Alex's daily rounds has a documentary feel that slows the narrative, as do the intrusive explanations of criminal procedures. But classy Alex and her sidekicks, Mercer and Mike, a refreshing, if cartoonish, "equal opportunity offender," all denizens in their beloved New York, are treats. Recommended.
-?Molly Gorman, San Marino, Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Fairstein has run the Manhattan D.A.'s sex-crimes unit for more than 20 years. A popular lecturer, she's now turned her talents to writing crime thrillers about--guess what?--a sex-crimes prosecutor in Manhattan. Her first novel, Final Jeopardy, created a bit of stir, and this follow-up seems primed to follow suit. Respected neurosurgeon Gemma Dogen is found brutally murdered in her office at Mid-Manhattan Hospital. She may have been sexually assaulted, which is where sex-crimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper comes in. Along with her detective pal Mike Chapman, Alex slogs through suspect interviews, hospital records, and police files, but in the end, she finds the same old story: a murder that's all about greed, revenge, and ambition. Fairstein's grasp of grim forensic details, her savvy heroine, and her suspense-thriller plot will draw comparisons to Patricia Cornwell. But, frankly, there is no comparison. For one thing, Fairstein can't decide if she's giving an informative (if pedantic) lecture about sex crimes; writing a kind of yuppified true-crime story; or actually creating fiction. For another, the plot meanders through 400 long pages when 250 could have done nicely. And Alex Cooper, finally, isn't nearly as charismatic as Kay Scarpetta. Still, with plenty of publicity, the numerous Cornwell comparisons, and the seal of approval from the Mystery Guild, the Literary Guild, and the Doubleday Book Club, heavy demand is an inevitability. Emily Melton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Alexandra Cooper, head of New York County's Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit, hadn't been involved in a major case since her actress friend was murdered six months previous so she was a little surprised when Detective Mike Chapman woke her at 5:30 am about a new case. Turns out Gemma Dogan, head of neurosurgery at Mid-Manhattan Medical Center, brain surgeon and professor for the prestigious hospital was found stabbed six times in her office. It also appeared as if she had been raped and then left for dead. Alexandra was a little uncomfortable with the comparisons to her own personal life, or lack thereof, and put all of her energy into finding out who hated Gemma enough to do this to her.
Unfortunately, Alexandra soon finds herself with a long list of suspects. There is John DuPre and Coleman Harper, both neurologists who claim to have evidence regarding the murder, but details of their interviews conflict and don't quite add up. There is William Dietrich, the director of the hospital, who is desperate to clean up the hospital's public image. Then there are the many applicants for Mid-Manhattan's neurology unit that Gemma denied. Failing those, there are the hundreds of homeless people who live in the tunnels and basements of the hospital and wander about at will, including one that is know simply as 'Pops' who was found wearing scrubs covered in human blood. As Alexandra sifts through one lead after another, she uncovers a lot more dirty secrets at Mid-Manhattan, secrets that someone will do anything to keep hidden...
Likely to Die is the second book in the Alexandra Cooper series (after Final Jeopardy) and I enjoyed it just as much. I love the way Fairstein accurately portrays the ins and outs of the judiciary system and police methods.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the authentic detail Feb. 28 2004
By Tin Man
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one talented author, basing her stories on the work of an Assist DA, working on sex crimes in NYC, which, coincidentally, is her real life job, as well, she would be someone that I would love to meet and talk to, her enthusiasm for her work and the way that she communicates are wonderful, and I think that she has a great future writing books with Alexandra Cooper, her character.
Linda does it all so well, this story is tight, Alexandra is likeable, and there are added bits which make her a more rounded human being, she works horrendous hours, but she may have more than one case in her life at any one time, without which there can seem to be a one-sided-ness about the characters. I really enjoyed the authentic detail, and I would imagine that those little anecdotes that creep into the stories are probably some of the more tame day to day details that Ms F has had to deal with in her working life, but even so, they add to the feelings that you get about the job that she does, and that has got to be good for the books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fairstein's mysteries are injected with reality... March 10 2003
Format:Hardcover
This is the second book of Fairstein that I have read. I really enjoyed the first one, which was a more current book. I can tell her skills are sharpening as she continues to write, and I hope she doesn't end up like so many female mystery writers do, and run out out of ideas and enthusiasm for her protagonist.
Since Fairstein is writing about what she knows, it helps significantly in making the 'cases' seem very real and very significant. I am usually a little relunctant to pick up books about sex crimes, I don't like to see them on television or movies. I know they happen, but it just makes me very uncomfortable. But, Fairstein doesn't need to dwell on that part of the crime...she states what happens and moves onto the solving of the crime as the main part of the book. I like that in a writer.
One thing that bugs me a bit in both these books, and in many female authors of this genre...is why do the supposedly intelligent women in these books place themselves in conditions that could be dangerous. Now to be fair, in the last book I read, there was no warning of what was going to happen. But this time, even before Cooper goes to the apartment alone, I'm saying in my head "Don't be stupid and go some place without your backups..." I mean come on, anyone with a somewhat intelligent brain would realize that going to the person's apartment (who was killed) on your own is asking for problems, especially when there is a good indication that the person responsible for the crime is getting nervous, and I would think there would be rules in any of the agencies involved in this type of work, that no one goes anywhere without a partner. It only makes sense to me.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although I confess to having loved Fairstein's first book, "Final Jeopardy", I thought it was really a fluke. It was extremely well-written and thought out, but I didn't think that she could do it again.
Well, I'm happy to report that Fairstein has proved me wrong, in grand style. "Likely to Die" is the second book in her series featuring Alex Cooper, the head of the sex crimes unit of the New York City District Attorney's office. This entry in the series involves the rape and murder of a prominent doctor in a city hospital. Or was there a rape? As the investigation proceeds Cooper and her associate, New York City cop Mike Chapman, begin to wonder. To say any more would spoil the plot.
As the real-life head of that same unit, Fairstein knows her stuff, and also knows the city backwards and forwards. It's the little things that make this book so good - e.g., Alex wakes up to Don Imus and mentions Jim Ryan, the host of the morning news show on the local Fox station. There are one or two misses - she apparently doesn't take the subway too often - but overall she's right on target with her description of life in the greatest city in the world.
She also makes Cooper, Chapman, and Chapman's partner Mercer Wallace seem so real you believe they actually exist - and she keeps up the "Final Jeopardy" gimmick of Cooper & Chapman betting on the answer for each night's Final Jeopardy question. I'm still hoping that Cooper & Chapman become more than just friends and partners - the signs are all there - but I won't be unhappy if they don't.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read
I enjoy all Linda Fairstein's books, a little bit of everything in each novel. Can't wait to start the next one!
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting book
I just finished this book and the ending was great.
It had a few slow spots but it is really a good book. Read more
Published on June 1 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Sophmore Slump
As disposable fiction goes "Likely to Die" is entertaining enough, but not as successful as Fairstein's first mystery, "Final Jeopardy. Read more
Published on March 20 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Likely to Keep You Up All Night!
Linda Fairstein's second foray into the world of New York Assistant DA Alex Cooper is even better than the first. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2002 by Wendy Kaplan
2.0 out of 5 stars Drags on....
I normally finish a book every couple of days...I was stuck on this one for four times that long! I can't put my finger on why, except that the characters just never caught my... Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely loved it!!!
This is an excellent mystery book!!! It all starts with a murder of a brain surgeon and professor, and digs into the poor security of the hospital and university organizations -... Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2001 by Jody L. Schoth
3.0 out of 5 stars Started out good, then took a downturn.
This book had much stronger possibilities than the previous book in this series. However, I think too much emphasis is put on Alex's tight-knit circle of friends and all of the... Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2001 by "bibliofiend"
4.0 out of 5 stars Grabbed me from the start and then...
I'm not used to reading novels of this ilk, but when I found a copy on my company's book exchange, I thought the descriptives interesting enough to warrant an attempt. Read more
Published on March 7 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars You've got to be kidding me!
Someone actually published this novel?! If you love murder mystries, with a strong emphasis on law enfocement/district attorney involvement, you may want to read the first 20... Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2001
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