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Silent Mercy [Hardcover]

Linda Fairstein

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Book Description

March 8 2011
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In the latest thriller in Linda Fairstein's bestselling series, Alex Cooper dives deep into the byzantine, sinister world of New York City's powerful religious institutions.

It's the middle of the night. Prosecutor Alexandra Cooper is called to Harlem's Mount Neboh Baptist Church, a beautiful house of worship originally built as a synagogue. But the crowd gathered there isn't interested in architecture, or even prayer. They've come for the same reason Alex has: to find out why the body of a young woman has been decapitated, set on fire, and left burning on the church steps.

The only identifiable artifact on the charred remains is the imprint of a Star of David necklace seared into the victim's flesh. Alex wonders if the fire was meant to destroy this woman's body, or to draw attention to it. Her fears are confirmed days later, when a second corpse is found at a cathedral in Little Italy. The killings look like serial hate crimes, but the apparent differences in the victims' beliefs seem to eliminate a religious motive. Convinced that another young woman is bound to die, Alex mines the depths of Manhattan's many houses of worship to find a connection between the victims-and in the process uncovers a terrible and perilous truth that takes her far beyond the scope of her investigation, and directly into the path of terrible danger.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (March 8 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525952020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952022
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 16.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #329,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A real winner from a legal-thriller master Booklist --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.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  77 reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting investigative legal thriller March 12 2011
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In an obvious ritual slaughter, a decapitated severely burned female body is found outside Harlem's Mount Neboh Baptist Church. She is identified by her rap sheet as activist Naomi Gersh. Her head lies just outside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. A second mutilated corpse is found just outside Old St. Patrick's Church. The victim, whose tongue was ripped out, is excommunicated Ursula Hewitt after being ordained as a Roman Catholic priest.

Manhattan's Special Victims unit chief Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper and NYPD colleagues Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace investigate the ritual killings seeking a link between the two victims beyond silencing two female activists. They soon connect the Manhattan murders to homicides of a female pastor in Kentucky and a gay Pentecostal minister in Georgia. The ADA also works two other high visibility cases of a school student's claim of rape and an accusation of clerical sex abuse.

The latest Cooper investigative legal thriller (see Hell's Gate) is an exciting action-packed tale with quite a wallop. As required but still fun is a tour of Manhattan "as an island of churches". The story line focuses brilliantly and sharply at organized religions' antiquated but methodical allegorical beheading of women with an avenging sword wrapped inside holiness that will lead to Linda Fairstein's excommunication. Fast-paced within a strong whodunit, fans except religious fundamentalists will relish Silent Mercy.

Harriet Klausner
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I found myself skimming June 13 2011
By A. Ketterhagen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've read all of the books in this series, and have been a fan from the begining. I love how the setting becomes another character in all of her books. I really appreciate all the research she puts into her work, and the backstage tour she gives us of New York. This book was no exception on the research and the back history.

I gave it 3 stars because I'm finding it hard to care about the main characters as much as I used to. I pre-ordered this when it first came out, and it's been sitting on my shelf for the last couple of months because I started feeling this disappointment when I read the previous book, and didn't want to feel that way about this one., About midway through I just started skimming to get to the end. There have been about a dozen books in this series, and the characters have worked together for over 10 years, but they haven't changed at all. About the only difference I see, is that Chapman's good-natured ribbing is taking on a much snarkier edge.

It would be nice to see more about the characters personally, and it would be nice to see them relating to others more. We know that Mercer's married with a son; we got a brief glimpse of them in the last book, but that was it. It's obvious that Cooper is married to her job, but I need to see she's not all about work. I thought after a dozen books, we might have seen her in situations where she would have to struggle to balance work and personal, like most women have to. She's never put anything before work, nor does it look like she ever will, and that's boring to me.

And don't hold Luc up as an argument for her having a social life. All of her boyfriends have been like him, long distance, fly in, fly out, meet here, meet there, blah, blah, blah. Those aren't real relationships. A real relationship is a guy she's seeing that has to kick Mercer and Mike out of the apartment because they've had her for 12 hours that day, and he wants to be a part of her life too. A real relationship is someone she has to actually share herself with, and I don't see that happening.

The characters are nicely drawn, and they don't detract from the stories, so I'll read the next book and know I'll be glad I did, but I've lowered my expectations on character growth.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loose Ends March 28 2011
By Vita - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I found this book fascinating in its description of various religions and how they played a part in the reason for the murders. I was disappointed in the lack of suspense, character interaction between Alex and Mike and Mercer which we've come to love and the number of ends that were left dangling. This book doesn't have anywhere close to the background development of her earlier books and it is sorely missed.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Silent Mercy March 15 2011
By grumpydan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
At a Manhattan Baptist church, the headless charred remains of a woman are found. Soon, her decapitated head is found outside the Cathedral of St. John Divine. Another victim whose tongue is cut out is found outside Old St. Patrick's Church. ADA Alexandra Cooper thinks that because of the locales these could be the work of some religious fanatic, until she investigates more and opens a huge can or worms. As always, Linda Fairstein adds in some of New York City's historical facts; this time the old churches. I always find this very fascinating. The story itself, although, fast paced and mysterious, didn't quite hold me as previous novels.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely ridiculous book April 22 2012
By karen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The early Linda Fairstein books were among my favorites -- but now she's lost it, as someone else said, she's "phoning them in". In reading this one, I actually found myself laughing -- how nuts can you get? No spoilers, but the last third is so highly improbable the only thing to do is laugh. Can anyone take this seriously?

I also wonder why someone with Fairstein's obvious personal and professional connections, she doesn't get someone who knows something to read her drafts before they print. She's so profoundly wrong on both Jewish law and Catholic theology that it's embarrassing -- or rather she should be embarrassed, but I gather she doesn't know any better, just spouts off what she thinks it should be, and assumes that's what it is. The funny thing is, these last books are loaded with historical trivia about New York -- I don't know much about NY, but what I'm wondering now is this: is she as wrong about NY trivia as she is about the various religious doctrines? Maybe she's just shooting from the hip there, too. Sort of takes the fun out of it, y'know?

The other oddment that overwhelms in this book is Alexandra's almost complete absence from her place of work. Geez, doesn't she at least have to show up once in a while? And this time she's plotting to go around her boss's direct orders. I dunno -- I guess we're supposed to believe that she's so important to the world at large that she can do anything she pleases and get away with it.

I'm tired of the 'rich girl' chatter, too. I guess I'm just tired of Alex Cooper. She's gone beyond tiresome and ventured into 'ridiculous'. I'll skip the next new books and if I need an 'Alex Cooper' adventure, go back and read one of the earlier ones.

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