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The Kills Hardcover – Jan 13 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (Jan. 13 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743223551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743223553
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.2 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #322,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The title of the newest installment in Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper crime series (The Bone Vault; The Deadhouse; Final Jeopardy) refers not only to the several bodies that turn up in the course of the novel but to the creeks and channels that crisscross the watery periphery of Lower Manhattan. From her downtown office-and with the aid of NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace-the doughty assistant DA tackles a complicated case, the rape of 36-year-old Paige Vallis. Psychotic Andrew Tripping is accused of the rape as well as of the physical and mental abuse of his own 10-year-old son, Dulles. While trying to convince a jury of Tripping's guilt, Alex is handed another kill, this one the suffocation of elderly Harlem Renaissance dancer McQueen Ransome. Queenie turns out to have a fascinating history, having been both an espionage agent in WWII and the mistress of the legendary Night Crawler, King Farouk of Egypt. On her way out of the palace door, Queenie pocketed enough of the king's treasure to set her up for life, which finally gets her killed. There are complications in the form of CIA agents, crooked lawyers, smalltime hoods and a surrounding cast of friends, lovers and enemies, all adding texture and realism to the story. Alex survives several attempts on her life and sleuths her way to a solution of both murders while untangling the knotted history that connects them. Fairstein's style and skills have matured over the years, making this a consistently dependable series with a likable and intelligent heroine.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Name that plot: a woman in distress looks for help when she is pursued by shady characters on the hunt for an aviary treasure. The Maltese Falcon? No, try The Kills, a title carrying double meaning, as it refers both to the channels in between the islands off lower Manhattan, which were dredged by the Dutch to assist in merchant shipping, and to the murders taking place on the island proper. Once again Fairstein features Alexandra Cooper, sex crimes prosecutor, who finds that her latest case runs deeper than the kills themselves. The story starts out slow and then falls into a familiar legal-thriller track: the well-intentioned attorney at a disadvantage because she does not have the full story. But the plot picks up as Fairstein peels the layers of the onion, ladling out backstory to expose the connections between a date-rape case and the murder of a Harlem woman. Another solid addition to a popular series. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a certified Linda Fairstein fan, I picked up this book without reading a single review. The book jacket copy gives no clue to the story, which is why I was caught by surprise mid-book and actually stopped reading. The book jacket describes the story's opener -- a potentially riveting courtroom drama, very timely in light of the Kobe Bryant case: a young woman claims she was date-raped by a wealthy financier -- the kind of man who seems immune to prosecution. It's a he-said/she-said case, although the man's young son will be a witness for the prosecution if he can be found.
If I had been on the jury,I would not have bought the woman's story of being "forced" to submit to rape and her actions to "save" the little boy seem questionable and possibly illegal. But as Fairstein's character points out,
women of my age rarely sympathize with these victims.
Meanwhile, Alexandra Cooper's cop friends become involved in a murder that initially seems unrelated. Now here's where the book takes a sharp detour that will delight some readers and frustrate others, depending on how you feel about historical characters mingling with fictional characters. And some readers will enjoy the introduction of FBI and CIA intrigue, while others will resist the mixture of spy and courtroom genres.
However, Fairstein is a masterful storyteller, and she seems fascinated by historical events, especially those related to New York City, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of places like the yacht club. So when I picked the book up again, after my shock at finding King Farouk's mistress in a courtroom thriller, I found myself absorbed in the story and learning an amazing amount about Egyptian royalty and double-eagle coins.
However, I felt cheated!
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Format: Hardcover
"The Kills," by real life prosecutor Linda Fairstein, has a double meaning. One refers to murders, of which there are quite a few in this book. The other is a geographical location called "Kill Van Kull," which comes from the Dutch word for channel. There are a number of these channels around Manhattan, and a key scene takes place in a "kill."
Alex Cooper, the protagonist of the Fairstein thrillers, is herself a prosecutor. She is handling a case in which an investment banker named Paige Vallis claims that she was assaulted by a man whom she had been dating. The case is complicated by the fact that the gentleman in question, Andrew Tripping, had his little boy, Dulles, in the apartment at the time of the alleged incident. Dulles may turn out to be an important witness at trial.
Coop's best buddy, Mike Chapman, is handling another case. It involves the sad death of an eighty-two-year old former beauty named McQueen Ransome. She was murdered in her Harlem brownstone and her apartment was apparently burglarized. As the book progresses, the Vallis and Ransome cases come together, and subsequent developments convince detectives Mercer Wallace and Mike Chapman that there is more going on here than random acts of violence.
I have always liked Alex Cooper. She is classy and elegant, but also tough and feisty. Although she could have gotten a job in corporate law, she chooses to prosecute those who prey on women, and she has great compassion for the victims whom she tries to help. Alex has a comfortable relationship with Mike and Mercer, who would do anything for her, and she has a long-distance romance with Jake, who has a high-powered career of his own.
The problem with this book, as in Fairstein's last two books, is the plot.
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Format: Hardcover
The title of Linda Fairstein's newest Alexandra Cooper novel, THE KILLS, has more than one meaning. To Detective Mike Chapman the kills are homicides: "Hunters used that word to describe the slaughter of their prey, and fighter pilots spoke the same language when referring to the downing of enemy planes --- the unnatural termination of lives." And in this thriller we are told that "once [there] were 'kills' all over Lower Manhattan, a vestige from the Dutch colonization that meant 'channels' or 'creeks' ... [and one of them] was obviously a viaduct to the shipyards along the Jersey shore."
Complementing this bit of New York City's history and the different ways the word 'kills' is used are the events that surround a deadly hunt for "a legal form, signed by the secretary of the treasury more than half a century ago, that monetized one Double Eagle for King Farouk. That one sheet of paper, smuggled out of Egypt ... perhaps after King Farouk was deposed, is necessary if ... together with [a coin found in a dead woman's closet] would make [the] possessor a multimillionaire."
King Farouk's obsession for collecting the most unique items in the world is well documented. But rumors surface about whether or not he left the American Double Eagle coin behind when he was deposed. And is it possible that an American CIA agent whose assignment kept him in Cairo somehow stole the treasure? This agent turns out to be related to one of the women in this labyrinthine tale.
But let's start at the beginning of Fairstein's suspenseful and complex mystery. The case begins with Paige Vallis, a rape victim and hopeful rescuer of a little boy. While Ms.
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