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3.2 out of 5 stars
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on December 30, 2001
Actually, I think the book deserved 3 stars, but I wanted to bring down the 4 and a half star average. There was only one problem with this book and that is the chemistry between Micheal and Alexandra. If you look back at relationships in books and television, you'll know that the two male and female characters need to have unreqited sexual chemistry for it to work. For example, when they first filmed the pilot for X-Files, Scully had a long term boyfriend. Fortunately, they edited the scenes out.
Here, we have Blondie and her faulted relationship to Jake. He doesn't trust her with his sources, and doesn't show respect for the dead... only interested in getting a scoop. And now Mike has a relationship to Valerie- a recovering cancer patient. Fairstein doesn't manage to hold the chemistry between Alex and Mike like the three previous books. Less banter and no sexual tension, only uncomfortable scenes that suggest both are jealous of the other's partners. It would have worked if there was chemistry, but apart from Mike rubbing Alex's hands warm at the police station... their relationship has become too professional.
SPOILER ALERT. If you haven't read the book, don't read this paragraph. Read the book? Okay. It's great to see Mercer is going to be a dad. He's never been a neccessary character before, and the series would work without him there. Netherless, as much as I don't care for that character his new life began the tense scene in the car where Alex poked fun at what she assumed was Mike's singular sex life. Painful, but the fight was funny. Both characters in their mid 30s are feeling time close in on them.
In general, a good, tension filled book. Of course, Alex is such a wimp in the end, following the bad guy into the hospital. "He isnt armed... scratch his eyes out with your manicure!!!!" I yelled. One question though... I don't know much about pounds. Down Under we use kilos. Isn't 115 pounds extremely light for a 5'10" woman. With blonde hair, ballerina's muscle tone... Fairstein desribing a media image of a perfect woman. I like that Chapman describes her as too skinny. Perhaps next time Alex will eat a steak with Jake, instead of him eating the steak and Alex having soup and salad. She's physically weak, and in her line of work she should know the dangers of being so defenseless.
One more point. The ending was unsatisfactory. Sure, itll be exciting to see how they deal with the stalker. No doubt it will be the end-of-the-book cliffhanger where our bony heroine manages to save herself, the day, and catchthe bad guy/girl all at once. Hopefully the next book sees more chemistry between Cooper and Chapman.
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on September 9, 2003
....but under the guise of a murder mystery. What a bore, I was so disappointed. I am not usually one who reads crime fiction, but for some reason the backdrop setting of the novel was what drew me in. Who couldn't be intrigued by abandoned psychiatric hospitals, asylums, prisons, etc.? This 540-odd page book is about 400 pages too long. Too many descriptions of meals, shopping, relationship problems, etc. Too predictable, as well. I was rolling my eyes constantly because it was so easy to figure out what was going to happen next. No jaw-droppers here. The characters were simply stereotypical. Fairstein's writing, I feel, talks down to the reader. Almost to the point of being offensive, like, how dumb does she think we (readers) are? This was the first (and last) novel of this kind I read, especially one by this author. I have the feeling it would make a great movie aired exclusively on Lifetime. I think I'll stick with the women's historical fiction kick I've been on.
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on April 23, 2003
With L. Fairstein's 25 years as head of the New York district attorney's Sex Crime Unit, I expected a more intelligent, facetious, gritty, in-depth, realistic story. Deadhouse is shallow and uninteresting. Flat. Bad writing.
Here again we find that everybody who is anybody to the main character is the bestest of the best in his/her field of work and personal life. Her parents are wealthy...carribean home... Marth's Vineyard...Alex doesn't go to a grocery store, she has her groceries delivered. The dialogue between her and her detective friend, Mike are dull, dim (he calls her Blondie, euck). Mike himself is outragiously unnecessarily rude and crude to people.
Also here we got the main character, the head of the sex crime unit, walking the streets of NY alone in the dead of night WITHOUT ANY means of self defense such as mace or pepper spray, stun gun, pistol, retractable steel baton, cell phone. Instead of taking a self-defense class she takes ballet. Garbage.
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on October 26, 2003
Having never read anything by this author I picked up this book after seeing her interviewed on TV. I love good mysteries, especially the British police porcedurals, and thought maybe Fairstein might be somewhat like those. I thoroughly disliked Alex Cooper, finding her shallow and pretentious. The constant toing and froing amongst her & Mike was tedious and embarrassing(the Blondie thing has got to go) and the story just dragged on and on, and I really just lost interest. What a waster of paper!
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on October 25, 2001
Did Linda Fairstein all of a sudden realize she had written the required number of pages for her latest book? The ending certainly feels like that. Totally unsatisfying, with lots of open ends. A start for the next book? Sorry - I really liked Ms Fairstein's books, and the characters in those books, but - I won't buy the next book. I really felt like I wasted my money this time.
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