by Linda Fairstein
Review by Su Terry on Jun 8th 2004
Cold Hit by Linda Fairstein
is the third in the "Alex Cooper mystery series." Alex Cooper is an
assistant DA and bureau chief for the Manhattan's
Sex Crimes Prosecutions Unit. Cold Hit focuses on the rape-murder of a
beautiful woman with moneyed ties to the art world.
Hit is set in upscale Manhattan during a sweltering august in the mid-1990s. The novel
opens with the discovery of the body of an obvious rich and once beautiful
woman tied to a ladder thrown into the Hudson River.
The woman was Denise "Deni" Caxton, the soon to be former trophy wife of the much
older, Lowell Caxton, a very wealth international art
dealer. Deni had learned much from Caxton about the buying and selling of art. Unfortunately
there is no accounting for taste. Deni's ran to avant
garde modern art, warehouse galleries in up and
coming yet still seedy parts of the City, and bad men with expense drug habits.
Was her death the artistic work of her coked up business partner, Bryan Daughtry, or the handy work of her ex-con handyman, Omar
Sheffield? Did her soon to be ex husband add his artistic touch to her death or
was it Marilyn Seven, Deni's closest friend, mentor,
and Caxton's daughter by his second wife? Deni had learned the hard way that in life as in art, bad
taste can proved fatal.
joined once more by her faithful staff of sidekicks, the smart talking
Detective Mike Chapman, her ever-faithful and very pregnant office assistant,
Laura Wilkie, and her pushy number driven boss, Bagatalia. I
must admit the "Alex Cooper Mystery series" is my latest addiction. I
can not seem to get enough of Fairstein's novels.
While I have never been a fan of Grisham, Trurow, or
the legal fiction genre, this series reads more like a literary version of the
television show "Law and Order". (There is
definitely enough of the "men in blue", crime scene analysis, and investigative
snooping to keep this gal happy!) I must admit it is a real eye open to have a
lawyer who must multitask juggling numerous cases, rather than exclusively
focusing on only one case as most legal fiction does. As a character, Alex is
slightly unbelievable in her ability to handle quite so many things without
mussing up her lipstick or running her panty hose. And, like so many modern
female heroines, although she is one step removed from Superwoman in her
ability to survive certain disaster, she crumbles into tears over quite
ordinary relational issues. Still, I trust that Fairstein
knows of what she writes and is realistic in regard to her portrayals after
all she is the role-model for her character and her life is the fodder for her
plots. I also must admit to liking Chapman as the smart mouth detective. He
strikes me as very realistic.
Fairstein, like her character Alex Cooper, has been a
District Attorney and Bureau Chief for the Manhattan Sex
Crimes Unit for over twenty years. Also like Alex Cooper, Fairstein
lives in Manhattan and has a home on Martha Vineyard. Unlike
Cooper, however, she is married. Her first book was the non-fiction,
Sexual Violence: Our War against Rape (1993). There are two books in the Alex Cooper Mystery Series Final Jeopardy (1996), Likely to Die (1997), and now Cold
Hit (1999). Her website is: http://www.lindafairstein.com
Cold Hit by Linda Fairstein
is the third, but not the last, in the "Alex Cooper mystery series."
It has enough legalese, police procedure, and fast paced action to thrill most
readers. Be prepared for Art 101. (Although… I found this aspect one of the
more fascinating parts of the book.) This
is one excellent read! Highly recommended.
© 2004 Su Terry
Su Terry: Education: B.A. in History from
Sacred Heart University, M.L.S. in Library Science from Southern Connecticut
State College, M.R.S. in Religious Studies/Pastoral Counseling from Fairfield
University, a M.Div. in Professional Ministry from
New Brunswick Theological Seminary, a Certificate in Spirituality/Spiritual
Direction from Sacred Heart University. She is a Licensed Minister of the
United Church of Christ and an Assistant Professor in Library Science at Dowling