Linda Fairstein

Three classics from the bestselling author’s bookshelf.

Drawing on her 26 years as head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, Linda Fairstein writes gripping thrillers starring prosecutor Alexandra Cooper. Night Watch, the fourteenth entry in the series, finds Cooper delving into the seedy underbelly of New York City’s most storied restaurants. When we asked her to pick three favorites, Fairstein responded: “For those of us who love to read, it’s always a near-impossible task to select favorite books. One measure for choice, to me, is how I am drawn back into the works of great storytellers, and have reread each of these ‘favorites’ more times than I can count.”

Books by Linda Fairstein

Anna Karenina

By Leo Tolstoy

“I found this stunning classic during my high school years (when reading the classics was obligatory, so sometimes rough going) and it has haunted me ever since. I adored that it was the story of a strong, rebellious woman at a time in history that made such behavior dangerous on every level. And though I like happy endings in real life, I am drawn to fictional tragedies. The density and detail of Tolstoy’s writing (in translation) are so compelling, and the drama of infidelity and vengeance — the doomed love affair between Anna and Count Vronsky — set against the rich backdrop of 19th century Russia, make it my very favorite novel.”

Tess of the d’Urbervilles

By Thomas Hardy

“I have always been drawn to women protagonists, and although I prefer when they triumph over life’s obstacles, Tess gets me every time. Perhaps I have reread it often in the hopes that she’ll take a different path than the one chosen for her by the author — or by fate. I like the darkness of Hardy (truly, can you imagine naming an infant ‘Sorrow’?) and his bleak Wessex settings and especially this heartbreaking tale of beautiful young Tess.”

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

By John le Carré

“To me, this book is the most perfectly executed novel of espionage ever written. A departure from the dense story-telling in which I usually like to lose myself, le Carré is the master of taut, spare prose. In this brilliantly lean thriller, he captures the frigid despair of the Cold War period. The plotting is meticulous, the characters — each flawed despite their accomplishments — are drawn to perfection, and the insider skills acquired during le Carré’s career in British intelligence are shown off ingeniously. A real tour-de-force of suspenseful storytelling.”