Customer Reviews for

Silent Mercy (Alexandra Cooper Series #13)

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

an exciting action-packed tale with quite a wallop

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 mutil...
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

posted by harstan on February 12, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Silent Might Be Best

Another mediocre novel from Linda Fairstein, who may have reached the end of her trove of good stories to tell. In this one, the killer search is almost secondary to lectures on feminism, especially on the plight of women in various religions. I agree with the author on...
Another mediocre novel from Linda Fairstein, who may have reached the end of her trove of good stories to tell. In this one, the killer search is almost secondary to lectures on feminism, especially on the plight of women in various religions. I agree with the author on the subject, but it wasn't why I picked up her novel. She has been pretty good with novels that involve New York and its history, but this one doesn't go far once we have seen some of the area's churches. What is interesting about this latest novel is that now, with Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau out of office and the novel dedicated to the new DA, Cyrus Vance, the fictional DA Paul Battaglia is no longer looked upon with so much favor. Fairstein has him interfering with the trial of a defrocked pedophile priest to help out the church against his own deputy DAs, but he also has a trove of illegal Cuban cigars and accepts comped baseball tickets, an act which has gotten some New York politicians in trouble. Battaglia is not much of a feminist in this novel either. So we can no longer wonder how much he is based on Morgenthau, can we?

posted by KenCady on April 9, 2011

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  • Posted February 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an exciting action-packed tale with quite a wallop

    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

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Silent Might Be Best

    Another mediocre novel from Linda Fairstein, who may have reached the end of her trove of good stories to tell. In this one, the killer search is almost secondary to lectures on feminism, especially on the plight of women in various religions. I agree with the author on the subject, but it wasn't why I picked up her novel. She has been pretty good with novels that involve New York and its history, but this one doesn't go far once we have seen some of the area's churches. What is interesting about this latest novel is that now, with Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau out of office and the novel dedicated to the new DA, Cyrus Vance, the fictional DA Paul Battaglia is no longer looked upon with so much favor. Fairstein has him interfering with the trial of a defrocked pedophile priest to help out the church against his own deputy DAs, but he also has a trove of illegal Cuban cigars and accepts comped baseball tickets, an act which has gotten some New York politicians in trouble. Battaglia is not much of a feminist in this novel either. So we can no longer wonder how much he is based on Morgenthau, can we?

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2011

    BORING

    I kept reading thinking this book would improve, I skipped pages and pages and was still able to follow the story. I have to be honest and admit that Linda Fairstein hasn't been one of my favorite writers for sometime. Thought I would try her again but was really disappointed. Use to love her books years ago.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Silent Mercy

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not up to Fairstein's standards

    Manhattan Prosecutor Alexandra "Coop" Cooper and Detective Mike Chapman arrive at the scene of a horrible murder. A young woman has been decapitated and set on fire on the steps of Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem. Coop is assisting with the prosecution of a defrocked priest accused of molestation. Because she's been rattling the cages of the Catholic hierarchy, her boss assigns her to this new murder instead.

    Joined as usual by Det. Mercer Wallace in this investigation, another body is soon discovered at a cathedral in Little Italy. It appears that someone is targeting women of different religions who aspire to become church or synagogue leaders, rather than assume the typical roles of their gender.

    Fairstein has once again provided an interesting historical backdrop. In SILENT MERCY, she's injected the story with obscure facts about the history of many of New York City's churches.

    For me, reading one of Fairstein's novels is usually like slipping on a comfortable pair of slippers. Coop, Chapman and Wallace continue the bantering relationship that's been well established in Fairstein's previous novels, and they make their friendly wagers on the final Jeopardy questions. Coop continues to have her disagreements with her boss and is still involved with her French restaurateur lover.

    But SILENT MERCY disintegrates into the absurd when the trio begins to hone in on the killer. Although entertaining, this one is definitely not up to Fairstein's standards. Lynn Kimmerle

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2013

    Boring

    Confusing and tended to drift between paragraphs. If Ms. Coopers building was so secure, how could an intruder get in? I did not find the book suspenseful. After the first murder, I lost interest. Tended to be drawn out. I skimmed the last seven chapters. Glad I got the book from the library and did not waste my money.

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  • Posted December 28, 2012

    Linda is one of my favorite authors.  If you are a fan, this is

    Linda is one of my favorite authors.  If you are a fan, this is another great read by Linda.  As always, she manages to slip in an interesting history lesson about something in NY, which I personally love about her books.  In this book, she taps into the connection between some of the churches and religious institutions throughout NY City.  She also throws in a little history about one of the islands along Cape Cod.  Without giving away too much, the story is about women being brutally killed and their bodies/body parts being left at different churches.  Alex, Mike and Mercer are on the case to stop this serial killer before anyone else gets killed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Cloud

    Yes but ahhhh

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    a big fan but this disappoints

    unfortunately, this book isn't up to her usual standards.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    It will hook you in

    This is another great read in the Alexandra Cooper series. Having grown up in NYC, it's been great fun to read these books and find out about little known areas in and history of the City. Each book is its own special treat covering a different aspect of NYC intertwined with a fascinating story and a set of appealing characters.

    This latest will not disappoint.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Great

    I'm a big fan of this author and this book is great!!

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  • Posted April 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Religious Wars

    This deeply researched series highlighting New York landmarks featuring Alexandra Cooper and Mike Chapman takes the reader in a somewhat different direction from previous entries. This time the author tackles religion, albeit in a non-controversial manner.

    While New York continues to be the prime real estate, the murderer the duo is chasing has committed the same crime in other states, ending up on Cape Cod. But various religious institutions set the stage for the chase as the culprit leaves his victims on display at various churches, apparently making a statement. And Alex and Mike visit a couple of leading teaching institutions undergoing a crash course in various religions and beliefs in an effort to learn what the murderer is attempting to say.

    As usual, the reader learns a lot about the streets and history of New York City, always an important part of reading a novel in the series. But equally important is the tightly written mystery and analytical approach to solving it. This author’s books are always a delight to read and this newest one, as all her prior novels, is recommended.

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    Posted April 15, 2011

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