Likely to Die (Alexandra Cooper Series #2)

( 28 )

Overview

The real-life work of sex-crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein brought "riveting authenticity" (Vanity Fair) to her bestselling debut novel, Final Jeopardy. Now Fairstein's fictional counterpart — smart and savvy assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper — returns in "[a] Grisham-esque page turner" (Time) that puts Alex in the line of fire.
New York City's oldest and largest medical center is the scene of a ghastly attack: top neurosurgeon Gemma Dogen is found in her blood-soaked office, ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers and in stores.

Pick Up In Store Near You

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (174) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $5.00   
  • Used (170) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 1 of 4
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$5.00
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(58)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
New York, New York, U.S.A. 1998 Mass Market Paperback NEW PB.

Ships from: Chesterfield, MO

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 1 of 4
Close
Sort by
Likely to Die (Alexandra Cooper Series #2)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price

Overview

The real-life work of sex-crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein brought "riveting authenticity" (Vanity Fair) to her bestselling debut novel, Final Jeopardy. Now Fairstein's fictional counterpart — smart and savvy assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper — returns in "[a] Grisham-esque page turner" (Time) that puts Alex in the line of fire.
New York City's oldest and largest medical center is the scene of a ghastly attack: top neurosurgeon Gemma Dogen is found in her blood-soaked office, where she has been sexually assaulted, stabbed, and designated by the cops as a "likely to die." By the time Alex has plunged into the case, it's a high-profile, media-infested murder investigation with a growing list of suspects from among those who roam the hospital's labyrinthine halls. As Alex's passion to find the killer intensifies, she discovers this hospital is not a place of healing but of deadly peril — and that she is the next target for lethal violence.
A high-style thriller that sweeps from Manhattan to London to Martha's Vineyard, Likely to Die is an exhilarating tale from a justice system insider and provocative novelist.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Patricia Cornwell An authoritative and scary view from one who has battled evil and locked it away. Fairstein just gets better. Get to know her if you dare.

People A whopping whodunit...With its taut plot and classy setting, Likely to Die is an uptown act.

Hilma Wolitzer New York Daily News A first-rate mystery novel by someone who writes about what she knows and truly knows about what she writes.

Susan Issacs This is no I-guess-this-must-be-what-it's-like fantasy of how the criminal justice system operates. Final Jeopardy is a smart and gutsy insider's whodunit. But the novel has more than authenticity going for it. It's got a terrific protagonist. Alexandra Cooper is a tough, dedicated assistant district attorney and a warmhearted, funny, and insightful dame. Linda Fairstein has done one hell of a job.

People Step aside, girls. Here comes Manhattan sex creimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper in a red Escada suit, trailing a cloud of Chanel No. 5....Fairstein gives her sleek — and single — D.A. a whopping whodunit....There are plenty of suspects to keep Alex clicking along in her Manolo Blahnik heels...and sizzling sexual tension between Alex and NYPD detective Mike Chapman.

The New York Times Book Review Stylish...engaging...Linda Fairstein's second novel takes its title from police slang for a crime victim whose death is inevitable. As in her previous novel, Final Jeopardy, the author places a smart and driven Manhattan prosecutor named Alexandra Cooper at the center of the action.

Chicago Tribune This gritty, harsh book has a strong sense of authenticity.

Long Island Newsday (NY) As real as tomorrow's tabloid headlines, as gritty as a police stakeout, as graphic as an autopsy, Likely to Die is a fearsomely authentic whodunit that manages to raise important issues about the nature, and the horror, of sex crimes.

People
Step aside, girls. Here comes Manhattan sex creimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper in a red Escada suit, trailing a cloud of Chanel No. 5....Fairstein gives her sleek — and single — D.A. a whopping whodunit....There are plenty of suspects to keep Alex clicking along in her Manolo Blahnik heels...and sizzling sexual tension between Alex and NYPD detective Mike Chapman.
New York Daily News
A first-rate mystery novel by someone who writes about what she knows and truly knows about what she writes.
—Hilma Wolitzer
Vanity Fair
A murderous tale of intrigue.
NY Daily News
A first-rate mystery novel.
Library Journal
A prominent woman neurosurgeon is sexually assaulted and stabbed in her own mid-Manhattan medical center office. Heroine Alexandra Cooper, who heads the Manhattan D.A.'s sex crimes unit, and her team of homicide detectives banter comically to cheer themselves as they winnow through witnesses, including transients who swarm the tunnels beneath the hospital and roam hospital corridors, snatching lab coats and trays of food. In her second Alex Cooper novel, Fairstein calls upon her expertise as a Manhattan assistant D.A. to conjure up a world so real, its brittle police babble and mounting suspense make the pages crackle. Although there is little art to the language, it is crystal-clear, and deft descriptions abound.

The precise coverage of Alex's daily rounds has a documentary feel that slows the narrative, as do the intrusive explanations of criminal procedures. But classy Alex and her sidekicks, Mercer and Mike, a refreshing, if cartoonish, 'equal opportunity offender,' all denizens in their beloved New York, are treats. -- Molly Gorman, San Marino, California

Library Journal
A prominent woman neurosurgeon is sexually assaulted and stabbed in her own mid-Manhattan medical center office. Heroine Alexandra Cooper, who heads the Manhattan D.A.'s sex crimes unit, and her team of homicide detectives banter comically to cheer themselves as they winnow through witnesses, including transients who swarm the tunnels beneath the hospital and roam hospital corridors, snatching lab coats and trays of food. In her second Alex Cooper novel, Fairstein calls upon her expertise as a Manhattan assistant D.A. to conjure up a world so real, its brittle police babble and mounting suspense make the pages crackle. Although there is little art to the language, it is crystal-clear, and deft descriptions abound.

The precise coverage of Alex's daily rounds has a documentary feel that slows the narrative, as do the intrusive explanations of criminal procedures. But classy Alex and her sidekicks, Mercer and Mike, a refreshing, if cartoonish, 'equal opportunity offender,' all denizens in their beloved New York, are treats. -- Molly Gorman, San Marino, California

NY Daily News
A first-rate mystery novel.
Kirkus Reviews
Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper, in charge of New York County's Sex Crimes Unit, was intimately involved in her first case (Final Jeopardy, 1996)—the victim was a friend of hers, killed perhaps in error for her—but this time the case is just a case: the brutal assault and slashing of Dr. Gemma Dogen, head of neurosurgery at the behemoth Mid-Manhattan Medical Center. The killing looks like the work of one of the numberless nutcases confined to its wards (or resident in the labyrinth of tunnels that connect its buildings), but Alex thinks the motive is more insidious, based on the long list of enemies Gemma Dogen's professional practice had brought her. While she's waiting for the very unscientific brainstorm that will finger the perp, she has time (lacking a personal interest in the case) for a didactic sex-crimes lecture to an appreciative audience, a posh transatlantic crime conference, a million self-infatuated reflections about her lingerie and microwave menus, and some very funny tales of the rabbi who molests cleaning ladies and the enema freak who does a number on the cop Alex has placed under the covers of a Mid-Manhattan bed. Only the throwaway anecdotes about colorful lesser sex offenders pack any punch; not even Alex's romance with a wonderful new man whose late wife died under Dr. Dogen's knife carries the slightest conviction.

It's hard to remember a second novel as keenly disappointing as this one. For forensics addicts only.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671014933
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Series: Alexandra Cooper Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 4.28 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Fairstein

LINDA FAIRSTEIN, America's foremost legal expert on crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence, led the Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's Office in Manhattan for twenty-five years. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, she is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Virginia School of Law. Her first novel, Final Jeopardy, introduced the critically acclaimed character of Alexandra Cooper and was made into an ABC Movie of the Week starring Dana Delaney. The celebrated series has gone on to include the New York Times bestsellers Likely to Die, Cold Hit, The Deadhouse (winner of the Nero Wolfe Award for Best Crime Novel of 2001, and chosen as a "Best Book of 2001" by both The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times), The Bone Vault, The Kills, Entombed, Death Dance, and Bad Blood. Her novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Her nonfiction book, Sexual Violence, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She lives with her husband in Manhattan and on Martha's Vineyard.

Visit her website at www.lindafairstein.com.

Biography

Linda Fairstein is passionate about putting sex offenders behind bars and had done just that many times, both in real life -- as one of New York City's premier sex crimes prosecutors -- and in her fiction, with her popular series of Alex Cooper mysteries.

Born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York, Fairstein attended Vassar College, where she majored in English literature. She went on to receive a law degree from the prestigious University of Virginia School of Law in 1972. In November of that year, Fairstein was assigned to the staff of the New York County District Attorney's office and was soon heading up the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit, where she developed a reputation as one of the toughest prosecutors in the office's history. Fairstein spent the next two decades dedicating herself to nailing the worst of the city's sexual offenders, working on such high-profile cases as the Preppy Murder and the Central Park Jogger.

In 1993, Fairstein was named "Woman of the Year" by New Woman and Glamour magazines. A year later, her groundbreaking nonfiction book, Sexual Violence: Our War Against Rape, was named a Notable Book by The New York Times.

Fairstein's first foray into fiction writing was 1994's Final Jeopardy, which introduced the tough, savvy assistant D.A. Alexandra "Alex" Cooper -- a character close to the author's own identity -- who was well received by fans and critics. As Publishers Weekly noted, Alex's "greatest appeal lies in the warmth of her friendships, the humanness of her mistakes and her unswerving devotion to protecting the next female from harm."

Since then, Fairstein has continued to chronicle Alex Cooper's crime-solving adventures in a string of bestsellers that draws on the author's thoroughgoing knowledge of the legal system and longtime affection for the Big Apple. A believer in public service, Fairstein sits on the board of directors of several nonprofit groups, among them the National Center for Victims of Crime, Phoenix House Foundation, and New York Women's Agenda, and has also served on President Clinton's Violence Against Women Advisory Council, New York Women's Agenda Domestic Violence Committee, the American College of Trial Lawyers, The Women's Forum, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.

In an interview on her publisher's web site, Fairstein explains that her career and her life's mission are one in the same: "I think so much more is possible in terms of what we are able to give women who have been victims of violence and how they can triumph in a courtroom," Fairstein reflects. "So to take this -- the professional life I've had over the last 30 years and to mix it with the great pleasure of writing -- is something I never dreamed I'd actually be able to accomplish."

Good To Know

Fairstein is married to Justin Feldman, a lawyer who helped run Robert F. Kennedy's 1964 United States Senate campaign.

Fairstein has admitted to having her eye on the post of United States Attorney General, and in fact interviewed for that position in 1993.

Cold Hit made President Clinton's highly-publicized vacation reading list in 1999.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 5, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Mount Vernon, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Vassar College, 1969; J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1972
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The answering machine kicked in a fourth irritating echo from the insistent caller. I listened to my recorded voice announce that I was not available to come to the phone right now, as little hammers pounded furiously inside my head. The last Dewar's of the evening had been unnecessary.

I cocked an eye to glance at the illuminated dial glowing an eerie shade of green in the still dark room. It read 5:38 A.M.

"If you're screening, Coop, pick it up. C'mon, kid."

I was unmoved, and mercifully not on duty this morning.

"It's early and it's cold, but don't leave me dangling at the end of the only working phone booth in Manhattan when I'm trying to do you a favor. Pick it up, Blondie. Don't give me that 'unavailable' stuff. Last I knew you were the most available broad in town."

"Good morning, Detective Chapman, and thank you for that vote of confidence," I murmured into the receiver as I brought my arm back under the comforter to keep it warm while I listened to Mike. Too bad I'd cracked open a window for some fresh air before going to sleep. The room was frigid.

"I got something for you. A big one, if you're ready to get back in the saddle again."

I winced at Chapman's reminder that I had not picked up any serious investigations for almost five months. My involvement last fall in the murder case of my friend, the actress Isabella Lascar, had derailed me professionally. It had prompted the District Attorney to direct the reassignment of most of my trial load, so I had taken a long vacation when the killer was caught. Mike had accused me of coasting through the winter season and avoiding the kinds of difficult matters that we had worked on together so often in the past.

"What have you got?" I asked him.

"Oh, no. This isn't one of those 'run it by me and if it's sexy enough I'll keep it' cases, Miss Cooper. You either accept this mission on faith, or I do this, the legitimate way and call whichever one of your mopes is on the homicide chart today. There'll be some eager beaver looking to get his teeth into this — I can't help it if he won't happen to know the difference between DNA and NBC. At least he won't be afraid to —"

"All right, all right." Chapman had just said the magic word and I was sitting straight up in bed now. I wasn't certain if I was shivering because of the bitterly cold air that was blowing in from outdoors, or because I was frightened by the prospect of plunging back into the violent landscape of rapists and murderers that had dominated my professional life for almost a decade.

"Is that a yes, Blondie? You with us on this one?"

"I promise to sound more enthusiastic after some coffee, Mike. Yes, I'm with you." His exuberance at this moment would be offensive to anyone outside the family of police and prosecutors who worked in the same orbit as he did, since it was fueled by the unnatural death of a human being. The only comfort it offered was the fact that the particular murder victim in question would be the undistracted focus of the best homicide detective in the business: Mike Chapman.

"Great. Now, get out of bed, suit up, take a few Advil for that hangover —"

"Is that just a guess, Dr. Holmes, or do you have me under surveillance?"

"Mercer told me he was in your office yesterday. Got an overheard on your evening plans — Knicks game with your law school friends, followed by supper in the bar at '21.' Elementary, Miss Cooper. The only thing he couldn't figure was whether we'd be interrupting any steamy bedroom scene with a call at this hour. I assured him that we'd be the first to know when you gave up on abstinence."

I ignored the shot and welcomed the news that Mercer Wallace would be part of the team. A former homicide cop, he was my best investigator at the Special Victims Squad, where he caught all the major serial rape cases and pattern crimes.

"Before you use up your quarter, are you going to fill me in on this one and give me a clue about how to sell it to my boss?"

Paul Battaglia hated it when detectives shopped around his office to pull in their favorite assistant district attorneys to work on complex criminal matters. For the twenty years that he'd been the District Attorney of New York County, he had operated with an on-call system — known as the homicide chart — so that for every twenty-four-hour period, every day of the year, a senior prosecutor was on standby and ready to assist in the investigation of murder cases in any way that the NYPD considered useful. Questioning suspects, drafting search warrants, authorizing arrests, and interviewing witnesses — all of the tasks fell to the assistant D.A. who was "on the chart" and had the first significant contact with the police.

"You're a natural for this one, Alex. No kidding. The deceased was sexually assaulted. Mercer's right — we really need your guidance on this one." Chapman was referring to the fact that I am the bureau chief in charge of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit — Battaglia's pet project that specializes in the sensitive handling of victims of rape and abuse. Often, since many of those crimes escalated to murder, my colleagues and I were designated to handle the ensuing investigations and trials.

I was stretching across to the drawer of the night table to find this month's homicide chart, to check whether I'd be stepping on the toes of one of the D.A.'s fair-haired boys, and how much flak I'd be heading for. "Well, until eight o'clock this morning, Eddie Fremont is catching."

"Oh, no, you gotta save me from him," Mike responded. "Son of a senator. That's about as useful as having my mother at the station house. Fremont's a whackjob of the first order — I don't think he'd know probable cause if it bit him in the ass."

Chapman often did a stand-up comic routine at the bar at Forlini's, the courthouse watering hole, with the monthly calendar and chart in his hand, calling out the name of the assigned assistants and reliving some embarrassing episode from the career of each of us as he rolled off the dates. Fremont was an easy target, one of those brilliant students with impeccable academic credentials that simply failed to translate to the courtroom. Everyone assumed he had been hired as a "contract," because his father, the former senior senator from Indiana, had been Paul Battaglia's roommate at Columbia Law School.

"Or if you wait until a few minutes after eight, you can have Laurie Deitcher," I countered, aware that she would be responsible for decisions on anything coming in during the next twenty-four hours.

"The Princess? Never again, Blondie. The only time I had a high-profile case with her, it was a disaster. During the lunch hour, instead of prepping witnesses and outlining her cross-examinations, she'd make us wait in the hallway while she plugged in her hot rollers and troweled on some more makeup. Then she'd belly up to the jury box like she was Norma Desmond ready for her close-up. She looked great for the cameras, but the friggin' perp walked. Nope. You just call Battaglia and tell him Wallace and I woke you up in the middle of the night because you were the only person who could answer our questions. Hang tough with him, Cooper. This is your case."

"Like what kind of questions, Mike?"

"Like can you tell if she was raped before she was killed or after? Like does establishing the time of death have anything to do with the speed at which the sperm deteriorates, because of interference from her body fluids?"

"Now you're talking my language. Of course he'll let me keep a case like that. What do you need from me?"

"I think you'll want to get down here as soon as you can. Have your video guys meet us, too. The Crime Scene Unit has already processed the room and taken photos, but they had to move really fast. I'm just worried we all may have overlooked something that might turn out to be important, so I'd like your crew to go over the whole area and record it. Once the story breaks, the place'll be crawling with press and we won't be able to preserve it."

"Back up, Mike, and start at the top. Where are you?"

"Mid-Manhattan Medical Center. Sixth floor of the Minuit Building." East Forty-eighth Street, right off the FDR Drive. The oldest and largest medical compound in the city. The victim must have been transported there for an attempt at treatment after she was found.

"Well, where shall I meet you? Where's the scene?"

"I just told you. The sixth floor at Mid-Manhattan."

"You mean the victim was killed in the hospital?"

"Raped and killed in the hospital. Big wheel. Head of the neurosurgery department at the medical college, brain surgeon, professor. Name's Gemma Dogen."

After ten years at my job, there were very few things that surprised me, but this news was shocking.

I had always thought of hospitals as sanctuaries, places for healing the sick and wounded, comforting and easing the days of the terminally ill. I had been in and out of Mid-Manhattan countless times, visiting witnesses as well as training medical personnel in the treatment of sexual assault survivors. Its original red-brick buildings, almost a century old, had been restored to recapture the look of the antiquated sanitarium, and generous patrons of more recent times had lent their family names to a handful of granite skyscrapers that housed the latest in medical technology and a superb teaching facility — the Minuit Medical College.

The familiar knots that tied and untied themselves in my stomach whenever I received news of a senseless crime and a sacrificed human existence took over control from the pounding noise inside my head. I began to conjure mental images of Dr. Dogen, and scores of questions — about her life and death, her career and family, her friends and enemies — followed each other into my mind before I could form the words with my mouth.

"When did it happen, Mike? And how —"

"Sometime in the last fifteen to twenty hours — I'll fill you in when you get here. We got the call just after midnight. Stabbed six times. Collapsed a lung, must have hit a couple of major organs. The killer left her for dead, soaked in blood, but she actually held on for a bit. We got her as a 'likely to die.' And she did, before we got anywhere near the hospital."

Likely to die. An unfortunate name for a category of cases handled by Manhattan's elite homicide squad. Victims whose condition is so extreme when police officers reach the crime scene that no matter what herculean efforts are undertaken by medics and clerics, the next stop for these bodies is undoubtedly the morgue.

Stop wasting time, I chided myself. You'll know more than you ever wanted to know about all of this after a few hours with Chapman and Wallace.

"I can be there in less than forty-five minutes."

I got out of bed and closed the window, raising the Duette shade to look out from my apartment on the twentieth floor of an Upper East Side high-rise across the city as it began to come awake on this gray and grisly day. I have always enjoyed the crisp chill of autumn, leading as it does into the winter holiday season and the snowy blankets of January and February. My favorite months are April and May, when the city parks blossom with the green buds of springtime and the promise of warmer days of summer. So as I scanned the horizon and saw only a bleak and cheerless palette, I figured that Gemma Dogen might also have scoffed at the great poets and agreed with my personal view that March, in fact, is the cruelest month.

Copyright ©1997 by Linda Fairstein

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One The answering machine kicked in a fourth irritating echo from the insistent caller. I listened to my recorded voice announce that I was not available to come to the phone right now, as little hammers pounded furiously inside my head. The last Dewar's of the evening had been unnecessary.

I cocked an eye to glance at the illuminated dial glowing an eerie shade of green in the still dark room. It read 5:38 A.M.

"If you're screening, Coop, pick it up. C'mon, kid."

I was unmoved, and mercifully not on duty this morning.

"It's early and it's cold, but don't leave me dangling at the end of the only working phone booth in Manhattan when I'm trying to do you a favor. Pick it up, Blondie. Don't give me that 'unavailable' stuff. Last I knew you were the most available broad in town."

"Good morning, Detective Chapman, and thank you for that vote of confidence," I murmured into the receiver as I brought my arm back under the comforter to keep it warm while I listened to Mike. Too bad I'd cracked open a window for some fresh air before going to sleep. The room was frigid.

"I got something for you. A big one, if you're ready to get back in the saddle again."

I winced at Chapman's reminder that I had not picked up any serious investigations for almost five months. My involvement last fall in the murder case of my friend, the actress Isabella Lascar, had derailed me professionally. It had prompted the District Attorney to direct the reassignment of most of my trial load, so I had taken a long vacation when the killer was caught. Mike had accused me of coasting through the winter season and avoiding the kinds of difficult matters that we had worked on together so often in the past.

"What have you got?" I asked him.

"Oh, no. This isn't one of those 'run it by me and if it's sexy enough I'll keep it' cases, Miss Cooper. You either accept this mission on faith, or I do this, the legitimate way and call whichever one of your mopes is on the homicide chart today. There'll be some eager beaver looking to get his teeth into this -- I can't help it if he won't happen to know the difference between DNA and NBC. At least he won't be afraid to --"

"All right, all right." Chapman had just said the magic word and I was sitting straight up in bed now. I wasn't certain if I was shivering because of the bitterly cold air that was blowing in from outdoors, or because I was frightened by the prospect of plunging back into the violent landscape of rapists and murderers that had dominated my professional life for almost a decade.

"Is that a yes, Blondie? You with us on this one?"

"I promise to sound more enthusiastic after some coffee, Mike. Yes, I'm with you." His exuberance at this moment would be offensive to anyone outside the family of police and prosecutors who worked in the same orbit as he did, since it was fueled by the unnatural death of a human being. The only comfort it offered was the fact that the particular murder victim in question would be the undistracted focus of the best homicide detective in the business: Mike Chapman.

"Great. Now, get out of bed, suit up, take a few Advil for that hangover --"

"Is that just a guess, Dr. Holmes, or do you have me under surveillance?"

"Mercer told me he was in your office yesterday. Got an overheard on your evening plans -- Knicks game with your law school friends, followed by supper in the bar at '21.' Elementary, Miss Cooper. The only thing he couldn't figure was whether we'd be interrupting any steamy bedroom scene with a call at this hour. I assured him that we'd be the first to know when you gave up on abstinence."

I ignored the shot and welcomed the news that Mercer Wallace would be part of the team. A former homicide cop, he was my best investigator at the Special Victims Squad, where he caught all the major serial rape cases and pattern crimes.

"Before you use up your quarter, are you going to fill me in on this one and give me a clue about how to sell it to my boss?"

Paul Battaglia hated it when detectives shopped around his office to pull in their favorite assistant district attorneys to work on complex criminal matters. For the twenty years that he'd been the District Attorney of New York County, he had operated with an on-call system -- known as the homicide chart -- so that for every twenty-four-hour period, every day of the year, a senior prosecutor was on standby and ready to assist in the investigation of murder cases in any way that the NYPD considered useful. Questioning suspects, drafting search warrants, authorizing arrests, and interviewing witnesses -- all of the tasks fell to the assistant D.A. who was "on the chart" and had the first significant contact with the police.

"You're a natural for this one, Alex. No kidding. The deceased was sexually assaulted. Mercer's right -- we really need your guidance on this one." Chapman was referring to the fact that I am the bureau chief in charge of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit -- Battaglia's pet project that specializes in the sensitive handling of victims of rape and abuse. Often, since many of those crimes escalated to murder, my colleagues and I were designated to handle the ensuing investigations and trials.

I was stretching across to the drawer of the night table to find this month's homicide chart, to check whether I'd be stepping on the toes of one of the D.A.'s fair-haired boys, and how much flak I'd be heading for. "Well, until eight o'clock this morning, Eddie Fremont is catching."

"Oh, no, you gotta save me from him," Mike responded. "Son of a senator. That's about as useful as having my mother at the station house. Fremont's a whackjob of the first order -- I don't think he'd know probable cause if it bit him in the ass."

Chapman often did a stand-up comic routine at the bar at Forlini's, the courthouse watering hole, with the monthly calendar and chart in his hand, calling out the name of the assigned assistants and reliving some embarrassing episode from the career of each of us as he rolled off the dates. Fremont was an easy target, one of those brilliant students with impeccable academic credentials that simply failed to translate to the courtroom. Everyone assumed he had been hired as a "contract," because his father, the former senior senator from Indiana, had been Paul Battaglia's roommate at Columbia Law School.

"Or if you wait until a few minutes after eight, you can have Laurie Deitcher," I countered, aware that she would be responsible for decisions on anything coming in during the next twenty-four hours.

"The Princess? Never again, Blondie. The only time I had a high-profile case with her, it was a disaster. During the lunch hour, instead of prepping witnesses and outlining her cross-examinations, she'd make us wait in the hallway while she plugged in her hot rollers and troweled on some more makeup. Then she'd belly up to the jury box like she was Norma Desmond ready for her close-up. She looked great for the cameras, but the friggin' perp walked. Nope. You just call Battaglia and tell him Wallace and I woke you up in the middle of the night because you were the only person who could answer our questions. Hang tough with him, Cooper. This is your case."

"Like what kind of questions, Mike?"

"Like can you tell if she was raped before she was killed or after? Like does establishing the time of death have anything to do with the speed at which the sperm deteriorates, because of interference from her body fluids?"

"Now you're talking my language. Of course he'll let me keep a case like that. What do you need from me?"

"I think you'll want to get down here as soon as you can. Have your video guys meet us, too. The Crime Scene Unit has already processed the room and taken photos, but they had to move really fast. I'm just worried we all may have overlooked something that might turn out to be important, so I'd like your crew to go over the whole area and record it. Once the story breaks, the place'll be crawling with press and we won't be able to preserve it."

"Back up, Mike, and start at the top. Where are you?"

"Mid-Manhattan Medical Center. Sixth floor of the Minuit Building." East Forty-eighth Street, right off the FDR Drive. The oldest and largest medical compound in the city. The victim must have been transported there for an attempt at treatment after she was found.

"Well, where shall I meet you? Where's the scene?"

"I just told you. The sixth floor at Mid-Manhattan."

"You mean the victim was killed in the hospital?"

"Raped and killed in the hospital. Big wheel. Head of the neurosurgery department at the medical college, brain surgeon, professor. Name's Gemma Dogen."

After ten years at my job, there were very few things that surprised me, but this news was shocking.

I had always thought of hospitals as sanctuaries, places for healing the sick and wounded, comforting and easing the days of the terminally ill. I had been in and out of Mid-Manhattan countless times, visiting witnesses as well as training medical personnel in the treatment of sexual assault survivors. Its original red-brick buildings, almost a century old, had been restored to recapture the look of the antiquated sanitarium, and generous patrons of more recent times had lent their family names to a handful of granite skyscrapers that housed the latest in medical technology and a superb teaching facility -- the Minuit Medical College.

The familiar knots that tied and untied themselves in my stomach whenever I received news of a senseless crime and a sacrificed human existence took over control from the pounding noise inside my head. I began to conjure mental images of Dr. Dogen, and scores of questions -- about her life and death, her career and family, her friends and enemies -- followed each other into my mind before I could form the words with my mouth.

"When did it happen, Mike? And how --"

"Sometime in the last fifteen to twenty hours -- I'll fill you in when you get here. We got the call just after midnight. Stabbed six times. Collapsed a lung, must have hit a couple of major organs. The killer left her for dead, soaked in blood, but she actually held on for a bit. We got her as a 'likely to die.' And she did, before we got anywhere near the hospital."

Likely to die. An unfortunate name for a category of cases handled by Manhattan's elite homicide squad. Victims whose condition is so extreme when police officers reach the crime scene that no matter what herculean efforts are undertaken by medics and clerics, the next stop for these bodies is undoubtedly the morgue.

Stop wasting time, I chided myself. You'll know more than you ever wanted to know about all of this after a few hours with Chapman and Wallace.

"I can be there in less than forty-five minutes."

I got out of bed and closed the window, raising the Duette shade to look out from my apartment on the twentieth floor of an Upper East Side high-rise across the city as it began to come awake on this gray and grisly day. I have always enjoyed the crisp chill of autumn, leading as it does into the winter holiday season and the snowy blankets of January and February. My favorite months are April and May, when the city parks blossom with the green buds of springtime and the promise of warmer days of summer. So as I scanned the horizon and saw only a bleak and cheerless palette, I figured that Gemma Dogen might also have scoffed at the great poets and agreed with my personal view that March, in fact, is the cruelest month.

Copyright ©1997 by Linda Fairstein

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Reading Group Guide

LIKELY TO DIE

1. In what ways are Alex and the murdered doctor, Gemma Dogen, alike or dislike? Given their outward similarities, do you think that Gemma's death has any special resonance for Alex?

2. Although this story is fictional, it reveals some pretty unsettling things about the security of big-city hospitals. Did the novel change how you think about this world?

3. What connections does Alex have to the world of medicine? Do these connections influence the way that she pursues this case?

4. How would you describe Alex and Mike Chapman's relationship? What makes them such a great duo? This story places them in especially close proximity while they are in England. Why do you think their relationship remains platonic? Do you find yourself rooting for them to get together?

5. There's a lot we learn in this novel — from the changes in rape laws over the last twenty-five years to the kinds of women that make the best jurors in date rape trials. How does learning about the law and the way that crimes are prosecuted affect your reading of the story?

6. On the surface, Alex seems like the kind of person who would enjoy letting off steam with a sport like kick boxing, but instead she is drawn to the world of ballet. What makes ballet so appealing to her? Is it a good fit for her character?

7. At one point in the story, Chapman comments on the murders and remarks, "We're all likely to die" (p. 282). What point is he trying to make? Where else does this phrase appear and how is it important to the story?

8. While inviting Alex to a dinner, her friend Joan chides her, "don't be a sex crimes prosecutor tonight...be a girl" (p.200). Do you agree with Joan that sometimes Alex forgets to be a girl?

9. The media is an important presence in Alex's world, despite the fact that she is often at odds with it. How do the reporters that constantly dog her heels add to the flavor of the book — and help move the story along?

10. On their flight to England, Alex and Chapman talk about famous people whom they admire and whose shoes they'd like to stand in. What people did each of them choose, and what do their picks say about them?

11. In the acknowledgments, Linda Fairstein tells us that "every crime in this book is based on an actual event." Does learning this change your perception of the novel?

12. At a pretty crucial point in the investigation, Alex and Chapman are sent off to England for a conference. How does this interlude serve the novel? Did it break up the story or enhance it?

13. Why does Alex come so uncharacteristically unglued when she learns about the connection between Drew Renaud and Gemma Dogen?

LINDA FAIRSTEIN, America's foremost legal expert on crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence, led the Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's Office in Manhattan for twenty-five years. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, she is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Virginia School of Law. Her first novel, Final Jeopardy, introduced the critically acclaimed character of Alexandra Cooper and was made into an ABC Movie of the Week starring Dana Delaney. The celebrated series has gone on to include the New York Times bestsellers Likely to Die, Cold Hit, The Deadhouse (winner of the Nero Wolfe Award for Best Crime Novel of 2001, and chosen as a "Best Book of 2001" by both The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times), The Bone Vault, The Kills, Entombed, Death Dance, and Bad Blood. Her novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Her nonfiction book, Sexual Violence, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She lives with her husband in Manhattan and on Martha's Vineyard.

Visit her website at www.lindafairstein.com.

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays


Before the live bn.com chat, Linda Fairstein agreed to answer some of our questions.

Q: You've worked in the D.A.'s office in New York for more than 20 years. Clearly you know a thing or two about what goes on in a courtroom and behind the scenes during a trial. What writer (or writers) do you think do the best job of conveying the reality behind the public image?

A: Hmmm. I think Scott Turow does it brilliantly.... Yes, in terms of "courtroom thrillers," as opposed to general legal novels, I think Scott Turow and Richard North Patterson are the best.

Q: Okay, now the flip side. Without, well, naming names, what's the most ridiculous thing you've ever read about the legal profession?

A: Frequently over the last 25 years, writers have asked to "shadow" us, to study what we do and how we do it. Because I love the book world, I love doing it. But typically you spend a tremendous amount of time trying to give them the reality of how this all works, and usually they go ahead and write the stereotypical Hollywood moment anyhow. For example, in the novel I'm reading now, after studying the trial process, the writer had the idea that the night before final summations, the defense attorney would come to the prosecutor's house with a pizza and a bottle of wine to try to "calm her down." So there's this scene in which the wine is flowing, and they're making love on the carpet, and I'm screaming, "No, no, no!"

Q: I'm sure that once in a while you want to escape from the legal profession altogether. What do you read when you feel like running away from it all?

A: I love biographies. I'm currently reading Katharine Graham's Personal History and Henry Grunwald's One Man's America. I always go back to mysteries -- I eat them like candy. And I love 19th-century literary fiction, like Trollope.

Q: It's midnight and you're still in your office. What kind of food do you call out for?

A: There is nothing in this neighborhood to call out for. Really. City Hall is in the bowels of Manhattan. So I have to hit the vending machines, usually for microwave popcorn or M&Ms.

Q: And your caffeinated beverage of choice?

A: Diet Coke by the vatload.

Q: What's the one question you really wish someone would ask you in one of these things?

A: Whether my own life is more interesting than my character Alexandra Cooper's.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Guide

LIKELY TO DIE

1. In what ways are Alex and the murdered doctor, Gemma Dogen, alike or dislike? Given their outward similarities, do you think that Gemma's death has any special resonance for Alex?

2. Although this story is fictional, it reveals some pretty unsettling things about the security of big-city hospitals. Did the novel change how you think about this world?

3. What connections does Alex have to the world of medicine? Do these connections influence the way that she pursues this case?

4. How would you describe Alex and Mike Chapman's relationship? What makes them such a great duo? This story places them in especially close proximity while they are in England. Why do you think their relationship remains platonic? Do you find yourself rooting for them to get together?

5. There's a lot we learn in this novel — from the changes in rape laws over the last twenty-five years to the kinds of women that make the best jurors in date rape trials. How does learning about the law and the way that crimes are prosecuted affect your reading of the story?

6. On the surface, Alex seems like the kind of person who would enjoy letting off steam with a sport like kick boxing, but instead she is drawn to the world of ballet. What makes ballet so appealing to her? Is it a good fit for her character?

7. At one point in the story, Chapman comments on the murders and remarks, "We're all likely to die" (p. 282). What point is he trying to make? Where else does this phrase appear and how is it important to the story?

8. While inviting Alex to a dinner, her friend Joan chides her, "don't be a sex crimes prosecutor tonight...be a girl" (p. 200). Do you agree with Joan that sometimes Alex forgets to be a girl?

9. The media is an important presence in Alex's world, despite the fact that she is often at odds with it. How do the reporters that constantly dog her heels add to the flavor of the book — and help move the story along?

10. On their flight to England, Alex and Chapman talk about famous people whom they admire and whose shoes they'd like to stand in. What people did each of them choose, and what do their picks say about them?

11. In the acknowledgments, Linda Fairstein tells us that "every crime in this book is based on an actual event." Does learning this change your perception of the novel?

12. At a pretty crucial point in the investigation, Alex and Chapman are sent off to England for a conference. How does this interlude serve the novel? Did it break up the story or enhance it?

13. Why does Alex come so uncharacteristically unglued when she learns about the connection between Drew Renaud and Gemma Dogen?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2000

    I liked it very much

    I enjoyed reading 'Likely to Die' very much. I could not put it down. It kept me in suspense thru out the who book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2001

    Great Reading

    This was a very suspenseful book with great characters. Many twists and turns kept it interesting and it was difficult to solve who killed Gemma.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Likely to Die

    This is the second book that I read of this author and I think I like her. The book held my attention and was a good read. I'm not sure I'd recommend it to young readers due to the sexual content and explicit descriptions of the characters love-making.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Edge of Your Seat Action

    Fast paced medical drama!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Good,but....

    Good read, as always, though not my favorite of the series. This one needed a much heavier hand in editing, plus I believe that scenes were omitted in the nook edition. Witing improves dramatically in later books of the series. I'll keep reading them!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 12, 2011

    must read

    All of Linda Fairstein's books are excellent and this is no exception.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)