The Barnes & Noble Review
As Linda Fairstein's numerous fans already know, her Alexandra Cooper novels (Cold Hit, The Deadhouse, The Bone Vault) are a skillful blendof fast-paced action and gripping story development. Fairstein uses a deft touch to fuse complex plots with believable characters in order to produce outstanding thrillers.
This time out, sex crimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper finds herself immersed in two convoluted cases: a date-rape involving a 36-year-old woman and a suspect who also stands accused of abusing his own son; and the murder of an elderly woman named Queenie Ransome, a former WWII spy who stole an Egyptian treasure so valuable it has attracted the attention of both the CIA and the Mob.
In a neat double twist, the book's title refers to both the murderous mayhem of the story and the channels feeding into New York Harbor. Fairstein has done her homework, unearthing several fascinating historical tidbits about World War II, New York City, and even the legendary King Farouk. Beautifully crafted, expertly paced, and graced with a mesmerizing narrative voice, The Kills is dynamic crime fiction at its best. Tom Piccirilli
''The hardest thing about these cases was convincing a jury that a felony had actually taken place,'' writes Fairstein, who makes the legal issues more exciting than any high-speed chase.
The New York Times
The narrative is blessedly free of plot-point repetition as Fairstein adopts a "less is more" approach, letting the dialogue do most of the work. Cooper is strong without being overbearing, professional without being overly hardened, but ultimately her personality takes a backseat to the complexities of the plot and the fruit of Fairstein's in-depth historical research. The Kills is a superior piece of entertainment, the latest demonstration of an author carving out a prime spot among writers of suspense fiction.
The Washington Post
The title of the newest installment in Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper crime series (The Bone Vault; The Deadhouse; Final Jeopardy) refers not only to the several bodies that turn up in the course of the novel but to the creeks and channels that crisscross the watery periphery of Lower Manhattan. From her downtown office-and with the aid of NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace-the doughty assistant DA tackles a complicated case, the rape of 36-year-old Paige Vallis. Psychotic Andrew Tripping is accused of the rape as well as of the physical and mental abuse of his own 10-year-old son, Dulles. While trying to convince a jury of Tripping's guilt, Alex is handed another kill, this one the suffocation of elderly Harlem Renaissance dancer McQueen Ransome. Queenie turns out to have a fascinating history, having been both an espionage agent in WWII and the mistress of the legendary Night Crawler, King Farouk of Egypt. On her way out of the palace door, Queenie pocketed enough of the king's treasure to set her up for life, which finally gets her killed. There are complications in the form of CIA agents, crooked lawyers, smalltime hoods and a surrounding cast of friends, lovers and enemies, all adding texture and realism to the story. Alex survives several attempts on her life and sleuths her way to a solution of both murders while untangling the knotted history that connects them. Fairstein's style and skills have matured over the years, making this a consistently dependable series with a likable and intelligent heroine. (Jan. 6) Forecast: The author's last several outings have been bestsellers and there's no indication that this one won't join them. Look for her on an extensive 11-city author tour including an appearance on the Today Show. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Appealing Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper is back for a fifth adventure (after The Bone Vault), and this time out, the D.A. and her sidekicks, cops Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, are involved in a complicated mix of crime all set against Fairstein's usual New York City backdrop. Paige Vallis accuses Andrew Tripping of raping her, and Alex is prosecuting. Then the elderly McQueen Ransome is found murdered in her tenement apartment. These events don't seem to be related until Alex and her cohorts discover that Paige's father worked for the U.S. Foreign Service in Egypt in the 1950s and that, at the same time, McQueen gathered intelligence for the U.S. government as Egyptian King Farouk's mistress; the plot thickens when Paige is found murdered. This is a typical Alex Cooper thriller: fast-paced, with lots of New York City detail and a nice, twisted plot. Alex still has her television anchor boyfriend and her second home on Martha's Vineyard but seems more grounded in reality this time. Recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/03.]-Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A pair of mysteriously related high-profile cases take Alexandra Cooper (The Bone Vault, 2002, etc.) far from her bailiwick as Manhattan's chief prosecutor of sex crimes. It all starts with investment banker Paige Vallis's accusation of rape against her recent acquaintance, ex-CIA consultant Andrew Tripping. Tripping coerced her into sex, she maintains, by threatening to hurt his terrified ten-year-old son Dulles she refused. Since Paige's story is, to say the least, unusual, and since Dulles has been spirited off to a foster home nobody will identify for Alex-although his father's already visited the boy-the case against Tripping needs all the help it can get. Enter Kevin Bessemer, Tripping's cellmate at Rikers Island, who's willing to testify against him. And then, just as suddenly, exit Bessemer, vanished in the company of his feisty underage girlfriend Tiffany Gatts while the cops are transporting him to Manhattan. Signs of the fugitives soon turn up in an unexpected place: the apartment of McQueen Ransome, a storied exotic dancer apparently raped before she was murdered at the age of 82. Up to now, Fairstein has kept her stream of lurid surprises tautly disciplined. But with the revelation that McQueen, as the former mistress of Egypt's King Farouk half a century ago, may have been in possession of a fabulous treasure that was the real motive for her death, the tale spins into the realm of wildly inventive but frankly incredible fantasy. As Alex struggles to keep her footing while she hops from terrorist insinuations to royal booty to rogue CIA operatives, you have to wonder if she doesn't share your nostalgia for the time when the forcible violation of women's bodies wasn'tunspeakable enough-the time when she was prosecuting Andrew Tripping for rape. A no-holds-barred adventure populated with enough high-livers and lowlifes to keep its corps of cops, Feds, and counselors busy for months. Agent: Esther Newberg/ICM. Author tour
"A superior piece of entertainment."
The Washington Post
"Fairstein...makes the legal issues more exciting than any high-speed chase."
Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
Kathy Reichs Fairstein has the expertise and the experience, and it shows. The Kills is a white-knuckle ride through the back roads of history, the side streets of New York, and the chilling world of unbounded greed.
John Sandford Linda Fairstein's knowledge of the criminal justice system explodes on these pages seamlessly plotted, spiked by razor-sharp dialogue and the knowledge of a lifelong insider.