Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Devil's Bridge: An Alexandra Cooper thriller by Linda Fairstein

Series: Alexandra Cooper
ISBN-10: 0525953892 - Hardcover $28
  • Publisher: Dutton (August 11, 2015), 384 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley.

The blurb:
The Manhattan waterfront is one of New York City’s most magnificent vistas, boasting both the majestic Statue of Liberty and the George Washington Bridge, the world’s busiest span for motor vehicles.  But inDevil’s Bridge, Detective Mike Chapman will discover the peril that lurks along this seemingly benign expanse as he takes on his most personal case yet:  the disappearance of Alex Cooper.

Coop’s sudden disappearance is fraught with terrifying complications:  scores of enemies she has made after a decade of putting criminals behind bars; a recent security breach with dangerous repercussions; and a new intimacy in her relationship with Mike, causing the Police Commissioner himself to be wary of the methods Mike will use to get Coop back... if he can. 

Once again, Linda Fairstein proves why she is “one of the best crime fiction writers in America today” with her most intense Alexandra Cooper novel yet. 

I'd discovered Linda Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper series during BEA 2014 with her thriller Terminal City which was set at Grand Central Station.  I soon read as many of her earlier novels as I could get my hands on.  

Alexandra Cooper is a Deputy District Attorney of New York who specializes in sex crimes or what appears on television as SVU.  Cooper and Homicide Detective Mike Chapman have a long standing professional relationship.  They bicker, they support each other, they face down politicians, dangerous criminals and terrifying situations together.  

In Devil's Bridge,  Coop and Chapman are getting used to their new romance.  Excited to be with each other,  unwilling to impose rules or demands,  there's a lot that is new to these old friends.  So, when after an awful day at work, Mike doesn't hear from Coop, he gives her some space.  It takes some time before he realizes that she might be in danger.

This time Fairstein tells the story from Mike Chapman's point of view as he desperately tries to piece together what happened the night that Coop disappears.  His investigation takes him back to the early years of Hell's Kitchen as well as to the murky waters of City Hall. We learn more about Alex Cooper through Mike Chapman's eyes and about Mike's past, it's easier to understand why Coop keeps him a priority in her life. 

Some of Fairstein's characters are remind us of the famous, political and notorious in present day New York City.  We encounter references to the mayor's wife's chief of staff whose anti-police stance and relationship with a convicted murderer interferes with a murder investigation, to a corrupt reverend that squeezes himself into volatile situations to push his political agenda,  and to  a self--aggrandizing politician whose policies have caused friction with the NYPD and may have resulted in the increase in crime in NYC.  Fairstein's jabs at this fictional mayor resonate with readers disappointed in the current NYC mayor and those looking forward to a change of administration.  

Devil's Bridge kept me riveted throughout two long flights and the cab ride back to Brooklyn. I'm looking forward to the next in the Alexandra Cooper series. 

About the Author:
Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney's office in Manhattan for more than two decades and is America's foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her Alexandra Cooper novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She lives in Manhattan and on Martha's Vineyard.

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