Friday, October 3, 2008

Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein

I have been a fan of Linda Fairstein and her Alexandra Cooper series for a long time. I don't know when I started reading her books, but I've read all of them and thoroughly enjoy each one. I think this is one of the best mystery series out there - great characters and relationships, interesting and unique situations, along with great mysteries that are both realistic and interesting.

The latest in the series is Killer Heat. From Publishers Weekly: At the start of bestseller Fairstein's nail-biting 10th legal thriller to feature alter ego Alex Cooper (after 2006's Bad Blood), the Manhattan ADA takes a hit from a cigar at the urging of her longtime police ally, Mike Chapman—to cover the stench of a badly decomposed female body at a crime scene in an abandoned building near the Staten Island ferry. The victim later proves to be the first of a number of women in uniform targeted by the murderer, who may have military ties in his past. The trail leads to a notorious bar catering to underage drinkers, before a chance observation by a civilian shifts the inquiry dramatically. Meanwhile, Cooper is preparing to try Floyd Warren, a rapist whose first trial three decades earlier ended in a hung jury. Fairstein, whose professional résumé includes groundbreaking work in the field of sex crimes prosecution, manages to both entertain and educate, as Cooper struggles with the evidentiary challenges of the Warren rape case and with tracking a vicious serial killer.

This was a good addition to the series, but not the best. The mystery kept me intrigued but not glued to the book as it has in the past. And this one is definitely a 'series book' as you don't get any back story on the characters, nor are the relationships explored very much.

Any good mystery has at it's core a great plot and this book does that very well. However, the great mysteries, whether in a series or not, has good character and relationship development. In my opinion the previous Alex Cooper novels do both plot and character well, while Hell Bent left me wanting a bit more.

I am rating this as four stars because it's an interesting plot that keeps you wanting to know more, but it's not five stars like I've rated the last few in the series due to the lack of further character development.

If you've not read any of Linda Fairstein's novels and are a mystery series fan, I do highly recommend them! Start with Final Jeopardy. I promise you will enjoy the series. If you are already a fan of this series, I do recommend reading it. It's a good addition to the series, just not a great one.

Rating: 4/5 stars


Anonymous said...

I read my first Fairstein book this summer - "The Kills" - and enjoyed it. I need to find the time to read more of her work.

Anonymous said...

I have been wanting to read one of Linda Fairstein's books and just haven't found the time. :(

Michele said...

I definitely recommend, as you can imagine, starting at the beginning. The character development happens over time but they are some great characters that stick with you. I thoroughly enjoy this series!