Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bookish Thoughts: Mini Reviews

I got this crazy idea in my head that I needed to get caught up in Linda Fairstein’s Alex Cooper mystery series before reading her most recent, Night Watch. I hadn’t realized I was so far behind. Still, I crammed in three of her books so I wouldn’t be behind. Not that it was a hardship. I have followed the series for the past several years, joining in on Assistance District Attorney Alex Cooper’s exploits, groaning at Homicide Detective Mike Chapman’s jokes, and wishing I had a friend like Special Victim’s Detective Wallace Mercer.

For those not familiar with the series, Alexandra Cooper is a prosector and the head of the Special Victim's Unit in the New York District Attorney's office, mostly dealing with sex related crimes.  She has her share of cases involving dead bodies and intricate investigations.  Alex is not a particular favorite of mine as far as protagonists go, but I enjoy my time with her. The real draw for me to Linda Fairstein’s books has always been the insider history on various New York City landmarks. And I love the cases Alex works on the side. They are often tied to current events and provide an interesting look into the court process. Murder is often at the heart of Linda Fairstein’s novels; and this proved to be the case in the three most recent books I read by her.

I have to say, I don’t know what it was—the books or me or a combination of both—but whatever it was, I had such fun catching up with Alex and friends. They are the best in the series yet. For once I actually didn’t find Mike Chapman all that annoying. And I have a new found respect for Alex.

Legal Legacy (Doubleday, 2009; 384 pgs) – Of the three, I liked this one the most. As much as I enjoy reading about and can relate to office politics and jurisdiction issues, it’s nice to get away from that now and then. Legal Legacy had much more to do about the actual mystery this round, and I really appreciated it. Learning about the New York Public Library and exploring some of the history of old books and maps was an added bonus.


Hell Gate (Dutton Adult, 2010; 400 pgs) – This particular book, the twelfth in the series, is steeped in politics. And it should be given politicians are at the center of the crime—or so it appears for at least one of crimes. Not only do we have government politics, but also office politics. It was an eye opener to see just how much one influenced the other in the district attorney’s office. The story that most grabbed me though was the one dealing with human trafficking, a very real problem that has been kept on the back burner too long.


Silent Mercy (Dutton Adult, 2011; 400 pgs)– I enjoyed this legal thriller on many levels. Religion has always interested me and here it comes to the forefront as recent serial murders seem to have a religious theme. There was also a clear feminist tie in—which I just loved--the whole women in church leadership roles, of which I am a staunch supporter. Like in the previous book, politics played a large part in the story, this time pointing out the strong connections between religious leaders and the government. I especially relished visiting the various churches in Silent Mercy—getting to know the history of such old buildings of worship and the various hands they have passed through over the years.

Now on to Night Watch . . . I hear I'd better bring my appetite!


To learn more about the Linda Fairstein and her books, please visit the author's website.

Source: I bought all three books for my reading pleasure.  I read the hardcover edition of  Legal Legacy; and Hell Gate and Silent Mercy in e-book format.

© 2012, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

8 comments:

  1. How wonderful to have only had 3 to read to catch up! LOL

    I've read the first two books in this series many years ago and keep meaning to read more. Still haven't been able to bring myself to just pick up the current one and read. I really should do that as it's unlikely I'll catch up completely. Sigh. Series. Bane of my existence. :-)

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    1. Kay - It felt like a lot when I was on the other end of it! LOL But still doable so I tried. I'm just glad I succeeded!

      To be honest, I wasn't sure I would stick with the series early on, but for some reason, I did. It's been worth it.

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  2. I've only read a few books from that series but I did enjoy them. I'm looking forward to this one too.

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    1. Kathy - I started Night Watch last night and so far so good!

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  3. I just picked up the first book in this series from the library! I haven't had a chance to read her yet but I'm looking forward to finding the time to read it soon :) I'm in the mood for a good thriller!!

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    1. Sam - I hope you like it! I confess, I wasn't impressed with the first book and almost didn't continue on with the series. But then I read an article by the author about her career and decided to give her another try. Fourteen books later, I'm so glad I did!

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  4. It sounds like this was an awesome series for you and that you had fun with it all the way through. I am glad that you found something that you enjoyed so much, and that you shared it with us! GReat reviews today!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! I have enjoyed the series for the most part. In my experience, it's common for series to start out strong and then start to go downhill after awhile. It seems to the opposite in this case. These latest few books in the series have been so good!

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