Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bad Blood by Linda Fairstein

Bad Blood by Linda Fairstein
Scribner, 2007
Crime Fiction (Legal Thriller); 397 pgs

Started: 02/05/2008
Completed: 02/07/2008
Rating: * (Good +)

First Sentence: I was alone in the courtroom, sitting at counsel’s table with a single slim folder opened before me.

Reason for Reading: Alex Cooper and I go way back. I enjoy the author’s series and thought this one would be a good one to read on toward putting another notch on my belt for Kathrin's Series Challenge.

Comments: I admit that I was not too impressed with Final Jeopardy, the first book in the Alexandra Cooper series, however, after reading an article about the author in a book magazine that detailed her career as both a prosecutor with the district attorney’s office in Manhattan and a writer, I decided to give her another try. The series has become one of my favorites over the years, each book getting better and better as the characters grow and evolve.

Bad Blood is the 9th book in the Alexandra Cooper, assistant district attorney in New York City, series. Alex Cooper is about as ready as she can be in her recent case. The daughter of a successful businessman, Amanda Quillian, was strangled in her upscale townhouse, and her husband, Brendan, is on trial for her murder. He has hired one of the most prominent defense attorneys in the area, and his attorney is not about to let anything slip by him without a fight.

An explosion in a New York water tunnel shakes the city barely a week into the trial, killing three men. Police rush in to determine whether the explosion was an accident or intentional. After the Twin Towers bombing, any explosion or threat to the city is taken even more seriously than ever before. The threat of terrorism is very real. Pulled into the investigation by a strange twist that may or may not be related to the defendant she has on trial, Alex is soon traveling over 600 feet into the earth and into parts of New York she did not know existed. Nothing is quite what it seems and the deeper she digs, the more dangerous things become. Joined by her sidekicks, homicide Detective Mike Chapman and Detective Mercer Wallace, Alex is sure she can uncover the truth.

One of my favorite features in Linda Fairstein’s is how the author takes a piece of New York history and weaves it into her modern day murder thriller. In Bad Blood, she takes readers underground, into New York City’s water system and subway tubes sharing their history and also offering a glimpse into the dangerous work of the sandhogs, the people who work in the tunnels.

Bad Blood is one of those fast-paced stay up late novels. Linda Fairstein has succeeded in writing another legal thriller that is pure entertainment and fun.

Stop in and visit the author's website.


  1. I still haven't read one by Fairstein. Ugh! Glad to know that you're still enjoying them at #9.

  2. I've read a few mysteries that have lawyers as their main characters and never was very impressed. I have heard of Linda Fairstein before though.

    The thought of being underground kind of creeps me out which might have something to do with the short story I read last night where this PI goes into the Undercity of NY to rescue a girl he's tracking from some kind of Grendel monster. Very creepy!

  3. I've read one of her books and enjoyed it but cannot think of the name of it! Grr.

  4. I've read a few of hers but had stopped for some reason. This one might be worth picking up though, so thanks for the head's up!

    In the meantime, though, I've got to finish the ARC of "A Carrion Death," which I'm absolutely loving. Comes out in March, set in Botswana, but the hero (the gigantic Detective "Kubu," i.e., hippo) is more like a Setswana version of Donna Leon's Det. Brunetti than like Mma Ramotswe, if that makes any sense.

  5. I have not read anything by Linda Fairstein, but this sounds like a good read. Wendy, it seems like you've been reading a lot of crime thrillers recently, not that I'm complaining, hehe. ;)

  6. I've never really gotten into legal thrillers but maybe I just haven't read a good one you know... One where the character pulls you in. I'll have to look into this series. Great review Wendy!

  7. Joy - This is one of those series that has been going on long enough where I can say I've seen the author grow.

    Jen - Some legal thrillers are better than others. I haven't read too many of them myself as I tend to gravitate towards the PI's, police procedurals or the amateur sleuths. Reporters are fairly new to me as well, and I am finding I enjoy those quite a bit as well.

    I'm not sure I would want to go into the tunnels under New York, but they sure do sound amazing at times, especially the old train tunnels and stations.

    Carrie - I wonder which one you read. I have her upcoming book sitting on my shelf here to read. I'm really looking forward to it.

    Clea - Her earlier books were so similar in formula and style. I was glad when Linda Fairstein broke her pattern a bit. My favorite part of her books besides the history of the city are her little side stories that she sometimes sprinkles in between the main story. I read somewhere that she uses real life stories, which make them even more interesting in my mind. This particular book only had the one side story, but it was interesting.

    I will have to keep my eye out for A Carrion Death. It sounds good! Thank you for the recommendation!

    Melody - I think you might like Linda Fairstein's books. You can read any of them without reading them in order and be fine.

    I have been reading a lot of crime fiction lately. I seem to be going through a mystery phase. :-) I took a break and read The Translator, but I'm heading straight back to the mysteries again. I hope my non-mystery readers will forgive me!

    Iliana - You should give Alex a try! It took me a little while to warm to her, I admit. I think it's because she doesn't quite have that edge that I like in female protagonists. She's getting there though. :-)

  8. I read a couple of her books and then haven't caught up in quite some time. I may have to hop ahead and read this one. Good review!

  9. This is funny, in a way.

    My sister was just telling me that I need to read her books.

    Guess I'll have to, now.


  10. Great review! Every time I see this book I'm ready to pick it up but then I think I already have it at home. Kind of the opposite from buying book doubles. Next time I will definitely get it!

  11. Kay - Thanks! This is one of the few series I manage to stay somewhat on top of--maybe a year behind sometimes, but I do try. You should be fine jumping ahead to this one.

    CJ - Definitely give her a try and see what you think. :-)

    Jaimie - How funny! That happened to me too with this book! I wonder what it is . . . Luckily I did have it at home on my shelf all this time, but there were quite a few times, I almost bought it thinking I didn't have it.


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