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on 21 August 1997
In this second novel by Linda Fairstein the writing style is better and the story is superb. Alex Cooper is back and better than ever. You travel with her on her journey in finding the killer of talented physician. The suspense starts with the first call to come to the doctor's office and investigate the crime scene and follows thoughout the twists and turns of this wonderful book. Mike Chapman is back and the sexual tension with him and Alex is still under the surface. After reading this book, I'll be very careful before I check into a hospital. The only thing bad is that it will have you begging for another episode in the life of Cooper. If you enjoy a good thriller, then grab this book and enjoy!
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on 3 March 1998
Alex Cooper's daily routine day made me exhausted as she walked me through the Criminal Justice system, made me understand what Alex's job entailed that left no questions in my mind---- except who did it! I found that out at the very end of the book, totally surprised that all of my guesses were so far off the mark of "who dunnit". If this is Linda's second novel, I can't wait to see what her next will be. Ms. Fairstein is a must read, and Alexandra Cooper is one smart attorney that I want only on my side of the law!
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on 23 September 2011
This was my first read of a Linda Fairstein novel and I'm sorry to say that it will probably be my last. Whilst it had a great sounding premise and the author's writing is capable enough, the novel generally just didn't enthral me in the way that I expected it to and as a consequence I really found my attention wandering. In terms of `thrillers' this is probably one of the slowest moving ones I've ever read, and given the authors own background I have to wonder how much of this story is fact and fiction and just how closely she has based the traits of the main protagonist on herself and her own career.

The book revolves around the murder of a neurosurgeon who is found murdered in her office in a New York medical centre. She's been raped and therefore the case falls to Alexandra Cooper, a DA who is the cities top sex-crimes prosecutor. Soon the police discover that the hospital is nowhere near as secure or safe as they'd thought and there are soon a multitude of possible suspects...

I feel that this book was just far too wordy and is trying to be something that it's not. It is so bogged down in both forensic detail and meaningless character backgrounds and information that it just seems to take an age to get anywhere. Cooper repeatedly divulges random details about friends and aquaintances (and mostly her own life) but I just don't think they're relevant to the story. I read this wanting mystery and thrills, instead I found out way more about her lifestyle than was needed. I'm all for character development, but still.

For me, personally, I just don't think the story being told in the first person narrative really worked, which was the biggest sticking point for me and why I just couldn't get fully immersed into the plot. I prefer to be `shown' rather than told something, and Alex Cooper's narration and overview felt a bit too overdone and cloying. I think this novel would have worked better at seeing it told from the third person narrative, which would have given the author a bit more flexibility in terms of the plot line, which did come a bit restrictive after a while in only seeing it from the one perspective. Also, in my opinion there were just too many characters. I also had to suspend my disbelief a lot at what actually went on in the hospital in terms of sexual assaults, stalking and whatnot. Surely those kinds of things- though they do happen- would not be in such abundance in one place- the building would have been shut down. It was ridiculous and sensationalist for shock value only. It sounded so grim and really made me shudder- thank god for the NHS! All in all I felt it was depicted in a bit of an over the top manner.

Generally I'm glad I gave this story a try, but I sensed from the outset that I probably wouldn't try anything from this writer again, so that's merely another author I can cross off the `tried' list. It's a decent enough book and it's clear that the author really knows her stuff (again, I have to wonder how much of the plot is taken from her real life experiences), but just didn't captivate me in the way that I wanted- and even for a mystery/thriller seemed a bit overly complicated. I'd say to read it if you want a mere escapism, but be prepared to scratch your head in confusion a bit!
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on 1 August 2000
An excellent read, where the reader becomes part of the plot. Very well written, with some neat references to the UK. Can't wait for the next one.
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on 14 October 2000
I tend to discover writers and then follow them and have read Linda Fairstein's two previous books....reading Cold Hit has confirmed my status of fan. I am of the opnion that Linda Fairstein gives Patricia Cornwall a run for her money..... I really enjoyed this third book because by now I had got to know the various characters and so it was like meeting old friends...something which I love about books. Linda Fairstein has an ability to provide her readers with enough technical, judicial and police procedures without losing the human element of her characters...which is what I think is her success. I recommend this book, and her two previous, if you are looking for a good crime thriller.
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on 5 December 1997
I can't remember the last time I set down a mystery without finishing it, but I couldn't get through this one. The author seems so intent on making sure we know how clever she is that she forgets to keep us turning the pages. I was really disappointed.
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on 8 April 1998
Homicide detective Mike Chapman calls Alex while he is at the scene of a sexual assault and murder. Alex is the bureau chief in charge of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit.

Dr. Gemma Dogen had been found barely breathing on her office floor at a hospital due to multiple deep stab wounds and possible rape. Alex's team is flooded with suspects from the hospital staff down to the inmates of the psychiatric center which is connected to the hospital. The hospital and the psychiatric center sit on top of underground tunnels. Hundreds of homeless live within the tunnels. It is apparent they wander in the hospital since most of them are wearing the hospital's scrubs.

Alex and Mike walk the reader through every step of the murder. Now Alex is targeted for murder.

***Very detailed in execution. Do not bother reading this one unless you like in depth murder mysteries. It is a challenge to the most logical of minds.***
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on 28 January 1999
Alexandra Cooper is a NY Prosecutor specialising in Sex Crimes. Surprise Surprise, so is author Linda Fairstein who announces at the end of the book that its based on a true story.
A case of art imitating life perhaps? Sadly life proves a lot more boring and muddled than a well thought out original plot. I confess I thought the book so dull that in places I almost skim-read it so maybe some of the plot subtleties were lost on me but all in all this was an unimpressive book
Alex is called in to help police when brilliant (but unpopular) neurosurgeon Gemma Dogan is killed at her desk in an apparently frenzied sex attack. Zillions of possible suspects are lining up without too much fear that our author will explore their motivations with any conviction. A bit of love interest pops up and goes nowhere. A possible 'copy crime' and a 'hobo suspect' similarly fail to receive more than a cursory examination. In the middle of the book, for no apparent good reason, AC flies off to England (watch out for the stately home and other cliches) for a conference - which adds little to the plot but maybe gave the author an excuse for a damn good all expenses paid holiday (sorry, research trip). Fairstein takes the lid off a giant can of worms, but ultimately our heroine stumbles accross the killer by accident rather than intuitive or logical detection.
The book has poor character development, patronising cliches of the UK, little depth, no logic and numerous unexplored dead ends Maybe Fairstein is a great sex crimes prosecutor and someone we should admire but PLEASE, don't give up your day job.
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on 1 November 1998
Look, if you want to relax with and have a great read on holiday, on a plane or over the weekend then this book is simply great. The overly competent Cooper is a wonderful heroine and her adventures are enjoyably fantastical. Good fun escapism.
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on 30 January 2013
I very much liked this book, as I have liked all the books from the series that I have read. I would certainly recommend it to my friends, and to anyone interested in Crime fiction.
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