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Final Jeopardy (Alexandra Cooper Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1997

3.9 out of 5 stars 201 customer reviews
Book 1 of 17 in the Alexandra Cooper Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The crusading longtime chief of Manhattan's Sex Crimes Prosecutions Unit brings to her exciting first novel the same passion and insights into the criminal and crime-busting minds that marked her memoir, Sexual Violence (1994). Fairstein also brings herself to the novel-or at least an alter ego of a narrator, Alexandra Cooper, who's also a middle-aged blonde heading the borough's prosecution of sex offenders. Cooper's typical day of counseling victims and working with the NYPD on sex crimes would probably keep readers fascinated, but her latest problem-the shooting murder of glamorous movie star Isabella Lascar at Cooper's getaway home on Martha's Vineyard-pitches the plot at high intensity right away. Though Cooper is warned by the DA not to play cop, she and homicide detective Mike Chapman, who's assigned to bodyguard her, work together unofficially to solve the crime, carrying on a sort of anti-romance all the while. Fairstein isn't a gifted stylist-her dialogue is as wooden as a judge's gavel-and the details of Cooper's professional and personal lives drive the story forward with more vigor than the murder investigation does. Some readers will be disappointed, too, that Cooper, like any victim, has to be rescued in the end by her fiercely protective and ingenious friends on the NYPD. But then this heroine's greatest appeal lies in the warmth of her friendships, the humanness of her mistakes and her unswerving devotion to protecting the next female from harm. As a woman with grave responsibilities who still puts her pantyhose on one leg at a time, she makes a memorable debut. Literary Guild and Mystery Guild main selections; Doubleday Book Club alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Like her creator, Fairstein (Sexual Violence, LJ 9/15/93), Alexandra Cooper is New York City's assistant district attorney for sex crimes prosecution. A Hollywood actress staying at Alex's vacation home on Martha's Vineyard and driving a rental car charged to Alex's credit card is murdered. Was Alex really the intended victim and the murderer someone she had once prosecuted? Is that why she's been receiving anonymous nocturnal telephone calls? Or was the actress done in by her estranged lover? Why is Alex's own current lover, an investment banker and former Senate candidate, trying to cover up his own involvement with the actress? This thriller, which will keep readers asking questions and turning pages, has the potential to be one of the summer's big hits. Recommended for popular collections.
--Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Alexandra Cooper Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (June 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671010123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671010126
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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. www.lindafairstein.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Linda Fairstein has served for many years as New York's Assistant District Attorney in charge of prosecuting sex crimes. And according to all accounts, she is brilliant at her job. Well, Fairstein can put another notch in her belt, because she is a fine writer as well--right up there with the best of the genre.
"Final Jeopardy," her debut novel, introduces Alexandra Cooper, coincidentally an Assistant District Attorney in charge of prosecuting New York's sex crimes. Along with her very likeable sidekick, wisecracking but brilliant cop Mike Chapman, Alex works diligently to see that "her" victims, dead or alive, get justice. It's a grueling, wrenching task, but Alex thrives on it.
The book is off to a racing start as Alex, more than a little bit startled, reads her own obituary in the morning papers. And it never lets up from there. The confusion about Alex's "death" is solved quickly, but tragically. It seems that a good friend of hers, sexy bombshell actress Isabella Lascar, has been murdered while spending a supposedly incognito weekend at Alex's private Martha's Vineyard retreat. Was the murderer after Isabella? Or was it a case of mistaken identity--was the bullet really meant for Alex herself?
Those questions are only the beginning as Alex finds herself increasingly tangled in an incomprehensible web of intrigue. Who is the murderer? Try and guess. I did--and wasn't even close. There are enough colorful characters in the book, nefarious and otherwise, to make the reader keep turning the pages to find out who the "perp" is--and even more importantly, why the crime was committed in the first place.
From the first page to the breath-stopping last, this book has a ring of authenticity, and why not?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Had this been the first Linda Fairstein book I'd read, I would never have read another. Only stubborn refusal to give in allowed me to finish "Final Jeopardy." I found myself getting frustrated that such interesting premises and plot twists could be written in such a lifeless way.

Also, having met the characters in another novel, I was surprised at how unlikeable they were in this one. The heroine behaves unprofessionally in her work life, and she is somehow both emotional and cold in her private life. It was difficult to sympathize with her. She didn't come across that way in the other book.

There were good things. The short side stories of other sex crimes were interesting, if a little distracting. The author also does a good job of explaining why someone would want to pursue this particular disturbing career. You want to like her.

Devoted Fairstein fans may like this book, but reading this one before the others may make it impossible to pick up the next one.
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Format: Audio Cassette
This is an interesting murder mystery featuring an Assistant D.A. named Alexandra Cooper whose specialty is sex crimes. A starlet is murdered in the driveway of Cooper's Martha's Vineyard house, and it's up to Cooper to figure out what happened and who's guilty before the same thing happens to her.

The plot has some interesting turns, and it stays on the proper side of the plausibility line throughout. Cooper manages to juggle several cases at once while keeping her personal life going, and she even goes down a few dead ends in her investigation. Nevertheless, this isn't the kind of book where you flounder around for the first hundred pages while the author develops the characters; instead each character has a distinct personality and the plot gets moving from the very first page. It will definitely hold your interest. Well done, Fairstein.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Am I the only one that has a problem with the way the 2 main characters speak to each other? They apparently have known each other for numerous years and are supposedly close friends. Why then, when they are the only 2 people in a room and are speaking only to each other, does the author write the conversations using the character's names in just about every sentence? I don't know about most folks, but when I am speaking to a friend I don't need to say their name at the beginning of each sentence. It just got on my nerves - and I never finished the book. I ordered this for my Kindle - and learned a valuable lesson.....always take advantage of the free samples!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the few books in my life that I didn't finish. I read two Linda Fairstein books before and even though I find Alexandra Cooper to be one of the most unlikeable fictional main characters ever, the storylines were interesting enough.

In this book however, there were so many bits that spoilt the reading experience for me:

1. The characters

In all three books of the series that I read so far, Alexandra Cooper comes over as snooty and unlikeable. She has a privileged background, which is okay in itself, Elizabeth George managed to create a very likeable main character with a privileged background with Inspector Lynley. But Alexandra Coopers is in-your-face privileged. Constant mentioning of her Wellesley education, her house on Martha's Vinyard (here, it is essential to the story, I understand that, but it is mentioned in every book of the series that I read so far), her designer business clothes, her rich golden hair - it just gets to much. In addition she has a nasty way of bossing people around and telling them how to do their job (not just people working for her, but those in different jobs as well...) and generally carries an air of "I know best". - Her "sidekick" Chapman is one of the more likeable characters, but his "I'm so witty and love to tease others"-act sometimes gets out of hand. When 90 % of everything he says has that "witty-teasing" note, he really gets on my nerves.

Other characters get the stereotype treatment. Everybody who doesn't get along with Alexandra Coopers is bad and incompetent. The Vinyard people are all nice and simple, the secretary is fully dedicated, the press people are one-dimensional etc. etc.

2.
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