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The Kills Hardcover – January 13, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st edition (January 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743223551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743223553
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #956,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The title of the newest installment in Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper crime series (The Bone Vault; The Deadhouse; Final Jeopardy) refers not only to the several bodies that turn up in the course of the novel but to the creeks and channels that crisscross the watery periphery of Lower Manhattan. From her downtown office-and with the aid of NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace-the doughty assistant DA tackles a complicated case, the rape of 36-year-old Paige Vallis. Psychotic Andrew Tripping is accused of the rape as well as of the physical and mental abuse of his own 10-year-old son, Dulles. While trying to convince a jury of Tripping's guilt, Alex is handed another kill, this one the suffocation of elderly Harlem Renaissance dancer McQueen Ransome. Queenie turns out to have a fascinating history, having been both an espionage agent in WWII and the mistress of the legendary Night Crawler, King Farouk of Egypt. On her way out of the palace door, Queenie pocketed enough of the king's treasure to set her up for life, which finally gets her killed. There are complications in the form of CIA agents, crooked lawyers, smalltime hoods and a surrounding cast of friends, lovers and enemies, all adding texture and realism to the story. Alex survives several attempts on her life and sleuths her way to a solution of both murders while untangling the knotted history that connects them. Fairstein's style and skills have matured over the years, making this a consistently dependable series with a likable and intelligent heroine.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Name that plot: a woman in distress looks for help when she is pursued by shady characters on the hunt for an aviary treasure. The Maltese Falcon? No, try The Kills, a title carrying double meaning, as it refers both to the channels in between the islands off lower Manhattan, which were dredged by the Dutch to assist in merchant shipping, and to the murders taking place on the island proper. Once again Fairstein features Alexandra Cooper, sex crimes prosecutor, who finds that her latest case runs deeper than the kills themselves. The story starts out slow and then falls into a familiar legal-thriller track: the well-intentioned attorney at a disadvantage because she does not have the full story. But the plot picks up as Fairstein peels the layers of the onion, ladling out backstory to expose the connections between a date-rape case and the murder of a Harlem woman. Another solid addition to a popular series. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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.

Customer Reviews

Fast paced and keeps your attention.
Carole Gates
The plot line was excellent and very interesting.
"kc23"
One of the best suspense authors today.
leather704

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sheri Melnick on January 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Fairstein�s heroine, Alex Cooper, prosecutor in charge of Manhattan�s Sex Crimes Unit, returns once again with sidekicks Detective Mike Chapman and Detective Mercer Wallace. With a rape prosecution against defendant Andrew Tripping on her plate, Alex becomes concerned when she feels that the victim, Paige Vallis, a thirty-six-year-old investment banker, hasn�t been entirely forthcoming. Frustration becomes Alex�s constant companion, as she seems unable to interview Andrew�s young son, Dulles, who was present during the alleged rape.
With her own decades of experience in the position held by protagonist Alex, Fairstein enlivens this novel with a sense of realism compounded with both the difficulties and triumphs of the career of a prosecutor, as well as the close relationships formed with the police detectives, a prosecutor�s closest allies.
And when Alex begins investigating the murder of a poverty-stricken McQueen Ransome, an elderly woman in Harlem, she learns that McQueen had led quite a fascinating life, dancing around the world and later becoming mistress of the infamous King Farouk of Egypt. And according to Spike Logan, a graduate student interviewing her about her life experiences, Queenie helped herself to some of Farouk�s rare collection of valuables when she left his palatial home.
As the crimes against Paige Vallis and McQueen begin to form a connection, Alex encounters some frightening moments of her own, as she is stalked in Manhattan and at her home on Martha�s Vineyard. With clues mounting in the continuous investigations of these two crimes, Alex begins to fear for her life in this craftily constructed novel replete with mystery and suspense.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on January 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Manhattan sex-crimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper knows her new case, one involving an attack on investment banker Paige Vallis, will be hard to prove as is, but things take a sharp turn when Alex learns her client has something to hide.
What really happened the night of the attack? Why didn't Paige leave the apartment after the date turned ugly? What happened to her attackers son? And who is the mysterious man whose appearance in the courtroom scares Paige?
As Alex receives help from her detective friends on the rape case another puzzling crime is committed this time an elderly woman is found murdered and her apartment turned upside down. Who would want this woman dead and why?
While both case take strange turns more murders occur and Alex is forced to question what connection these two seemingly different women had.
`The Kills' is another great read from Linda Fairstein. The two story lines move fast combining shocking twists with courtroom thrills until a powerful climax ties together all the loose ends. Fans of Fairstein's previous novels will lap this up in one sitting for this may be her best page-turner yet.
Expect to see `The Kills' on the top of all the bestseller lists.
Nick Gonnella
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Wilkie Collins on January 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I admit it, I'm already a fan. But Ms. Fairstein has even more surprises in store for Alexandra Cooper in this book and I just loved the all the history and intrigue. She taps into the imagination with a golden key -- I won't give it away. A marvelous book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nel B. Cameron on June 17, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the latest in a series of mysteries by Linda Fairstein. I liked it as much as her previous ones. I do find that you have to read previous books, starting with Final Jeopardy, to catch up with the protagonist's relationships to the other characters. It's not absolutely necessary, but it does help. In The Kills, Fairstein shows yet again that she can weave a web of skillful plot, enough suspense to keep you reading and some very obvious expertise in the running of the DA's office. The interaction between her main characters is great fun and you can immediately understand the emotions of these people. She never misses out on the day-to-day stress of real life which some writers seem to forget exists. I highly recommend this book and all her previous books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on January 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The title of Linda Fairstein's newest Alexandra Cooper novel, THE KILLS, has more than one meaning. To Detective Mike Chapman the kills are homicides: "Hunters used that word to describe the slaughter of their prey, and fighter pilots spoke the same language when referring to the downing of enemy planes --- the unnatural termination of lives." And in this thriller we are told that "once [there] were 'kills' all over Lower Manhattan, a vestige from the Dutch colonization that meant 'channels' or 'creeks' ... [and one of them] was obviously a viaduct to the shipyards along the Jersey shore."
Complementing this bit of New York City's history and the different ways the word 'kills' is used are the events that surround a deadly hunt for "a legal form, signed by the secretary of the treasury more than half a century ago, that monetized one Double Eagle for King Farouk. That one sheet of paper, smuggled out of Egypt ... perhaps after King Farouk was deposed, is necessary if ... together with [a coin found in a dead woman's closet] would make [the] possessor a multimillionaire."
King Farouk's obsession for collecting the most unique items in the world is well documented. But rumors surface about whether or not he left the American Double Eagle coin behind when he was deposed. And is it possible that an American CIA agent whose assignment kept him in Cairo somehow stole the treasure? This agent turns out to be related to one of the women in this labyrinthine tale.
But let's start at the beginning of Fairstein's suspenseful and complex mystery. The case begins with Paige Vallis, a rape victim and hopeful rescuer of a little boy. While Ms.
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