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Bad Blood (Alexandra Cooper Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
Book 9 of 17 in the Alexandra Cooper Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the exciting ninth Alexandra Cooper legal thriller from bestseller Fairstein (after Death Dance), the Manhattan prosecutor is confronted with the trial lawyer's greatest fear—a witness who's destroyed on the stand. When the defense attorney shows that Kate Meade, the lead witness in Cooper's circumstantial case against Brendan Quillian for the murder of his wife, Amanda, has concealed her affair with the defendant, this revelation of Meade's potential bias has a devastating effect on the prosecution's case. As Cooper struggles to recover, the case takes a whole new twist when a fatal explosion in New York City's third water tunnel, which is under construction, suggests that Amanda's death is connected with other violent acts in the Quillian family's past. While Cooper may engage in a few too many action sequences for legal purists, the crisp writing and Fairstein's enviable capacity to translate her own experience as a prosecutor into an accessible plot puts this series a cut above most entries in this crowded subgenre. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Fairstein, former chief of the Sex Crimes Unit in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, returns with her ninth legal thriller starring prosecutor Alexandra Cooper. The author's own expertise again adds to the credibility of her fiction, in terms of courtroom banter, pacing, and those small "you couldn't make this up" details, such as the fact that shopping carts are the current favored receptacles for attorneys' case files. Her plotting is steady if formulaic. The big flaw in Fairstein's writing is that she has a tin ear when it comes to how people talk; her dialogue, often progressing in parallel phrases and clauses that are highly unlikely to occur in normal speech, is weighed down with backstory. Because she wants dialogue to do the work of narrative, she puts all manner of improbable words in her characters' mouths, thereby revealing motive and emotions. This tale starts with the trial of an upscale Manhattanite accused of murdering his wife. An explosion in the tunnels underneath the city interrupts the trial. Not surprisingly, the defendant is connected to the disaster. Again not surprisingly, Cooper must search within the tunnel system to find the answers. What works about this overly manipulative plot device, however, is that it gives Fairstein the opportunity to present some genuinely fascinating historical and engineering facts about the "city of death" far below Manhattan. Clunky in style but strong on procedural detail and background material. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (December 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416521518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416521518
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #400,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
...and I've read every one, in order. "Bad Blood" combines all the aspects of a Fairstein novel: obscure New York history (sometimes it's too long and very boring; in this case, it was fascinating), a trip to Martha's Vineyard (mercifully short this time), a usually riveting mystery, and a cast of characters we've learned to love.

The book begins calmly enough with Alexandra Cooper prosecuting a very difficult case against a Johnnie Cochran-type defense attorney. The defendant, wealthy society-type Brendan Quillian, stands accused of murdering his wife, Amanda, by manual strangulation. Alex's case is very weak, much more than normal, even though she knows he did it, or hired somebody to do it. We accompany her to the courtroom for several tense, disappointing days--and then all hell breaks lose.

A dangerous explosion in New York's extensive "underground city" that houses Manhatta's entire supply of water (and here is where the fascinating factoids come in) may be an act of terrorism--or some sort of deadly vendetta among rival families who have worked these tunnels for generations. That is bad enough--but what is the connection between snotty Brendan Quillian and the gangs who work below the city? And how will it affect Alex's case?

The book zips through the tale with all the usual elements in place: danger, pathos, drama, and deep, dark secrets, until the denoument, where, for a heart-stopping minute or two, we think her long-time sidekick Mike Chapman might have been killed.

Great stuff. A perfect "beginning of summer" read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let me begin with this book's strengths:
* the information about the underground tunnels and the Sandhogs is interesting, although I suspect Fairstein has exaggerated the extent to which they are an intermarried, insular subculture.
* for most of the book, there is just enough of an intriguing plotline to keep you wondering what's going to happen next. Plot is definitely Fairstein's strength in this entire series.
* Mike is sliiiiightly less extremely annoying here than in some of the earlier novels in the series.

And now the weaknesses:
* Having just finished the book, what's foremost in my mind is how frustrating it is to try to visualize/imagine the scenes that Fairstein is describing. Perhaps not all readers do this, or even care, but when I'm reading I like to to imagine the scene in my mind. In the final scene (especially), the physical layout of the scene is very complicated and important to the story, yet it is impossible to visualize from the scattered, vague descriptions we get. I don't want to say more and give anything away.
* Things were not well tied-up at the end. I'm still not sure who did what, why, or why now.
* Fairstein resorts to the Batman technique of explaining many of the details in the last chapter by having the good guy and the bad guy perform a protracted Q&A. The whole "but before I kill you, I want to tell you what I did and why" silliness.
* The requisite, tiresome episode at Martha's Vineyard with bad dialogue and a oh-so-fabulous love interest who serves no purpose here but as a set-up for a future novel.
* Just eat a freaking cookie already, Alex.
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Format: Hardcover
The Hatfields and the McCoys have to take a backseat to the Quillians and the Hassetts, the two feuding families at the center of Linda Fairstein's latest novel. With her ensemble characters --- Assistant DA Alexandra "Alex" Cooper and NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace --- working with their supporting coterie, BAD BLOOD is a riveting and truly interesting read.

When Amanda Quillian is found brutally murdered, the team quickly comes to the conclusion that Amanda's husband, Brendan, hired a hitman to do the dirty deed. Brendan is arrested, indicted and defended at his trial by smart, suave Lem Howell. Before becoming a defense attorney, he mentored Alex in the District Attorney's office where they developed an ongoing affection and mutual respect. But when the sparks start to fly in the courtroom, the gloves come off and each fights mercilessly for their side --- that is, until Brendan grabs a court officer's gun and shoots her in the head. For a few moments the chaos becomes the cover Brendan needs to make a clean escape.

Alex, Chapman and Mercer lead the complex investigation into Amanda's murder, discovering who Quillian really is, where he could be hiding and who might be helping him. Their queries take them from Manhattan to the Bronx and then to a "big dig" deep underground in the center of Manhattan, where an old murder surfaces that leads to another related killing --- both of which are the underlying events for the hatred between the families.

The third-generation Irish workers on site are the descendants of their immigrant grandfathers who first descended into the black hole that would take them 60 feet down to a dark and dangerous workplace.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
This twisted tale of murder and revenge begins with a gripping courtroom scene, and if you've even been a trial lawyer, or a fan of Court TV, every word will ring true. Some scenes are set in the underworld of caverns, wells and tunnels of the "sandhogs" who built the NY water system, and the brotherhood which guards their secrets. The surprise ending involves a DNA twist that no one will ever guess!
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