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Death Angel Hardcover – July 30, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 324 customer reviews
Book 15 of 17 in the Alexandra Cooper Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Prosecutor Alexandra Cooper and detective Mike Chapman are called to the scene when the naked corpse of a young woman turns up in Central Park. Working to identify her and to determine whether a serial killer is on the loose, the two must search Central Park’s vast reaches, with its many hidden lakes, waterfalls, and caves. Readers are also swept into the inner recesses of one of New York’s most storied icons, the legendary Dakota apartment building, when clues left at the murder scene lead Coop and Chapman to a private collection of one of the building’s residents. Despite Fairstein’s tendency to relay vast amounts of exposition through her characters’ dialogue, making them sound, at times, like obnoxious know-it-alls, there’s no denying that Central Park’s topography and history are plenty fascinating, and she nicely contrasts the natural beauty of the park and the dark deeds committed within its environs. The promise of romance between the longtime series leads also adds a certain frisson to this solid fifteenth entry in the series. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Fairstein’s Alexandra Cooper novels are international best-sellers that have been translated into more than a dozen languages; her fifteenth entry in the series is likely to follow suit. --Joanne Wilkinson


Praise for Death Angel

"Fairstein [melds] the park into her narrative with all the immediacy of a living, breathing character...that’s why Fairstein has long been considered in a class all her own…" - The Hartford Book Examiner

"Once again, Ms. Fairstein illuminates the menacing nighttime escapades and long lost skeletons, literal and metaphorical, of a city that refuses to sleep." - Vineyard Gazette

"Fairstein is writing at the absolute top of her game." - Providence Journal

"Death Angel is Linda Fairstein at her very best." - Nomad Reader

"Newcomers will relish the lush history tour, while long-time fans may relish the idea of Alex and Mike discovering that they perhaps share more than a professional interest in one another." - Bookreporter.com

"Linda Fairstein crafts a spot-on, dynamic, step-by-step, clue-by-clue mystery or criminal investigation that keeps the reader absolutely riveted on every page." - Crystal Book Reviews

"Quick-paced, pulse-pounding, and great beach reading." - Shore News Today


Praise for Linda Fairstein:

“The Queen of Intelligent Suspense.” — Lee Child 
“Alex Cooper is a fascinating heroine...based on the equally fascinating life of her creator.”  —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Fairstein is superbly attuned to the sinister vibes of the famous, as well as forgotten, New York City locales.”
-Maureen Corrigan, NPR.org
“Long before sex crimes became everyday fictional fare on America's favorite cop shows, Linda Fairstein was in court and on the streets working ripped-from-the-headlines cases." — USA Today

Praise for Night Watch:

“Fairstein’s extensive prosecutorial experience adds authenticity to this thrilling procedural, a tasty soufflé of escargots, Beaujolais, cocaine, and murder that will entice the author’s many fans.” — Library Journal on Night Watch

“As always, Manhattan becomes a character in itself, with the spotlight shining here on the inner workings of the restaurant industry in all its complexity, splendor, and corruption. A real winner from a legal-thriller master.” — Booklist on Night Watch


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton; 1st edition (July 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525953876
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525953876
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (324 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The backstory: Death Angel is the fifteenth (!) mystery in Linda Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper series. I've read (and loved) them all. (A series note: while you could enjoy this mystery if you haven't read others in the series, the personal storylines likely won't be nearly as satisfying to new readers.)

The basics: When the body of a young homeless girl is found in Central Park, detectives Mercer Wallace and Mike Chapman, along with prosecutor Alexandra Cooper, work quickly to identify her and figure out if there's a connection to a series of cold cases in New York City's lowest crime area.

My thoughts: Fairstein's mysteries all feature a deep history of one aspect of New York. In Death Angel, it's Central Park, something most readers think they're familiar with. When Fairstein is at her best, which she certainly is in Death Angel, the New York history is as riveting as the mystery (or in this case mysteries) itself.

I discovered this series in the spring of 2003 (when several books had already been published), and I've been reading the for ten years. It's challenging to strike the right balance between the comfort of the familiar and feeling new. Death Angel is the perfect combination of the two. There are the classics of a Fairstein novel: Alex takes a trip to her Martha's Vineyard home, New York history, sexual/romantic tension between Alex and Mike, Jeopardy!, and work tensions in the DA's office. Here, they feel fresh and comforting. While the pace of Alex's personal life is sometimes slower than I'd like, as I read Death Angel, I was shocked to realize Alex is now only a few years older than I am. So little time has passed in this series because each mystery covers only a few days or weeks.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I always blame Catholic education for the fact that I finish every book I start. I have read Linda Fairstein's books for many years, and this could be the last one I read. As other reviewers mentioned, the whole Mike/Coop thing is just a plain tiresome and abusive relationship. That's a given. But I have to say, by the end of the book, when I read the horrific dialog between Eddie and Alex, I wanted to scream. Terrible, terrible dialog--to match the sub-par writing throughout the book. The plot was too convoluted to be plausible and served as a vehicle to learn more about Central Park and the Dakota. These are both very interesting places, but that's not why I read fiction. The hammering away at the silver pieces, the crazy people, the 'kids in the park,' in a style that was a best pedestrian and at worse cringe worthy made me look at the % on the bottom of my Kindle 'page' and say "When, O Lord, when?' The characters were universally one dimensional and annoying--I cared about none of them. The subplot with Judge Pell was gratuitous and designed to move the Mike/Coop relationship to 'something more'-and who cares? I ask myself, What kind of book is Ms. Fairstein trying to write? mystery? history? romance? And the descriptions of Alex's activities (taking off her loafers, etc.) read like an older woman trying to describe the actions and motivations of someone much younger (38) from memory. I am almost 70 and have daughters-in-law that bookend that 38 age. (One is even an attorney!) the descriptions are so far from reality that I wonder who is editing Ms. Fairstein these days? Actually that is a very important question--is anybody home at Dutton? your money maker is fraying.
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Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying I'm a huge Linda Fairstein fan and have read the whole series.

Death Angel was such a disappointment. It was difficult even to finish. I wasn't crazy about the previous book, but I hate to give up on a series....after this one, I'm not so sure I'll read the next.

Dialogue and character development have never been Fairstein's strength, but this book is especially lacking. There are scenes where Alexandra uses language/threats that you'd not expect from her unless really pushed to the edge emotionally, and yet the entire scene reads like a grocery list. Not a bit of emotion felt. So unrealistic.

As per usual, the book is filled to the brim with esoteric details and facts about the part of the City that is the main character in the book (Central Park, in this case), and I really feel it took away from the story and dragged it down. The Final Jeopardy facts are getting tired, as well.

I feel the characters are stuck in limbo - doesn't anyone age? Grow as a person? Change hobbies? In every book you can count on Coop visiting her salon, Mercer, Coop, and Mike getting treated like family by every restaurant owner in town (doesn't Mercer ever just go home to dinner with his wife without his posse?, who would actually let the three into their office to watch a TV show?!?), the mention of Coop's ballet class, and of course, the house on the Vineyard.

I realize these things all worked really well in the beginning, so Ms. Fairstein seems to stick with them, but eighteen years later and it's getting reallllly tired. These books are starting to read like a VC Andrews novel...after Ms. Andrews passed away.
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