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Read Killer Heat (2008)

Killer Heat (2008)

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3.82 of 5 Votes: 2
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0385523971 (ISBN13: 9780385523974)

Killer Heat (2008) - Plot & Excerpts

What distinguishes Linda Fairstein’s thrillers from most others is the intriguing use of locations, in these novels New York City locations, not as inert background or local colour but as integral parts of the otherwise routine, though often exciting, plots. In Killer Heat, published in 2008, the literally overlooked Governors Island (no apostrophe) at the foot of Manhattan provides the main location, together with the abandoned Maritime Building which, at the time of the novel, was being opened up to potential development and to tourism. It is an “open day” on Governors Island that allows the killer and his potential victim ferry access from the Maritime Building to an island which, until recently, has been as invisible to New Yorkers and tourists as Ellis and Liberty Islands have been visible. I have seen that some readers dislike the historical background which Fairstein provides and, to the extent that the history doesn’t forward the story, that’s a fair point. Indeed, given the Native American, Dutch, British, and then various phases of American history which are frozen on Governors Island, one could envisage history playing a larger role, still, in Killer Heat. An island up the Hudson and another off Far Rockaway also feature in the geography of the serial rapes and murders that make up the plot, and enhance the fear-quotient, particularly when the heat-wave gives way to a storm as the novel reaches its final chapters. Fairstein raises the question of how crime and overlooked or marginal places in a city interact.The tension -- as always in these novels starring Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper -- is skilfully maintained, and the two LAPD detectives who work with her, Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, expand the focus, which, otherwise, would be relentlessly upon Alex. After reading – and enjoying – a few of Linda Fairstein’s novels about sex-crimes prosecutor, Alex Cooper, I was more aware this time of the predictability that sometimes comes with the use of a female protagonist in a thriller, especially when the novel is narrated in the first person by the main character. Frequently, if not invariably, Alex Cooper has to be placed in situations that threaten her life (otherwise, she can’t tell us what happens at the denouement). The other drawback of this narrator-heroine structure -- or perhaps it is, regrettably, too easily the other side of a coin when the focus is upon women characters in a thriller -- comes with the embarrassing and clichéd chapters when Alex tells of her current love affair; in this novel and at least one other that I have read, it is with a French restaurateur. Possibly it is the audio version that increases the clichéd quality of these scenes, though, in other respects, Barbara Rosenblatt does a fine job as reader, whether the character speaking is male or female.

Ordinarily, I don't like reading series books out of turn. I had no choice with this one, it was lent to me and I just picked it up last night and started reading. I was hooked in very early, and by the time I realized that the familiarity of the characters with one another and the lack of background details to this familiarity meant that I was reading one of a series, it was too late to turn back, I was well into the story.Although the main protagonist is an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, the book was light on legal rigmarole and heavy on the police procedure, which I much prefer. The ADA's relationship with the detectives she works with is obviously collaborative, professional and transcends respect into real affection, which made the book even better.The subject of a sexual predator, more than one actually, was very well dealt with and the trauma and reactions of victims explained with a sensitivity that is admirable. The subject has some meaning for me, and I was not disappointed by anything I read.Good tension was enhanced by the use of the city of New York as a character in itself. Little known trivia about Manhattan's military history, explorations of islands in the Hudson and East Rivers, seldom mentioned or thought of locales in much of the fiction about Manhattan/New York were very effectively described and used to contribute to the story arc.All in all, a satisfying read. If I see any more of the novels in this series, I will feel no qualms about picking one up to find out more about these characters, but at the same time, if I never see another one, the book closed well enough that I feel no sense of lacking anything for not knowing the other stories.

What do You think about Killer Heat (2008)?

Perfect beach/plane book - it has characters with enough depth and a story line with enough bite to keep you going but nothing too strenuous about this. The nice thing is that the author is a very accomplished professional and the book reflects her experiences. There is also a wealth of historical information woven in concerning military outposts on the islands surrounding NYC. I purchased this book headed for a plane ride with nothing left to read...expected nothing from it and was more than pleasantly surprised by this fun read.

Assistant NYC District Attorney Alex Cooper is a smart, gutsy lady who finds her work, helping victims and putting away those who harm them, deeply satisfying. Working with a skilled, equally devoted team of detectives, she finds herself conducting investigations in the hidden places in and around the city, little known locations that provide the perfect settings for enterprising criminals. This time around, Governor's Island, a military bastion that's been used for defensive purposes since America was young, is the scene of a series of horrific rape/murders. In less than ten days, three women have gone missing, and the pressure is mounting to catch the monster behind the abductions. To up the ante, Alex is being stalked and threatened by a group of gang bangers trying to wreak vengeance for her conviction of their illustrious leader.Once again, Linda Fairstein has expertly constructed a gripping story brimming with legal conundrums, forensics, and local history. Killer Heat is a page turner, with its final 75 pages bristling with suspense. Right up my alley!

It is hard for me to rate this book. I really liked this series when it first started, but I have some issues right now, as I will explain.In this book: Three murdered women. Are they connected? Yes, the team of Alex, Mike, and Mercer figure out the connection and solve the crime. Alex gets into a dangerous situation, as usual. And barely escapes getting killed, as usual. Side story of a 25-ish year-old rape case being retried based on DNA evidence. The side story was interesting. The main story was fine, although it is following an old familiar Alex Cooper formula.What I personally do not like is all of the minutiae of New York City history and military history. The author refers to little islands or parts of the city that I cannot put into any perspective. I wish there was a map included with the book, or maybe now that I'm cool enough to own a smart phone I could look up a map myself while I'm reading at the pool. As far as military history, I honestly do not want to read about it, and if I ever do, I will check out a book on the topic.

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