Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein

As many of you know Fairstein is a must read for me. I cannot get enough of Alex Cooper, Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace but this one... I was devastated while reading.

The story opens up with Alex arriving at the scene of a murder that took place in an abandoned Maritime building off the coast of Staten Island. The girl has been tortured and brutally stabbed and by the stench she has been there for a while. When the bodies of two more young women show up they suspect a serial killer is on the loose. One that has an affinity to women in uniforms.

The connection between the girls seem to be the bars of Jimmy and Kiernan Dylan, a father/son business that have had a brush with the law for serving alcohol to underage patrons. When Kieran is arrested, it flushes out an unlikely source that points to another more viable candidate.

And the chase begins. That chase takes them back to the string of islands that surround Manhattan and when a storm comes rolling in our favorite team is stranded on one of the islands with the latest victim and only survivor of the maniac, but has the Serial Killer escaped or is he hiding behind the storm to finish the job he started?

Besides the main story we also follow Alex as she tries to balance her job with her new romantic interest, French man Luc Rouget (sp??) and we see her wrap up on the conviction of serial rapist Floyd Warren who raped Kerry Hastings over 30 years ago. Justice might be slow but it always catches up with you. While in court and while dealing with the murders of these women, the members of the Latin Princes gang are bent on hurting Alex and making her regret putting their gang leader behind bars.

Okay here is the thing with this installment of the Alex Cooper series. I only LISTEN to these books. They are Audiobook reads for me. Not because I love them less than my romances, but because I have a terrible imagination and the spoken word will put the pressure on the narrator to bring to life my favorite crime fighting team, Barbara Rosenblat has read all the Alex Cooper books I have listened to. Except this one. I actually considered NOT listening to it. I had such a hard time getting into the story because the voices were not of Alex, Mike and Mercer
Think of Harry Potter with someone else playing Harry. Think of The Outlander without Davina Porter giving that beautiful Scottish accent to Jamie! Yeah, I took it hard!

What else went wrong with this one? The History Channel was transported to the pages of the book. Fairstein always includes a good dose of NY history in her stories, it's part of the charm. Mike knows EVERYTHING about NY. He is a walking Wikipedia. But in this one, it went a bit overboard. Mike tends to throw out these historical facts as he moves along the crime but in this one, it seemed as if he pauses and regurgitates his knowledge. Not just him but Alex throws out her share of historical facts. Too much info all at once feels like I'm watching the History channel. Also, Mike was very out of character. He seemed to dismiss and, in a way, belittled Alex. At times there was so little respect for her knowledge and for the things that they had gone through, I had to attribute it to the narrator but in reality, it was the writing. It seemed Linda took our Mike Chapman and gave him a dose of Dr. Jekyll / Mr Hyde potion, because honestly, at times I didn't even recognize Mike.

Regardless of these flaws the book still earned a decent grade because when the Storm rolled in I was glued to my seat in anticipation of what would happen to our trio of crime fighters.

Grade: B-
Format: Audiobook


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