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The Bone Vault


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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.


Fairstein returns with another thriller starring popular protagonist Alexandra Cooper (Deadhouse), a Manhattan assistant district attorney. This time out, she and her sidekick, cop Mike Chapman, are drawn into a particularly mysterious case: a Metropolitan Museum of Art intern is found dead in a sarcophagus, and though she's been dead for months, her body is perfectly preserved. When it is discovered that she died of arsenic poisoning, the plot thickens. This is fun reading; Fairstein's fast pacing, colorful suspects, and museum settings (the Museum of Natural History is also featured) make her book reminiscent of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's Relic. Alex is, however, a weak point; she's just as fastidious and stilted here as she was in previous outings. Her relationship with pretty-boy newscaster Jake, her flashy L.A. entertainment lawyer best friend, and private jet rides to her vacation home in Martha's Vineyard combine to make her a poster girl for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Fairstein has already had some success with this series; if she imbues Alex with more depth, she'll have a real winner. Despite that flaw, this is recommended for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/02.]-Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Fairstein's 25-year stint as head of the Sex Crimes Unit in the Manhattan DA's office once again makes for an authoritative and fact-filled mystery (her fifth after The Deadhouse) featuring alter-ego assistant DA Alexandra Cooper. "Coop" is an attractive workaholic in her 30s, ambivalent about her current relationship with an always-on-the-road NBC correspondent. While she's attending a reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, new Met director Pierre Thibodaux pulls her aside and asks for help with a recent crisis: a customs security dog found that a Met sarcophagus ready for shipment back to Cairo contained the corpse of a young female researcher from the Cloisters, the Met's medieval branch. Coop calls her usual NYPD sidekick detectives, brash Mike Chapman and burly Mercer Wallace, and the trio sets out to search among the museum's bookish staff and rich benefactors for a killer with a motive. In the meantime, Coop and Chapman, who should be a couple but don't know it yet, lecture one another on ancient history and contemporary law, and place bets on Jeopardy questions. Readers also learn about such subjects as Inuit funeral rituals, the average growth rate for human hair, the habits of stalkers and rapists and modern techniques of sadomasochism. Fairstein has a heavy-handed way of working this information into the dialogue, and the plot resolution strains credibility. Yet the quick-witted Cooper is as likable as ever, and fans of Fairstein's other books will find this satisfying-if not standout-fare. (Jan.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

USA Today Chilling....Fairstein [is] a champion teller of detective tales.
Patricia Cornwell One of the most promising forces in crime fiction.

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