Linda Fairstein used to run the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sex Crimes Unit. And now she writes mysteries featuring Alex Cooper, the ADA who does the same. I used to love this series, and I still enjoy it, but it’s no longer an autobuy series — in fact, the most recent book of the series in my possession is Lethal Legacy, published in 2009 and acquired as a remaindered copy for $5.98 (according to the sticker) rather than full cover price.
Alex is a gigantic Mary Sue and has recurrent episodes of TSTL-itis. Once a reader gets past that, s/he might appreciate the working relationship Alex has with Mike Chapman (detective) and Mercer Wallace (detective), her regular team of investigators, as well as the other bit players who reappear. The mysteries vary, although all usually involve a sex crime of some sort.
Lethal Legacy, although it starts out as possibly involving a sex crime (and thus involving Alex), is purely a murder mystery and whodunit. The most interesting part of the plot for me was the involvement of the NYPL, trivia about the history of the building and its collections, and the intrigue about funding, collection donations, and political tensions related to the disposition of items in the collection and the future of the library. As a
book hoarder bibliophile in the sense of loving to read and to own books, the bookman who treasures old books and/or maps is fascinating.
Compared to the excellent work I’ve read more recently by Jo Nesbo, in terms of language, style, and how the story is crafted, this book is…not as well-executed or artful. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t measure up to better offerings. (C)