Final Jeopardy by Linda Fairstein

 

Suspense

Final Jeopardy (Alexandra Cooper Mysteries) Final JeopardyLinda Fairstein; Pocket 1997WorldCatThere’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you read about your own death in the newspaper. Alexandra Cooper, New York City’s head prosecuting attorney for the sex crimes unit, is shocked to see just that. “She” had been murdered near her vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard. Actually, the victim was Isabella Lascar, a famous but selfish film star. Isabella was borrowing Alex’s home for an escape period. Someone stood beyond the driveway and shot her through the head as she was returning to the house. Her build and coloring was similar to Alex’s, so the wrong assumption was made when the body was first discovered.

Who was the actual target? Has Isabella annoyed someone so much that murder was the final result? Or was Alex the potential victim and the shooting was of mistaken identity? She immediately has policemen assigned to guard her in case someone from past convictions wants revenge. Her friend from Homicide, Mike Chapman, takes many of the shifts. He also works with the police department from Martha’s Vineyard. since they have no experience in investigating murders.

Meanwhile Alex is juggling other issues. New cases continue to come into the sex crimes unit. Her top detective, Mercer Wallace, is close to catching a serial rapist who has been operating in the city. Her lover, Jed Segal, is in Paris on business. A reporter from a prestigious law journal is scheduled to start interviewing her for a special piece. She has to go to Martha’s Vineyard to identify her things and determine what items were Isabella’s.

The mystery surrounding the murder keeps Alex’s mind occupied as well. Her boss has told her to stay out of it, not to play detective. But that doesn’t stop her from comparing notes with Mike Chapman and helping along the way. She still needs to know – who was the intended murder victim? Until the mystery is solved, she isn’t safe.

Final Jeopardy is the first novel in Linda Fairstein’s Alex Cooper series. The reader is immediately introduced to a fully evolved group of characters with past stories to be heard. Alex has been friends with Mike Chapman for quite a while. They had worked together before. Mercer Wallace is already a fixture in the sex crimes unit. More than once I checked to make sure this really was the first book of the series.

The opening of Alex reading her own death announcement is a startling opening and works very well. Fairstein’s book doesn’t stop after that. By the time I was half way through, Final Jeopardy had become a page turner. I wasn’t putting the book down until it was resolved.

Some of the tangled threads were easy to guess for the experienced mystery reader. It looked like either her lover Jed, or her psychiatrist neighbor David Mitchell was involved in the crime somehow. But there are twists that are not realized until the reader is on top of the solution. The novel has a realistic feel for the work Alex does for the city and characters that appeal. I highly recommend Final Jeopardy.

Notice:  Non-graphic violence, Strong indecent language, Suggestive dialogue or situations

Alex Cooper Series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!
More books by Linda Fairstein

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