Linda A. Fairstein
Doubleday, Mar 2008, $26.00
At the sight of a badly decomposed body in which the stench is so overwhelming, it will psychologically linger for weeks, NYPD Detective Mike Chapman lights up a Cohiba; he hands the cigar to Manhattan ADA Alex Cooper to take a “few hits” in order to give the brain a different olfactory memory. The tortured dead woman is the first homicide of a serial killer. Six more females with apparent military connections will soon die while Mike, Alex and others hunt the predator.
At the same time, Cooper argues with defense attorney Gene Grassley in front of Judge Lamont over the retrial of sixty-one years old Floyd Warren; accused of rape three decades ago, but the jury was hung and he skipped town before the second trial. Grassley says his client is too old to commit a violent crime while Cooper points out that does not matter as he should do the time even though he will probably die behind bars. Cooper contends he became a serial rapist while Greeley insists he was never arrested. Adding to the circus of the Judge having to apply the ridiculous 1973 statute is cronies of violent convicted rapist Pablo Pasano sit in the courtroom to harass Cooper, who put him behind bars.
The serial killer investigation is a terrific subplot that would normally carry a novel; however, it is the legal issues involving the Warren trial complicated by the Pasano presence that makes the latest Cooper thriller one of the best sub-genre entries of the year so far. The story line is action-packed from the cigar onset and never slows down as the audience feels they are traipsing around the Big Apple during a sever heat wave.