Dutton, Mar 9 2010, $26.95
A Ukrainian ship carrying human cargo to New York sinks near Rockaway Beach in Queens. Many die with the few survivors talking in their native tongue about abuse and brutality. Thirty women were part of the cargo to be employed in the lucrative sex trade; however one of the females died before she fell into the icy water. New York County Sex Crimes Office ADA Alexandra Cooper is at the scene shocked by the inhuman behavior and vows to find out who killed this Jane Doe.
Married Manhattan Congressman Ethan Leighton flees the scene of a car accident that he caused being under the influence at the about the same time his lover Mexican immigrant Salma Zunega calls 911 to report his threatening her. Soon afterward she and their child Ana vanish. Mayor Vin Statler demands resolution, but not expected it to occur at Gracie Mansion nor the snakehead rose tattoo tying the cases together.
The latest Cooper thriller is a terrific entry (see Lethal Legacy) that hooks the audience immediately and never misses a beat though there is even more going on than the two prime subplots. Fast-paced throughout, fans will appreciate Hell’s Gate as Linda Fairstein provides a deep look at human trafficking in which pure capitalism rules over basic commonly accepted rights with the United States as a major economic partner in spite of solid law enforcement efforts to prevent it.