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The Deadhouse (2001)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671019546, Mass Market Paperback)Smart, sexy, Manhattan assistant DA Alexandra Cooper--hero of Linda Fairstein's increasingly popular series--is taking her latest murder case very personally. Lola Dakota, abused wife and brilliant university professor, wouldn't cooperate when Cooper wanted to charge her ex-husband with assault. So when she's murdered, he's the logical suspect--except that he had been arrested just before the murder. So Alex needs another suspect.
Unable to protect Lola alive, Alex is determined to find the killer and bring him to justice. All she has to go on is a scrap of paper in the murdered woman's pocket with the words "The Deadhouse" on it, along with a series of numbers. Deciphering the clue leads Alex and Mike Chapman, her favorite homicide cop, to an abandoned gothic hospital on New York's Roosevelt Island, where smallpox victims went to die a century ago. Because of its history, the Deadhouse held a special attraction for Lola and for several of her university colleagues; and, as it turns out, almost all these deftly drawn minor characters had a reason to want Lola dead. Illuminating their personalities and motives gives Fairstein an opportunity to skewer the academic infighting that goes on at an elite Ivy League school.
The author's background as head of the New York district attorney's Sex Crime Unit is just one of the many assets she brings to her fast-paced, intricately plotted thrillers. What makes this one a standout is the wealth of historical detail about 19th-century New York, which adds an extra dimension of verisimilitude to an engrossing, atmospheric, and suspenseful read. --Jane Adams
(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 16 Jan 2013 11:14:25 -0500)
"It's the holiday season but there's little reason for cheer at one of New York's most elite colleges. A respected professor is dead; strangled and dumped in an elevator shaft. Lola Dakota's lifeless fingers clutch a few strands of hair, and a piece of paper in her pocket reads "The Deadhouse."" "What brought a distinguished academic to such a tragic end? Opportunistic murder seems unlikely as assistant DA Alexandra Cooper, working with detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, uncovers a distressing pattern of betrayal and terror." "There's proof that Lola's husband, Ivan, wanted her dead. He has an alibi, but could he have hired a killer? Or could one of Lola's colleagues have erupted into unexpected violence? Some of their stories don't quite ring true. And why did Lola have a photograph of twenty-year-old Charlotte Voight pinned to her office bulletin board? Charlotte left her dorm room eight months ago and vanished into the night. Is she dead? Could she and Lola have become victims of the same predator?" "Perhaps most puzzling of all are the words "The Deadhouse." What was Lola's connection to this desolate place where people once endured slow and agonizing deaths? And what danger awaits Alex there or on the streets of Manhattan as she targets Lola's killer?"--BOOK JACKET.
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