Last year, at BEA, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of NIGHT WATCH by Linda Fairstein a few days before its release. This year, I got my hands on DEATH ANGEL a whole two months before it’s July 30, 2013 release date.
What It’s About
Assistant District Attorney, the Chief of Special Victims, Alexandra Cooper once again joins up with detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace. This time, in Central Park. When a homeless girl is found dead at the Angel of the Waters fountain, it’s up to the team to figure out who killed her – and why. The murder takes them all through Central Park, and its 200 year history, and to the Dakota where a kidnapping took place forty years previously.
The novel also has two side plots. The first is that Mike Chapman is being threatened to be kicked off the force by a judge, whom he had the misfortune of having an affair with Judge Crazypants. The threat of Mike’s termination runs throughout the novel until the very end, even including a standoff (that’s off stage). The other is a serial rapist who is after Alex. (Though, this isn’t much of a plot, as just mentionings throughout the novel – but I have a feeling we’ll be seeing him back in book 16).
Also! For those Mike + Alex fans…there is quite a bit of development with their friendship. :D
I really enjoyed it. I’m always excited for a new Alexandra Cooper novel from Fairstein. She’s one of the few I watch for new releases and nab them ASAP. I love that she focuses the investigation in a central area of New York and gives her readers the feeling of being there. The history is also always richly described and worked into the storyline so it’s not so much a lesson about a landmark area, but a way to better understand New York City. I think the fact that her later novels focus on specific places really adds to the enjoyment of the story itself.
The murder in the park is only the driving force for the team to get together. Most of the story revolves around an unsolved high-profile kidnapping from the famous Dakota building (which Fairstein also gives the history of). The story was well written and had great subplots to make it flow together, but it wasn’t one of my favorite crimes to be solved by Alex and the boys. (Not for lack of a good story! I just wasn’t all that interested in the twistings that Fairstein used to make it all fit together.)
The ending came to the close, bringing a conclusion to the main things: the truth behind Baby Lucy’s kidnapping; the murderer of the homeless girl in the park; and Mike’s Judge Crazypants problem. While the serial rapist is still on the loose (Mercer says, “We’ll work on it tomorrow.”), and Mike + Alex have a few things to figure out, it was a good closing. But I am already itchy for the next book!
In all, a satisfying read. I’d definitely add this to my Beach Reads list because it was hard to put it down once I started, and if you’re sitting on the beach for hours, it’s a great way to be entertained.
Rating… 7/10 stars.