Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!
I just went on a legal kick and am getting immersed in the world of Alexandra Cooper. My mom had some of her books and I of course just grabbed a random one (The Deadhouse) and remember being really annoyed by the character of Mike Chapman. Yes, even at the age of 21 I called him an ass and didn't see what his friendship with Alexandra (Alex) was all about. Through the years I randomly grabbed and read two of her other books and never thought about reading them in order. I finally decided to do that and started in book #1, "Final Jeopardy."
"Final Jeopardy" takes place in New York in 1997. The lead character is Alexandra Cooper. Alex works for the DA's office and heads up the Sex Crimes Unit. Alex is passionate about putting away those who would rape and abuse women and children. When one of Alex's old friends, Hollywood movie star Isabella is murdered at her Martha Vineyard's home questions abound. Was Alex the real target? Or was a stalker after Isabella? Alex is told to stay out of the case, but she helps out her friend Mike Chapman, a detective with the NYPD with the investigation.
I liked parts of Alex that we see her. She is shown as a wonderful advocate and she knows her stuff legally. Fairstein shows attorneys coming to Alex to discuss cases and she provides them information and help along the way. She respects her boss, Paul, and wants to make sure she obeys his directive about staying out of the case, but she can't help being pulled in.
Probably the only thing I disliked about the character is how she allows Mike Chapman to talk about her. He is derogatory to the extreme and the only time I could even stand this character was when something came to light about someone close to Alex and Mike called their mutual friend Mercer and they came and hung out with her. Fairstein via Alex tries to make it that Mike just can't bother with being PC, but he is outright nasty about women and derogatory towards other races, so enjoy reading that mess. I started to skim anytime he talked. The only slightly cute thing about these two is their shared love of Jeopardy and betting on the Final Jeopardy question.
Mercer is in this, but barely it felt like. He is dealing with a serial rapist and I wanted to hear more about that case. The case dealing with Alex's friend was nasty at times. I wondered why Alex was even friends with her since she barely seemed to like her.
Alex has a boyfriend named Jed who seemed like a non-entity throughout the book.
We hear about Alex's parents and brothers' but they don't figure in this at all. We just hear how her father became rich and how he passed on that wealth to his children.
The writing was pretty crisp and Fairstein proves enough legal insights to make you gnash your teeth at how terribly sex crimes used to be prosecuted back in the day. Heck, they still don't sound awesome. I have to mention though that my Kindle version had a ton of typos. It started to get a bit distracting after a while. I wish this had been re-checked after being released via Kindle.
The flow was good, though there were a couple of hard pause points. One was when Alex goes into her doomed lost love and I maybe laughed. I also had some wine at that point so maybe that was what was making me crack up. It was very Gothic Romance for a bit there.
The setting of New York and Martha's Vineyard is interesting. Fairstein obviously studies the locations that appear in her books, so enjoy reading the history of a lot places. That does distract from the overall plot at times, and I hope in later books Fairstein manages to balance that better.
The ending was a bit out there. I definitely didn't catch on until all was revealed.