I am fond of telling people I don't care for serial killer thrillers, and yet, I just finished Linda Fairstein's new book and enjoyed it thoroughly, serial killer and all. Killer Heat, like her other novels, is narrated by Manhattan District Attorney Alex Cooper, who is investigating the rape/murders of several young women and, at the same time, re-prosecuting a 30something year old case of assault. For good measure, some Latin gang members are out for revenge on her, too.
Fairstein, who ran the Sex Crimes Unit for the Manhattan DA's office for more than 20 years, cooks up a page-turning blend (yes, I really just wrote that) of legal twists, action and forensic science. Usually I'm happy to find suspense novels that excel in one of those areas. Fairstein also throws in a fair amount of NYC history, which is interesting, and I also get a big kick out of Alex's joined-at-the-hip friendship with cop Mike Chapman. By now, a less patient author would've had these two in the sack, but Fairstein seems to understand the sort of bonds that must form between professionals who see crimefighting as their raison d'etre.
That's not to say, Ms. Fairstein, that I'll be disappointed if they eventually hook up. Just so you know.
And just so you know: I interviewed Ms. Fairstein a year ago or so and she could not have been more fun to talk to about everything from how DNA testing changed modern criminal prosecutions to how Christopher Meloni from Law & Order SVU (on which she has been a consultant) should play the crazy, diaper-wearing astronaut's love interest if they ever made a movie about that particular story.
(On a completely different note, I discovered all sorts of...interesting photos of Mr. Meloni on the Interwebs, most of them from Oz, but I decided to stick to this more SVU appropriate one in order to at least temporarily keep my job).