Devil’s Bridge by Linda Fairstein – Review

Published by Sphere

Publication date – 18 February 2016

Source – review copy


“The Manhattan waterfront is one of New York City’s most magnificent vistas, boasting both the majestic Statue of Liberty and the busy George Washington Bridge. But Detective Mike Chapman is about to become far too well acquainted with the dangerous side of the Hudson river and its islands when he takes on his most personal case yet: the disappearance of Alex Cooper.

Coop is missing – but there are so many leads and terrifying complications: scores of enemies she has made after a decade of putting criminals behind bars; a recent security breach with dangerous repercussions; and a new intimacy in her relationship with Mike, causing the Police Commissioner himself to be wary of the methods Mike will use to get Coop back… if he can.”

I received a copy of this book from Emma Draude PR Agency and this is my honest opinion of the book.

Alexandra Cooper has just had a disastrous day in court. As a major case seems to be collapsing around her, her boss is being cryptic and she is wary of his actions. To add to this she’s still coming to terms with her new romantic relationship with Detective Mike Chapman. But when she disappears after a dinner celebrating the capture of a felon who had threatened her life, Chapman is in a race against time to find Coop, and will go to any lengths to do so…

This is the seventeenth book to feature Alexandra Cooper and I have read all but the last three in the series. It was nice to be able to revisit familiar characters, being able to pick up where I had left off without much missing from the background story.  These books are part of a series and there are some references to previous events though they don’t spoil the outcome of the previous novels.

For those unfamiliar with this series, the main character is Alexandra Cooper and the novels are usually written from her viewpoint. I had missed the instalment when Alex and Chapman’s relationship moved from platonic to romantic, something I had hoped to see in the past, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that this book is written from Chapman’s viewpoint, showing the shift in the relationship.

There are some aspects that are very particular to the USA, references to faces from popular culture for example and the legal system in particular. The novel, though explaining some jargon, does rely on the reader having some knowledge of the US legal system and trial process, which is different to the UK system.

The story seems to travel at a frenetic pace, which would fit the race that Chapman finds himself in, trying to track down ‘Coop’ before it is too late. I did find some of his actions and attitude a little conflicting and unnecessary on occasion, and though some of it could be put down to his concern for Alexandra, there did seem to be a bit of arguing and rudeness for rudeness sake. It seemed to jar a little with the character that had been portrayed in the previous novels, similarly, some of the actions of Alexandra’s friends seemed to be uncharacteristically antagonistic which did jar slightly.

Despite these slight negatives, or perhaps because of them, I found this book highly entertaining. I had picked this book up at a time when I had not read a complete novel for nearly two weeks, a very long time for me, so I was grateful that I was soon absorbed by the book. I went along with the fast-paced flow and soon found myself swept along with the story, looking forward to reading it when I was busy with real life.

The mystery itself was engaging. This isn’t so much a book that you can pit your wits against the detective as a lot of the clues weren’t shown until Chapman himself had worked it out. But it was engaging, action-packed and entertaining. New York is very much used almost as a separate character. The city is a key part in the whole series and Linda Fairstein obviously researches the history of the city, using nuggets of information to find the most picturesque or memorable of action scenes.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting lost in the world of Cooper, Chapman and Mercer so much so that I’m very much looking forward to the next in the series. I want to go back and read the ones that I have missed whilst I wait for that next novel.

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