I love memoirs, I love literature, I love poetry. I also love Linda Fairstein’s Alexandra Cooper legal/mystery series. I read the first book in the series, Final Jeopardy, on a whim, and was surprised by how connected I felt to the protagonist, Alex Cooper, and to the other main characters. I have been working my way through the series since that first volume, and am now on one of the last books, Terminal City.
I’m still very much enjoying the world that Linda Fairstein has created in this series, that of Manhattan sex crimes and restaurants, of Jeopardy and friendship, of Alex’s neighbor and his dog called Zac (for Prozac). The books are formulaic in one way, because they each center around a central crime that Alex is solving, feature drama from the District Attorney’s office, and generally end with a pulse-raising confrontation between Alex and one of the bad guys. Yet the stories keep me reading because of the characters they feature.
Alexandra Cooper is a strong, smart, complex woman who loves Martha’s Vineyard, her job, ballet, and Dewar’s. She stumbles repeatedly in her efforts to find love in her life, and falls back on a few dear friends. I love the way Fairstein draws female friendship, because Alex’s relationships with her closest women friends clearly sustain her. Alex also has two very important colleagues who have become close friends: Mercer Wallace and Mike Chapman, both of whom are relatable, fully-fleshed out characters in their own right. Fairstein has created some wonderfully human characters in Mercer and Mike, and they are perfect foils for Alex. I feel like I know all three of them now.
Sometimes, and that time is now for me, I just want to escape into a book that is pure story. The Alex Cooper mysteries are that, and their finely wrought details come from life experience. Fairstein herself spent 26 years in the Manhattan DA’s office with a focus on sex crimes, so she knows the territory that Alex treads. If you’re looking for a book to fall into, and one whose plot is accompanied with intelligent, interesting, flawed and marvelous characters, I highly recommend the Alexandra Cooper series.
Have you read a book in the Alexandra Cooper series? We’d love to hear what you think — please share in the comments below. Thanks!
Want to buy an Alexandra Cooper series book? Visit our friends at your local bricks-and-mortar independent bookstore or buy via Indiebound by clicking the link here!