Oohh, a thriller I could sink my teeth into! Just what I wanted – I need to balance the girly stuff with a little bit of gory murder every now and then. And Linda Fairstein’s Hell Gate had all the right ingredients – murder, corruption, intrigue and a mystery that requires quite a bit of unravelling to get to the bottom of.
A tragic shipwreck off the coast of New York claims the lives of many of the passengers on board – human cargo, caught up in a trafficking operation bringing young people to America with the promise of a better life. As Assistant DA Alex Cooper begins to investigate the wreck, it appears this may be the catalyst to set off a chain of events that has links to some of the most powerful men in the city.
When an ambitious congressman’s mistress is found dead not long after the shipwreck, it appears she may have a link to one of the victims washed ashore – a matching tattoo that appears to be the brand of the mastermind behind the trafficking operation. As the congressman and his overly ambitious father attempt to keep news of his affair (and rumoured love child) out of the press, the city mayor, Vin Statler, is pushing to keep both cases moving – he wants them solved and out of his face as quickly as possible.
Alex and her colleagues Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace begin to investigate both crimes – trying to work out the link and to make sure the right people are brought to justice. As they delve further into the sordid secret lives of some of New York’s elite, Alex finds herself learning more than she bargained for. With stories abounding of misappropriation of city funds, sex scandals threatening to be made public and the identity of the person behind the illegal trafficking of human beings still unknown, Alex and the others feel as though they are caught up in a web with no way out.
But when another woman with links to the murdered mistress is found after an attempt on her life, the perpetrator lets his guard down and his identity is within reach. Providing Alex can escape with her own life.
Hell Gate is Linda Fairstein’s twelfth novel featuring New York ADA Alex Cooper. And she is my kind of heroine – gutsy, determined and with a don’t mess with me attitude, she has a softer side underneath. She is well looked after by her policeman colleagues, but it looks like we’re going to have to wait for the next Alex Cooper book to see if that tiny frisson of energy between her and Mike Chapman will ever eventuate into anything!
This book was a fast-paced, completely riveting read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend Linda Fairstein to anyone who enjoys a good, absorbing thriller that has enough intrigue and mystery to get you thinking, as well as some inspiring characters. It’s satisfied my need for a chilling thriller for a little longer!
Available now: Hachette RRP$32.99