Death Dance – by Linda Fairstein
Reviewed by Johni Caitlin Morgan
Wife of company driver, Amstan Logistics, Inc.
Listening Time: 6 hours
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Plot: Assistant District Attorney Alex Cooper and two old friends from the New York Police Department take on two cases that will test their investigative skills and their legal knowledge. The story opens with a case involving a doctor who is committing drug-assisted rapes. You will listen in fascination as Alex gathers evidence and builds a case against a man who is considered by a court-appointed judge to be too handsome and charming to need to resort to rape to find sexual pleasure. The second case begins as a missing person’s report of a prima ballerina. When her body is later found at the theater where she was performing, the three friends team up to find a murderer. The suspense increases and the suspects abound as you are propelled to the shocking ending.
What was your favorite moment? Sorry! I can’t tell you my favorite scene. It comes too close to the ending, and if I describe it to you, it might spoil the ending for you. Listen to the story and choose your own favorite scene; it may be the same one I chose. Here’s a hint: If you have read any of my previous reviews, then you’ve probably guessed that I love to see the good guy rise against the odds and take the day.
Which character was your favorite? Assistant District Attorney Alex Cooper has to be the stand-out as the favorite character. It is said that she has “two steel balls where her heart should be.” Yet throughout the story, you will hear about a woman of compassion, kindness and courage. Alex is a crusader of justice, valiantly working within a system that, if not broken, then is surely bent. She is a woman you could easily call a friend, and you will find it easy to cheer her on to victory.
Does the book have a message or theme? The theme that permeates the entire story is that of greed. Greed for personal pleasure. Greed for more money (after all, why settle for a measly few million when you can get a few billion just by killing someone). Greed for power, greed for secrecy.
What did you like or dislike? There was nothing about this story that I disliked. You will not have to suspend your belief to enjoy this story. Both cases could have been lifted directly from the pages of a current newspaper. And the author does such a good job of interweaving fact and fiction that you just might forget which is which.
Would you recommend this book to friends? I would certainly recommend this book to friends and family. Buy or borrow this one and you will not be sorry you did. I suggest that you pop it into the player at the beginning of your drive so you can hear the entire story before you have to stop. You will not want to shut this one off until you hear the ending.
Narrator’s style: Narrator Blair Brown shines as a reader of the written word. She is able to wring every last emotion from each and every character. She will pull you into the story and keep you there to the very end. She is able to breathe life into the characters in such a way that you could imagine them being real people.
How would you grade the book? This is one of the rare books that I would give a rating of A+.
Echo Park – Michael Connelly
In 1993, Marie Gesto disappeared after walking out of a supermarket in Hollywood. LAPD detective Harry Bosch caught the case, but the young woman never turned up, dead or alive, and it was an investigation Bosch couldn’t close. Now Bosch works in the Open-Unsolved Unit, where he still keeps the Gesto file on his desk, when he gets a call from the DA. A man accused of two heinous killings is willing to come clean about several others in a deal to avoid the death penalty. One of these is the murder of Marie Gesto.
Bosch is now tasked with taking the alleged killer’s confession to make sure he is not scamming the authorities to avoid a date with death. In doing so, Bosch must get close to a man he has sought – and hated – for 13 years. When Bosch learns that he and his partner missed a clue back in 1993 that could have let them to Gesto’s killer – and would have prevented all the murders that followed – his whole being as a cop begins to crack.
Abridged on 5 CDs
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