An Island of Buried Treasure

The Deadhouse
Linda Fairstein
Reviewed by Donna Pierce

Listening time: 6 hours
Retail: $26
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

The only clue assistant district attorney Alexandra Cooper has is a scrap of paper in a dead woman’s hand with the words “The Deadhouse” and a series of numbers scribbled on it. The murder victim is Lola Dakota, a professor at a local university who had suffered at the hands of her abusive husband.

The Deadhouse is the fourth novel in a series that centers on Cooper and her favorite homicide cop, Mike Chapman. In this book, Cooper has become involved with Jake, a television news correspondent, but the romance becomes shaky.

Although her husband had abused her for years, Lola refused to have him prosecuted on domestic abuse charges. Lola and “Ivan the Terrible” had an on-and-off relationship for years, and in recent months reconciled for a brief period of time. After Lola left him again, he began stalking her and hired men to kill her. The “hired killers,” actually undercover cops, teamed with Lola and set up a fake shooting, videotaping it for authorities. When Lola’s body is later found crushed in an elevator shaft, Ivan has an alibi because he’s in jail for her attempted murder. But this time Lola’s death is real; she can’t sit up and smile for the cameras.

The book is full of interesting university characters who are connected to Lola, all with reasons to want her dead. The professors teach at King’s College, a small experimental university in New York. Another interesting aspect to the story is the in-house feuding that goes on among the faculty. To add to the mystery, Charlotte Voight, a King’s College student, had disappeared in the months prior to Lola’s death.

During the investigation, Cooper and Chapman find out that Lola and her academic colleagues had researched and started an archeological dig at an abandoned 19th century hospital on New York’s Roosevelt Island, an imposing, gothic hulk where more than a century ago smallpox patients were sent to die. It’s rumored that diamonds were buried on the island, and many believe they are still there.

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Cooper’s life is at stake when she gets too close to the murderer. She is taken to the island where years ago many outcasts died, and she has to think quickly to try to throw the murderer off-guard.

The writer, Linda Fairstein, works as an assistant district attorney in charge of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan district attorney’s office, lending authenticity to her character Cooper and the story as a whole.
Grade: A-

Hearts in Atlantis
Stephen King

Hearts in Atlantis is composed of five interconnected, sequential narratives set in the years from 1960 to 1999. Each story is deeply rooted in the ’60s, and each is haunted by the Vietnam War.

In “Low Men in Yellow Coats,” 11-year-old Bobby Garfield discovers a world of predatory malice in his own neighborhood, and that adults are sometimes not rescuers but at the heart of the terror.

In the title story, a bunch of college kids get hooked on a card game, discover the possibility of protest, and confront their own collective heart of darkness, where laughter may be no more than the thinly disguised cry of the beast.

In “Blind Willie” and “Why We’re in Vietnam,” two men who grew up with Bobby in suburban Connecticut try to fill the emptiness of the post-Vietnam era in an America which sometimes seems as hollow and haunted as their own lives.

And in “Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling,” Bobby returns to his hometown where one final secret, and his heart’s desire, may await him.
Hearts in Atlantis
21 hours
Retail: $49.95
Simon & Schuster Audio

Lay It on the Line
Catherine Dain

She’s a gambler and a gumshoe. In her spare time Freddie O’Neal likes a game of keno, hanging out with her cats at home or flying a private plane. But when it comes to crime in the gambling town of Reno, Freddie is all business.

Joan Halliday, an aging chorus girl, has asked for Freddie’s help. Joan’s father is being conned by his caretakers. Freddie quickly realizes that in order to resolve the situation, she must untangle a knot of hidden family secrets and murder. As she comes close to the resolution, Freddie’s own life is on the line.
Lay It on the Line
7.2 hours
Retail: $31.96
Books in Motion

James Lee Burke

Bitterroot features Billy Bob Holland, a former Texas Ranger and now a Texas-based lawyer, who has come to Big Sky country at the request of an old friend in trouble.

And big trouble it is, not just for his friend, but for Billy Bob himself – in the form of Wyatt Dixon, a recent prison parolee sworn to kill Billy Bob as revenge for both his imprisonment and his sister’s death, both of which he blames on the former Texas lawman.

As the mysteries multiply and the body count mounts, listeners are drawn deeper and deeper into the tortured mind of Billy Bob Holland, an incredibly complex hero tormented by the mistakes of his past and driven to make things – all things – right. What makes Holland especially fascinating is that beneath the guise of justice for the weak and downtrodden lies a tendency for violence that at times becomes more terrifying than the danger he is trying to eradicate.
6 hours
Retail: $26
Simon & Schuster Audio

Drivers, here is your chance to review the latest audiobooks. Tell our readers what you like or dislike about the plot and characters and why you would recommend it to other drivers. Below is a list of audiobooks available in the Truckers News audiobook library. Contact Jodi Black at (800) 633-5953 ext. 1364 or via e-mail at [email protected] to reserve an audiobook. It will be sent to you free of charge for your review. Audiobooks are available on a first-call, first-served basis.