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Terminal City

Publisher: Dutton Publishing

Terminal City by Linda Fairstein stars her iconic character Assistant District Attorney Alex Cooper, a strong-willed blonde beauty who works in the Special Victims Unit and often gets tangled up with hideous criminals. Terminal City is no different as she is drawn into a murder investigation when a young woman's brutalized body is discovered at the famed Waldorf-Astoria Towers, and only a week before the President is scheduled to arrive. As she begins to investigate, along with her on and off-again lover wise-cracking Det. Mike Chapman, Lt. Rocco Correlli, Det. Pug McBride, and her closest friend Det. Mercer Wallace, they begin to realize that the Waldorf-Astoria is only a piece of the puzzle and they turn their focus to Grand Central Station. Before long, two more bodies turn up and they begin to investigate what is called Terminal City, the underground maze beneath Grand Central Station that is home to hundreds of the city's forgotten homeless.

As they explore miles and miles of mysterious tracks, they discover historical relics lying beneath the pulsing city that provide keys to their mystery, but they also find themselves tangling with a madman who not only has a penchant for murder, but who knows these tracks better than all of them put together. The pressure is on from the Mayor and also Alex's boss, D.A. Paul Battaglia to get this case wrapped up before POTUS descends on New York, but doing so might be easier said than done. To further complicate matters, Alex had been embroiled in a case of a purported cannibal cop with a recipe for his own wife and she finds herself on the bad side of some of the city's other cops as a result. What's worse, these guys seem to have teamed up with a killer on the loose who wants Cooper's head on a platter and is not afraid to put a little fear in her. Alex will find herself walking a tightrope with two murderous men before it all comes to a head.

This is my first experience with a Linda Fairstein novel, and I must admit, she is not one that I particularly enjoy. I did read a compilation novel recently called FACEOFF where Fairstein collaborated with Steve Martini on a short story, but I wasn't crazy about that story either. With Terminal City, since I am late to the party, I just felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of characters that were introduced early on and I had a hard time keeping them all straight. I also thought that the banter between Mike Chapman and Alex Cooper made her seem like a really silly schoolgirl instead of the bad-assed A.D.A. I would expect her to be. There were a number of references to a previous case and since this is my first in the series, I was at a bit of a loss. Sure, I was able to piece things together well enough, but Terminal City didn't make me a fan of Fairstein's work. I enjoyed the historical aspects of it and discovering that there is an underground community in New York, but personally, the overall story and characters just left me cold. If you are a fan of Linda Fairstein's work, you will probably want to continue on with the story, since there is definitely a running storyline between the characters, but from my experience, I don't recommend this for anyone as a first entrance to Fairstein's work.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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