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Blood Oath

Review

Blood Oath

Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper is back at her desk following a lengthy recovery after her boss, New York City District Attorney Paul Battaglia, was assassinated in front of her at a public event in DEADFALL. When investigators saw Alex as a possible suspect due to the recent hostile environment in the prosecutor’s office, she was introduced to the other side of the law --- cuffed, printed, photographed, interrogated and put into a holding cell. We watched her decline from that strong, self-confident, authoritative Alex we’ve followed through numerous action-packed novels as she crumbled under the stress.
 
Now, her reputation cleared and her usual passion restored, Alex begins her first day in a courtroom as she is asked to assist an inexperienced legal aide from her office who is being badgered by a notoriously nasty but prominent judge. After jousting with the judge, calming her assistant and getting the hearing back on track, she goes to her office, where she happily encounters NYPD detective Mike Chapman, who is also her life partner. This time he is all business, having brought Lucy, a fragile young woman who seeks Alex’s help.

"Whenever we revisit Alex, Mike and NYPD detective Mercer Wallace...it is always enlightening and fun... It is positively an Alfred Hitchcock, white-knuckled ending awaiting the reader."

Lucy wishes to file a sexual assault charge stemming from acts committed 10 years ago that began when she was 14 years old. She is afraid of her abuser, a lawyer who once represented her in an unrelated case who is now a powerful public figure. Too terrified to disclose his name, even to Alex or Mike, Lucy finally and reluctantly reveals a scar across the palm of her hand --- the result of a blood oath between her and the attorney who was supposedly protecting her. He had blended his own blood with hers in an oath to keep silent after he made unwanted sexual advances.

In BLOOD OATH, we are introduced to a renewed Alex, a woman whose career in the Sex Crimes Unit found her prosecuting hundreds, perhaps thousands of heinous crimes. Always tough on the perpetrators, she is now more than ever sensitively dedicated to helping the victims through their journey.
 
Politics raises its head as the now-fully exonerated Alex is being encouraged to run for New York District Attorney to replace the late Battaglia. She’s reluctant to take that step, but as the facts unfold through the young woman Mike has brought to her, she discovers that the leading candidate is the very man who molested Lucy.

Whenever we revisit Alex, Mike and NYPD detective Mercer Wallace, Alex’s protector and friend, it is always enlightening and fun, abounding with information as they solve crimes. For relaxation over dinner and drinks, they make concerted efforts to find a location with a TV set so they can lay wagers and joust with which one knows the most about a certain topic as they tune in on time to watch the “Final Jeopardy!” question.

Through this literary ruse, we have been introduced to the myriad, colorful and often perilous historic locations in New York City and its burroughs. This time it is the Rockefeller Center University Research Institute, constructed over a century ago, complete with dark and murky underground tunnels, winding corridors, sealed doors and perilous drops into the East River, served up with a vast and fascinating history of the Rockefeller Foundation. It is positively an Alfred Hitchcock, white-knuckled ending awaiting the reader.
 
It saddens this regular reader of Fairstein’s novels, who, with my husband, watches “Jeopardy!” We tune in every evening, and the recent news that host Alex Trebek’s serious illness might herald the end of one of television’s most popular game shows is heartbreaking.

Reviewed by Roz Shea on March 29, 2019

Blood Oath
by Linda Fairstein

  • Publication Date: March 26, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton
  • ISBN-10: 1524743100
  • ISBN-13: 9781524743109