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Publisher's Summary

In the latest thriller in Linda Fairstein's best-selling series, Alex Cooper dives deep into the byzantine, sinister world of New York City's powerful religious institutions.
It's the middle of the night. Prosecutor Alexandra Cooper is called to Harlem's Mount Neboh Baptist Church, a beautiful house of worship originally built as a synagogue. But the crowd gathered there isn't interested in architecture, or even prayer. They've come for the same reason Alex has: to find out why the body of a young woman has been decapitated, set on fire, and left burning on the church steps.
The only identifiable artifact on the charred remains is the imprint of a Star of David necklace seared into the victim's flesh. Alex wonders if the fire was meant to destroy this woman's body, or to draw attention to it. Her fears are confirmed days later, when a second corpse is found at a cathedral in Little Italy.
The killings look like serial hate crimes, but the apparent differences in the victims' beliefs seem to eliminate a religious motive. Convinced that another young woman is bound to die, Alex mines the depths of Manhattan's many houses of worship to find a connection between the victims - and in the process uncovers a terrible and perilous truth that takes her far beyond the scope of her investigation, and directly into the path of terrible danger.
©2011 Linda Fairstein (P)2011 Penguin
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Beverly on 03-24-11

Not up to Fairstein's Usual Flair

I am an avid Linda Fairstein fan and have listened to all her books at least twice. Silent Mercy, which I waited for with much anticipation was a disappointment. The story did not hold my interest and I even listened to several other books before I finally decided to finish it. Even then I found my thoughts drifting and just was never "taken" by the story. In the genre, Alex is such a strong character and usually the stories are compelling but this one just did not hold together. Too bad.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Kathleen Rogers on 03-16-12

Churches and lepers and murders, oh, my!

The only thing that elevated my overall rating to 3 stars was Barbara Rosenblatt's excellent narration. She is a versatile and convincing vocal actress and her performance was what kept me listening.

Although I have always been happy enough to find an Alex Cooper paperback in the fairly grim airport newsstands where I have purchased them, I found this listen to be a drag, as I couldn't skip over the excess folderol as I can when reading.

And I think the cases are getting more outré. I won't spoil the plot, but it is bloated to say the least, stuffed full of silliness, so that it is much longer than warranted. I am getting tired of Chapman's Jeopardy shtick, Alex's suave and cliched French lover and her constant nattering about her wealth and privilege and wardrobe, and the history lessons which erupt ever more frequently. The history lessons are always interesting but they totally interrupt the narrative drive, and sound like high school essays, not normal, adult, colloquial human speech.

Yes, yes, this is fantasy detective fiction, but these people are human yo-yo's--one minute facing almost certain death (after three sleepless days) and the next minute sucking down champagne, tra-la-la.

If you like this sort of thing, you will like this sort of thing, but I'm finished.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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