A pair of mysteriously related high-profile cases take Alexandra Cooper (The Bone Vault, 2002, etc.) far from her bailiwick as Manhattan’s chief prosecutor of sex crimes.
It all starts with investment banker Paige Vallis’s accusation of rape against her recent acquaintance, ex-CIA consultant Andrew Tripping. Tripping coerced her into sex, she maintains, by threatening to hurt his terrified ten-year-old son Dulles she refused. Since Paige’s story is, to say the least, unusual, and since Dulles has been spirited off to a foster home nobody will identify for Alex—although his father’s already visited the boy—the case against Tripping needs all the help it can get. Enter Kevin Bessemer, Tripping’s cellmate at Rikers Island, who’s willing to testify against him. And then, just as suddenly, exit Bessemer, vanished in the company of his feisty underage girlfriend Tiffany Gatts while the cops are transporting him to Manhattan. Signs of the fugitives soon turn up in an unexpected place: the apartment of McQueen Ransome, a storied exotic dancer apparently raped before she was murdered at the age of 82. Up to now, Fairstein has kept her stream of lurid surprises tautly disciplined. But with the revelation that McQueen, as the former mistress of Egypt’s King Farouk half a century ago, may have been in possession of a fabulous treasure that was the real motive for her death, the tale spins into the realm of wildly inventive but frankly incredible fantasy. As Alex struggles to keep her footing while she hops from terrorist insinuations to royal booty to rogue CIA operatives, you have to wonder if she doesn’t share your nostalgia for the time when the forcible violation of women’s bodies wasn’t unspeakable enough—the time when she was prosecuting Andrew Tripping for rape.
A no-holds-barred adventure populated with enough high-livers and lowlifes to keep its corps of cops, Feds, and counselors busy for months.