Novel has be­liev­able twists

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Books - OLINE H. COGDILL

An on­go­ing plea­sure in Linda Fairstein’s nov­els about as­sis­tant district at­tor­ney Alexan­dra (Alex) Cooper is the au­thor’s abil­ity to weave lit­tle-known his­tory about New York City into her sto­ries.

These tales of old New York aren’t win­dow dress­ing but be­come part of the ac­tion, mov­ing the plot along while pro­vid­ing glimpses of the Big Ap­ple that many people never see. Grand Cen­tral Ter­mi­nal — “the world’s loveli­est sta­tion” — makes an ex­cit­ing back­drop as Ter­mi­nal City de­liv­ers plenty of sus­pense, in­trigue and twists in the hunt for a killer. Fairstein’s lat­est novel also is a bit of a de­par­ture for this se­ries. Since much of the ac­tion takes place in or around Grand Cen­tral, Ter­mi­nal City works more as a tense po­lice pro­ce­dural than a le­gal thriller with Alex only in court for a few scenes.

Alex again teams with New York Po­lice Depart­ment de­tec­tives Mike Chap­man and Mercer Wal­lace to in­ves­ti­gate the mur­der of a young woman found in a suite at the Wal­dorf As­to­ria ho­tel. The de­tec­tives link the case to Grand Cen­tral when an­other mur­der hap­pens within days. The clues lead to the bow­els of the iconic land­mark where hid­den stair­cases, cat­walks 20 storeys above the ground and rooms that don’t show up on any blue­print make per­fect hid­ing places. An un­der­ground com­mu­nity of home­less people, com­plete with makeshift apart­ments, also pro­vides a con­ve­nient way for a crim­i­nal to dis­ap­pear.

Fairstein main­tains the in­tegrity of Grand Cen­tral’s his­tory while keep­ing the solid plot on track. Ter­mi­nal City — which also was Grand Cen­tral’s nick­name in its early years — doesn’t slow down, with be­liev­able twists and a heart­stop­ping de­noue­ment.

Ter­mi­nal City Linda Fairstein (Dut­ton)

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