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Hell Gate (Alexandra Cooper #12)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  4,015 ratings  ·  254 reviews
Head of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney's office in Manhattan for decades, Linda Fairstein is America's most visible legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence-which is why she writes some of the most compelling crime thrillers of our time and why her Alexandra Cooper series has been topping bestseller list for more than a decade. Fans turn to Fairst ...more
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Dutton Books
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I accidentally returned this book to the library 1/4 of the way in, so my reading was interrupted significantly! However, once I got it back from the library, it was hard to keep going. I slogged on, trying to keep the players on track in my mind, and to maintain interest in the two separate stories that were very obviously going to merge. Even when I was 10 pages from the ending, I set it down to finish later -- never a good sign with a mystery book! There were few surprises, and too many bad g ...more
Alex is The Romance Fox
The 12th novel in The Alexandra Cooper Series, this is a well-written and taut mystery involving human trafficking, prostitution, corrupt politicians, sex scandals, murder and much more.
The story opens with a Ukrainian ship, carrying human cargo, including young women destined to sexual slavery, runs aground and an up and coming politician who leaves the scene and his mistress, after he had crashed his car.
Alexandra Cooper, Assistant District Attorney and head of New York Special Victims Unit i
I keep asking myself why I keep reading Fairstein. I'm so comfortable with the characters they almost cease to interest me. I've not been happy with the last several mysteries--and I think this one was the worst. When I open her books, I know exactly what I'm going to get--and that's the problem. As a history buff, I'm always amazed and delighted by the NYC history she imparts. Really fascinating. I follow NYC closely enough that I catch most of the insider references--and that's kind of fun too ...more
I really like this series, it's exciting and fun to read, since each one focuses on a different New York City historical landmark, or sometimes an aspect of New York City history. Hell Gate was an interesting addition to the series, focusing on human trafficking and Manhattan's Federalist-era mansions. However, if Alexandra and Mike do not so much as kiss in the next book, I might have to start boycotting the series. Come on! They are perfect for each other and the author has kept them scrupulou ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
I really enjoy Linda Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper Series. I happened upon the former Manhattan DA and her novels by accident, and truly love her mysteries and writing style. She's easy to read, fast paced, and knows how to build suspence without having the reader to suspend too much disbelief. I love how Fairstein brings in Jeopary! to relieve some tense moments. I love that Detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace are walking encyclopedias of NYC history. I always learn a few things when I re ...more
Assistant district attorney Alexandra Cooper is called out on a freezing January morning to investigate the body of a young woman washed ashore. The woman is only one of several bodies from a Ukrainian freighter containing 300 illegal aliens, however, this woman was stabbed to death before she hit the water. She also bears the tattoo of someone destined for sexual slavery. Complicating Alexandra’s job is the murder of a congressman’s mistress who was sporting a similar tattoo. How do these women ...more
Having read and enjoyed a few of the previous Alexandra Cooper novels, I was profoundly disappointed with HELL GATE.

A turgid, bifurcated storyline that took far too long to develop any direction; far, far too much trivial detail about the NY mansions, and particularly Gracie Mansion. The historical minutiae may be of interest to native New Yorkers, but to someone like me in the antipodes, it's simply extraneous padding. If I wanted to know anything at all about Gracie Mansion (which I don't) the
Julia Farrell
I love the Alex Cooper books. I think Fairstein is a good author, she surely knows how to tell a story. Her research into esoteric pieces of NYC history are really great -- I'd read the books just for them but, the story around them is always interesting.
I have one gripe and this is true for all the books (at least the 12 I've read). The book moves along at an excellent pace all the way through. The characters are developed, the story unfolds, the reality is in place and then -- EVERY TIME, with
This may well be my last Fairstein read. I remember enjoying these Alex Cooper mysteries but this time I kept asking myself what was it previously enjoyed so much I would pick up another one. The NYC historic bits were as always interesting, I even looked up the mansions online, interesting stuff. As for the rest, bleh. Too much political tediousness with too many bad guys to keep track of and the almost but never really yet never really not either romance (fauxmance?) between Alex and Mike were ...more
I have read all of Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper novels, but this one will be one of my least favorite. I enjoy reading about the recurring characters and the historic places in New York City - no other series makes me want to visit New York the way hers do. But, this one was so full of politicians and crooked officials and overlapping plots, it just seemed too full and jumbled. And the almost relationship between Cooper and Chapman is very frustrating. There is always just the hint of attraction ...more
Book 12 in the Alex Cooper series deals with human trafficking, which I found both sad and interesting. Best part of the book: Fairstein is finally devoting a little more time to the Mike/Alex dynamic. Worst part: Alex comes across as wimpy and submissive in this book. Every male she interacts with is condescending toward her -- and I absolutely GET that it happens, believe me, but she could at least act offended and take some action. There is no sense of her as a tough, take-charge prosecutor i ...more
Shellye M.
One of her less satisfying efforts. Neither of the two intersecting plotlines will hold your interest for long. You'll get a history lesson on Manhattan's Mansions (particularly Gracie Mansion, the Mayor's official residence), and the usual scenes of meals with Mike and Mercer, as well as the Jeopardy final question. There's the obligatory mention of the possible attraction between Chapman and Alexandra Cooper, but it's only a mention, nothing of note. I'll hope for a more compelling mystery in ...more
Richard Brand
This is my 12th book by Fairstein and I think I am beginning to get a little tired of her formula. This one dealt with sex trafficking. Each of her stories has a subject. We have been in museums, rare books, restaurant business, ballet, and french banker and rape. The list is long. But I am getting exhausted by the long history lessons in each book. There is usually more about parts of New York than I really want to know. The love life of Alexandra is beginning to grow thin for me as well. Brend ...more
I'm conflicted about this latest entry in Fairstein's usually reliable series. LOVED the esoteric NYC history. Fairstein is always good at making interesting NYC locations a part of her mysteries, and this book is no exception. And exploring the horrors of international sex trafficking is important.

While several reviewers have complained about a large cast of characters, I think that was an essential component of the sex trafficking story. Traffickers aren't just unsavory jerks. Some of them ar
Petula Darling
I found this one thoroughly confusing. I couldn't seem to keep the characters straight despite taking notes.
A bigger problem, though, is my increasing dislike for Mike Chapman. I liked him in books #1 and #2, then I had to skip to book #5 when I couldn't find #3 & #4 on audio. Since then, he's been becoming a bigger jerk to Alex with each successive novel, while at the same time it seems as if we're supposed to view him as a potential romantic partner for her. Yick.
#12 in the Alexandra Cooper series. Alex is the wealthy, NYC ADA in charge of prosecuting sex crimes. As always though, NYC is the star of this series. In this 2010 entry, Hell Gate is featured - Wikipedia has this to say: The Hell Gate Bridge is a 1,017-foot steel through arch railroad bridge in New York City. The bridge crosses the Hell Gate, a strait of the East River, between Astoria, Queens and Wards Island in Manhattan.
The plot and crime-solving is also OK.

ADA Alexandra Cooper and colleag
This was quite a cast of characters that I had a hard time keeping separated. They seemed to fall in to the Very Good Friend to Alexandra Cooper and the Not Well Thought Of by Alexandra Cooper (whether formerly or presently) categories followed by the vague or barely-developed supporting cast of higher-ups, low-lifes, and no-name public servants. There was an awful lot of hand-holding by the two prominent male supporters of the tough female Assistant District Attorney protagonist and not much re ...more
I've enjoyed all the other Alex Cooper books that I've read, but the first seven chapters of this one dwelled so much on the political machinations between the various legal departments (not to mention historical & architectural lessons on New York) that I'd gleaned barely an inkling of an actual plot to pull me through the boring bits, & actually found myself flicking through the pages to see how much longer I had to keep reading to get to the end of the current chapter.
This was A Bad S
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Pessolano
Alexandra Cooper, aka Alex or Coop, is a part of the New York District Attorney's office. Alex is part of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit. In "Hell Gate" she becomes involved in a case of human trafficking, that would have possible implications for those in high government offices.

A ship, the "Golden Voyage", runs aground in New York Harbor and panic breaks out and people begin abandoning ship. The police find that the ship is full of illegals from the Ukraine and are being brought into this cou
Sara Townsend
In this twelfth novel featuring Linda Fairstein’s New York District Attorney, Alex Cooper finds herself present at the scene of a shipwreck off the Manhattan Coast. The wrecked ship contains illegal immigrants who have been brought into America as part of a people trafficking plot. The body of a drowned young woman is recovered, sporting a tattoo identifying her “owner”. Not long after, the mistress of a prominent politician also turns up dead. Strangely, she sports the same tattoo as the other ...more
Craig Sisterson
In HELL GATE, the twelfth instalment in her Alex Cooper series, Fairstein’s heroine (who in many ways comes across as an aspirational version of the author) finds herself investigating a shipwreck that spills illegal immigrants into the frigid waters off Manhattan. At the same time a promising young congressman is caught up in a sex scandal that leads to murder. Alternatively flanked, lead, and pulled along by regular NYPD detective sidekicks Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, Cooper, an Assistant ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Hell Gate, by Linda Fairstein, A-minus, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, produced by Penguin Audio, downloaded from

This is the 12th Alexandra Cooper novel with Alex, an assistant D.A. in the sex crimes unit, and her two buddy police officers, Mike Chapman and Wallace Mercer, with whom she has worked for over a decade. Fairstein always gives us great glimpses of litte-known New York City history in her books, this time the remaining mansions built for highly influential politicians, inc
I had not read any of the previous Alexandra Cooper novels, so I had no expectations when I picked this up (at a dollar store).

It started out well, with a shipwreck with a surprising cargo - human cargo. The evidence points towards human trafficking, and our heroine gets pulled in, and the story was promising to sure forward,

However, immediately after, there were several side stories which seemed to top the must-do list, and the story seemed to ebb along, rather than surge.

After too many desc
Joe Nowak
Jul 13, 2011 Joe Nowak rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: myhstery fans who like good characters in a good story
Recommended to Joe by: No one
Shelves: mystery
Alexandra Cooper, ADA in the city of New York, along with her partner, police Detective Mike Chapman, go after human traffickers and crooked politicians. The story has the usual twists and turns associated with a typical mystery. There's a political sex scandal with love child, human traffickers selling women into prostitution from the Ukraine and Mexico, political fraud, and more.

While Fairstein writes a good mystery, the real gems of her stories are the two main characters. Alex is an ADA in t
I love the characters in the Alex Cooper series with Mike Chapman and Wallace Mercer. The interaction between them is always fun and Mike's obsession with Jeopardy always adds an element of interest in the questions and who will know the answer. One of my favorite aspects of this series is the history. Sometimes it does get a little intense but most of the time I enjoy learning things about New York that I never knew. I read this book in one night except for the last 50 pages when I could no lon ...more
Another good murder tale. The endings are always a bit of surprise and manage to have lots of suspense in the last few chapters. This is the 3rd book I have read in her series, and don't seem to
be reading in order.

I do like the characters and the history and background that enters into the plots is very interesting.
I also like the map of Manhattan at the beginning so you can see where things take place.
Third time around trying to read this book (or is it fourth time around?) Always get to around page 50 when I'm thinking that this is just too hard to get into. Too much going off in so many directions and nothing seems to grab me and catch me, or if it does, then it's off in some other direction.

I've tried other books by this author and it's always the same. I just don't care for her style of writing.
This is the first book I've read by Linda Fairstein and I have to say I'm not sure I'll read another by her. Maybe because Linda is running out of steam after writing about the same characters and settings, I felt the story was pushed to a conclusion by the author rather than being pulled along by the characters themselves. It was a good story - very well researched and reasoned. The opening scene was a mess and I felt the author tried to wedge all of the hooks of her storyline into the first fe ...more
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Linda Fairstein (born 1947) is one of America's foremost legal experts on crimes of violence against women and children. She served as head of the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office from 1976 until 2002 and is the author of a series of novels featuring Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper. Ms. Fairstein is married to Justin N. Feldman, retired counsel to the New York offi ...more
More about Linda Fairstein...

Other Books in the Series

Alexandra Cooper (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Final Jeopardy (Alexandra Cooper, #1)
  • Likely To Die (Alexandra Cooper, #2)
  • Cold Hit (Alexandra Cooper, #3)
  • The Deadhouse (Alexandra Cooper, #4)
  • The Bone Vault (Alexandra Cooper, #5)
  • The Kills (Alexandra Cooper, #6)
  • Entombed (Alexandra Cooper, #7)
  • Death Dance (Alexandra Cooper, #8)
  • Bad Blood (Alexandra Cooper, #9)
  • Killer Heat (Alexandra Cooper, #10)
Final Jeopardy (Alexandra Cooper, #1) The Kills (Alexandra Cooper, #6) Likely To Die (Alexandra Cooper, #2) Silent Mercy (Alexandra Cooper, #13) Entombed (Alexandra Cooper, #7)

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