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Silent Mercy (Alexandra Cooper #13)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,750 Ratings  ·  312 Reviews
Watch a video In the latest thriller in Linda Fairstein's bestselling 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 g
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 8th 2011 by Dutton
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Alex is The Romance Fox
Silent Mercy, another riveting crime novel by Linda Fairstein, is the 13th in the Alexandra Cooper Series.
Alexandra Cooper, ADA and prosecutor in the sex crimes division and Detective Mike Chapman are investigating two brutal murders in NYC
 photo tumblr_mabgqxv0Iz1qfj5t5o1_500_zpsfbb611ce.jpg
A young woman’s mutilated headless body is set on fire and left burning on the steps of Harlem’s Mount Neboh Baptist Church.  photo 6278760658_ce0b700839_z_zps1c58783f.jpg
When another dead woman’s body is found at the Old St Patrick’s Cathedral in Little Italy, photo 16075103_zpsb480dd7e.jpg it becomes clear that the two churches, us
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
2.5 Stars

My Musings

Silent Mercy isn't one of my favorite books in the Alexandra Cooper Series. The usually good dialogue was stiff and I had to read some dialogue a couple of times to make sense of it. And the storyline lacked Fairstein's usual easiness, like she didn't really believe the whole scenario either. Her timing and her reliable suspense pacing seemed off. I neither really liked nor disliked Silent Mercy and that is very unusual for this reader, since I am a big fan of Linda Fairstein.
May 01, 2011 Trisher rated it it was ok
I've read all the other books in the series. After the last one, I wasn't sure I was going to bother. Mike Chapman isn't really endearing enough to pull off all of the offensive and obnoxious stuff he says. I don't see how it's necessary. I mean, he says horrible things but then the main character, Alex Cooper, thinks "well, I know he's a really good guy deep down". Yeah, ok. So he's a cop and saves lives. It's hardly an excuse to be a complete a-hole about absolutely everything else.

Anyway, he'
Jul 30, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it
In this latest installment of the Alexandra Cooper series, Linda Fairstein takes us on a wild thrill ride on her latest case yet. We're so deeply involved into this one, when it deals with females and religion, and their beliefs. We root for Alex to find out a connection between old and new murders of this serial killer, which takes us all over to New York. There's plenty of surprises in this one, that would leave you breathless on every twist and turn she has in store for you, the fellow reader ...more
Feb 04, 2012 Pam rated it really liked it
I didn't realize this was a series when I started reading, so imagine my surprise when I discovered it was release 13. How I managed to miss this author, I can't imagine, but I'll be watching for her next release in the future.

Now to the book. I really enjoyed it. The characters are well developed, have good relationships, the plot moves along at a fast pace and the premise could have jumped off the pages of any major city newspaper. I loved the tidbits of historical trivia about the various dif
Apr 15, 2012 ReadandRated rated it did not like it
If you’ve read my other reviews you’ll know that I don’t usually reveal anything about the story, I prefer to tell you my opinion of it and leave you to enjoy the story for yourself if you choose to read it. However, as I’m deeply unimpressed with something about this book I’m not sticking to my usual principles!

I loved the synopsis on the back of this book, it hooked me by saying the was based in New York (I love it there) and starts by saying “In the middle of the night, the burnt headless bod
May 24, 2011 Caitlin rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
Linda Fairstein is one of handful of writers with series that I enjoy enough to always read whatever the latest is. It's a relatively select group that provides me with great reading comfort food and sometimes that's just what you need. I have a lot of respect for Linda Fairstein and her pioneering work as a Sex Crimes DA back in the days when the victim deserved it. As bad as it is now, it is much much better than it used to be and women like Linda Fairstein helped make that happen. Bonus that ...more
J. Ewbank
Apr 26, 2014 J. Ewbank rated it really liked it
This book by Fairstein is well put together. It is a mystery that is mysterious. The characters are interesting and they get involved. You want to keep turning pages to find out what is happening. I think the attorney, Alex, does more than most do but it makes the story. You'll enjoy it.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" and "To Whom It May Concern"
Apr 11, 2011 Alissa rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller, series, 2011
I usually really enjoy an Alex Cooper novel. However, this one just didn't do it for me.
It started out quick with a gruesome murder. We had a slice of Alex in court. However, the writing just wasn't that taut, and several things were repeated in the text (a bit about Alex's religious background).

I thought the writing wasn't as good as in previous novels. I had a hard time following the plot and the motivations of the characters.

There was a really dumb subplot too that just distracted from the
Susannah Carleton
Dec 29, 2015 Susannah Carleton rated it it was amazing
Excellent and riveting! Alex is helping to try a case against a defrocked priest and teacher who molested a number of young boys, but members of the Catholic Church hierarchy are incensed when a former Bishop is questioned at length about the church's response to such complaints and about secret archives. (To keep the trial out of the headlines, Alex isn't the lead prosecutor, but she's the one who questions the Bishop.) Someone is killing religious women, in gruesome manners, leaving their bodi ...more
Mike Cuthbert
Aug 24, 2015 Mike Cuthbert rated it really liked it
The author likes New York history and in this entry Fairstein combines that history with a discussion of feminism, issues in the Catholic Church and some pretty grisly murders for a didactic romp. The first of several murders is that of a young woman who is discovered, decapitated and burning, on the steps of Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem. Other churches serve as the site for more bodies as we move through the plot. Special Units Prosecutor Alexandra Cooper and her favorite detective, Mik ...more
Apr 25, 2013 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Linda is one of my favorite authors. This novel's first "incident" was found just a few blocks from where my daughter and family lives in New York. Makes me want to visit all of the churches involved in the story. Beautiful architecture it sounds like. Also this novel of hers dealt with some important feminist and other issues facing the church today which was exciting for me.
The story begins with NYC prosecutor Alex Cooper and homicide detective Mike Chapman investigating a smoldering headless corpse found on the steps of a prominent Baptist Church that has a lot of history. Religious themes are explored, and as usual there is a lot of historical information provided by the author, but ultimately I felt like the murderer and all of the historical facts provided did not quite explain the murderer's motives. Some of the facts fit, but many seemed not to have anything ...more
Betsy Baird
Aug 14, 2013 Betsy Baird rated it liked it
It was decent, but I felt it got a bit more outlandish that many of the others. I won't add how, as that would be a spoiler of sorts, but you'll see.
Jahnn Alexis
Jan 26, 2014 Jahnn Alexis rated it it was amazing
This book has everything I like: murders (plural tense), strong characters, a female lead who is not obsessed with falling in love, mystery, twists, and enough controversy to pique curiosity but not insult. Silent Mercy is well-written, well-executed, and just believable enough to be a little bit scary. Book endings always seem quick to me because it is usually the middle of the night when I get to them. But I think this one was truly quick.....though not rushed. You will see why quickness is ex ...more
Maggie Holmes
I love the way Linda Fairstein reveals hidden parts of New York City in her novels. I always want to take a tour of the places in her books. In this one it is some old churches in the city -- one which was a synagogue, then a Catholic church, and now Baptist; the old St. Patrick's cathedral; St John the Divine and a Fordham church. I am tired of the banter between Mike and Alex. Some of the interactions among the characters feel canned. The mystery was pretty good as they followed the clues. I t ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Scilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mad man is viciously killing female priests and a Jewish woman who is trying to get women's rights in worship. He appears to be almost able to fly, and is leaving the bodies in churches. Alex, Mike Chapman, are on the case, even though the bosses call her off. There are a couple of other cases going on at the same time - the trial of a child molester priest and a rich girl who falsely claims rape by a scholarship student at her prep school. Near the end, Alex and Mike have a wild chase for the ...more
Debbie Evancic
Jul 22, 2015 Debbie Evancic rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Someone told me I must read Linda Farnstein books because she does so much research before she writes, bringing real facts into her novels. This she does. There were many elaborate descriptions of churches in New York and I did feel like I was right there. However, it took me a long time to grab on to the excitement of Alex Cooper (DA and prosecutor) and her partner Mike Chapman, as they chased after a bizarre killer. I will definitely try another of Linda Farnstein's books, but this one didn't ...more
Jul 13, 2011 Cornerofmadness rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Pessolano
Mar 22, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
Prosecutor Alexandra "Coop" Cooper of the New York's District Attorney's Office becomes involved in crimes that may have their origins in religious or female bias.

Most of the story takes place in Manhattan and centers on its old religious institutions.

A young woman is found murdered on the steps of Mount Neboh Baptist Church. She has not only been murdered but decapitated, and her head is missing.

Several days later her head is discovered at St. John the Devine Church.

The situation does not get a
Kathleen Hagen
Silent Mercy, by Linda Fairstein, B-plus, Narrated by Barbara Rosenblatt, Produced by Penguin Audio Books, downloaded from

Alex and Mike and Wallace are called to a crime scene in the middle of the night. They find the body of a woman whose head has been disconnected and removed from the scene, burned beyond recognition. She is found in front of one of the beautiful old churches. Her head is found later in another place. A couple of days later, another woman’s body is found at anothe
Aug 16, 2013 Maurean rated it liked it
I recently had the pleasure of attending a book signing of Ms. Fairstein, and was pleased that she was just as intriguing and engaging as are the characters she creates in her Alex Cooper series. (While this is the 13th adventure, it is only my 6th time tagging along. )
All the favorite things I enjoy about this series were there:
The characters were all their familiar selves (I, of course, adore Chapman and his Catholic childhood - Jeopardy! watchin' - snarky and sarcastic self );
The NYC knowle
Gloria Feit
Apr 30, 2012 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it
This deeply researched series highlighting New York landmarks featuring Alexandra Cooper and Mike Chapman takes the reader in a somewhat different direction from previous entries. This time the author tackles religion, albeit in a non-controversial manner.

While New York continues to be the prime real estate, the murderer the duo is chasing has committed the same crime in other states, ending up on Cape Cod. But various religious institutions set the stage for the chase as the culprit leaves his
Lizzie Hayes
Aug 31, 2012 Lizzie Hayes rated it it was amazing
‘Silent Mercy’ By Linda Fairstein
Published by Little Brown, March 2011. ISBN: 978-1-4087-0241-3

This latest thriller featuring Assistant DA Alex Cooper and NYPD Detective Mike Chapman opens with the discovery of a headless body on the steps of a church in New York. Within days a second body turns up also left at a church, and not just any church, it is clear that the killer is making a particular point

To try and get in the mind of the killer Alex and Mike explore various religious beliefs trying
Apr 03, 2011 Min rated it liked it
The latest in the Alexandra Cooper series, this book started with a burnt body being discovered on the steps of a church. The church is behind a tall, locked gate, and the church itself is locked. How did the body get there? Cooper, her close friends and police officers Mercer and Chapman, begin investigating this murder when another burnt body at a neighbouring church shows up.

Meanwhile, Cooper is attending to her daily duties as the chief of the Sex Crimes division of the District Attorney's o
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
Rating: 2.5 because I feel generous
Setting: NYC, New Jersey, and Massachusetts

Silent Mercy is the thirteenth novel in the Alexandra Cooper series. Cooper is the Assistant District for the Special Crimes Unit (Sex Crimes Unit.) Her colleagues includes Detective Mike Chapman of the Manhattan North Homicide Division, and Detective Mercer Wallace who works throughout Manhattan and supports the SCU full time. Cooper is the historian of the book, and most time his in depth look at the buildings and hi
Julia Farrell
Jul 12, 2011 Julia Farrell rated it really liked it
Another good read from Linda Fairstein. In addition to great characters, and interesting plots, Fairstein always gives an insight into a little known facet of life in NYC. And she doesn't disappoint here. If you've enjoyed the other Alex Cooper series, you will enjoy this one.
My one objection is that the story moves along at a believable pace for 90% of the book (and this objection applies to all the books). After 90% it seems like Fairstein decides it is time to end the book so she stretches c
Clare O'Beara
Oct 08, 2014 Clare O'Beara rated it liked it
Shelves: america-crime
It's the Da Vinci Code with a serial killer of variously religious women in New York.
Fairstein can't have a murder occur without her detectives needing to enquire as to the architecture, history and original inhabitants of the building.
Her prosecutor pops up at grisly scenes when there is no indication whatsoever that a sex crime has occurred - those are what she prosecutes and there are plenty in the city.
The conveniently mostly absent French boyfriend is absent. I really think this heroine
May 21, 2011 Marleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Make that a 4.5 star rating.
My review to follow later.

Alexandra Cooper and NYPD cop Mike Chapman are amongst the first officials on the scene when the body of a young woman is discovered on the steps of a Baptist church. The body is naked, burnt and headless.
Their investigation has only started when a second body is discovered. Again it is a young woman, but this time her throat was slashed and her tongue cut out, and the church is a Catholic one.
When a link is made between the two women, it be
Linda Smatzny
Mar 28, 2014 Linda Smatzny rated it liked it
This is the thirteenth book in the Alex Cooper series. This time Alex,Mike and Wallace are involved in serial murder who is getting rid of various religious pariahs. The bodies are found at different churches in New York City. Alex is removed from the case by the police commissioner but does work at her apartment and other locations. The culprit is caught in Mass. and the last victim is rescued. Again you get to learn a little New York history during the investigation.
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Alexandra Cooper (1 - 10 of 18 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)

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