cover image Deadfall


Linda Fairstein, read by Barbara Rosenblat. Penguin Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 11.5 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-1-5247-7585-8

The self-confident, in-control attitude Fairstein’s series protagonist, Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper, usually displays has wavered over the past few entries. Cooper, thanks to the venerable work of voice actor Rosenblat, sounds extra vulnerable at the start of her new adventure, which opens with the kidnapping and murder of her longtime boss and friend, D.A. Paul Battaglia. The trauma of his death leaves Alex uncertain and confused, which Rosenblat conveys in a slightly slurry speech, sometimes dreamy, other times rising in anger. She becomes overly dependent on her friends and her gruff-voiced, extremely attentive paramour, homicide detective Mike Chapman, even as she tries to seek justice for Battaglia’s murder. Fairstein’s New York–centric mysteries always provide a special tour of a local landmark. Here it’s the Bronx Zoo that figures into a plot involving the illegal exotic animal trade, with Chapman doing the lion’s share of the sleuthing. Rosenblat pulls off a variety of accents, including Nigerian and East Indian, some elegant, some street. It’s an entertaining and colorful performance, even if the series protagonist is not on her A-game. [em]A Dutton hardcover. (July) [/em]