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Cold Hit

Cold Hit

  • reading group guide
On a steamy August evening, after an exhausting day in the courtroom, Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper joins her longtime pals and partners-in-investigation, NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, at a somber crime site. In her ten years as a sex crimes prosecutor, Alex has seen many victims, but few more poignant than today's, pulled from the water with her hands and feet obscenely tied to a ladder.
Sleep comes uneasily after such a vision, but the knowledge that monsters, walk the city's streets, preying on the innocent, motivates Alex and her colleagues in their sometimes heartbreaking work. Perhaps this time they will be lucky. A "cold hit" will match DNA from the crime, scene with a suspect's DNA profile in the police database. Or is there a more sinister kind of "cold hit" that claimed the victim's life in this case? Who was she? Her elegant cloths and manicured nails suggest affluent connections, but just how well-connected surprises even Alex.
Illuminating and inspiring, Cold Hit takes us from the paint-chipped offices of cops and D.A.s to the elegant restaurants of Alex's privileged Upper East Side life. The contrast is stunning, but it's all part of the extraordinary world that author Linda Fairstein has brought so vividly to life in this magnificent novel of suspense.
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  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9780743542883 | 
  • September 1999
List Price $35.50
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Reading Group Guide

COLD HIT
Linda Fairstein

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. In Linda Fairstein’s third Alexandra Cooper novel, she tackles the world of fine art dealing—even weaving in real unsolved art crimes. How would you describe her portrayal of the New York art world? Did it surprise you? Had you ever heard of the Amber Room or the Gardner Museum heist?

2. Mercer Wallace tells Alex that they’ll find Denise Caxton’s murderer, “in spite of the devil” (p. 11). What do you think he means?

3. COLD HIT pays particular attention to the landscape of Manhattan—thanks especially to Mike Chapman’s love of local history. How does Manhattan itself become a key player in this story? Can you imagine Alex living anywhere else?

4. The night that Denise Caxton’s body is found, Alex spends a tough night awake, thinking “about the monsters who walk among us” (p. 16). Which elements of this case do you think have especially disturbed her? Where else do we see glimpses of the more sensitive, vulnerable Alex?

5. Although we get to know Denise Caxton only through the testimony of others, how would you describe her? Did you, like Alex, sometimes have trouble finding her sympathetic?

6. Chapman is able to find opportunities for wit and humor in the face of even the most horrifying crimes. What does this ability tell us about him, and what makes him such an important part o see more

About the Author

Linda Fairstein
Photo Credit:

Linda Fairstein

LINDA FAIRSTEIN, America's foremost legal expert on crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence, led the Sex Crimes Unit of the District Attorney's Office in Manhattan for twenty-five years. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, she is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Virginia School of Law. Her first novel, Final Jeopardy, introduced the critically acclaimed character of Alexandra Cooper and was made into an ABC Movie of the Week starring Dana Delaney. The celebrated series has gone on to include the New York Times bestsellers Likely to Die, Cold Hit, The Deadhouse (winner of the Nero Wolfe Award for Best Crime Novel of 2001, and chosen as a "Best Book of 2001" by both The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times), The Bone Vault, The Kills, Entombed, Death Dance, and Bad Blood. Her novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Her nonfiction book, Sexual Violence, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She lives with her husband in Manhattan and on Martha's Vineyard.

Visit her website at www.lindafairstein.com.

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