On Roosevelt Island, a strip of land in New York City's East River, stands an abandoned 19th century smallpox asylum, "The Deadhouse," where the afflicted were shipped off to die. It's a gruesome bit of history perhaps best forgotten. But for Alexandra Cooper, it may be the key to a shocking murder that cuts deeper than the arctic cold front gripping the city. A respected university professor is dead -- strangled and dumped in an elevator shaft. And while the school does damage control for anxious parents, Cooper and her close detective friend Mike Chapman scramble for answers, fueled by the most daunting discovery: a piece of paper, found on the lifeless body of Professor Lola Dakota, that reads The Deadhouse....
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It was hard not to smile as I watched Lola Dakota die.
I clicked the remote control button and listened to the commentary again on another network.
"New Jersey police officers have released a portion of these dramatic videotapes to the media this evening. We're going to play for you the actual recordings the three hit men hired by her husband to kill Ms. Dakota made to prove to him that they had accomplished their mission."
The local reporter was posed in front of a large mansion in the town of Summit, less than an hour's drive from where I was sitting, in the video technicians' office of the New York... see more
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Book Cover Image (jpg): The Deadhouse
Mass Market Paperback 9780671019549(1.2 MB)
Author Photo (jpg): Linda Fairstein
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Reading Group Guide
2. Although Alex is primarily a sex crimes prosecutor, she is intimately involved in Lola Dakota's murder case. How does her position make her different from other investigators? What unique insights and techniques does she bring to the table?
3. How would you describe Alex's developing relationship with Jake Tyler? Why is she reluctant to move in with him?
4. After having refused repeated entreaties to prosecute her abusive husband, Lola agreed instead to stage her own murder in order to set him up. Why do you think that this particular plan appealed to her?
5. Early in the story, Mike Chapman reproaches Alex for not having a more traditional life. They've been close friends for many years -- why is he so insistent now that Alex settle down, start a family?
6. How does the subplot of Shirley Denzig, a young woman stalking Alex, fit into the larger story? Do you think that it will be resolved in a later novel?
7. When Jake tells Alex that she doesn't let people in easily, she responds that she is often too trusting of people and has been disappointed in the past. Do you agree with Jake's assessment? If you've read other Alex Cooper novels, can you think of inst see more