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The Kills

The Kills

  • reading group guide
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Manhattan Assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper is working feverishly on a tough trial, seeking justice for investment banker Paige Vallis. But in a heated "he said, she said" case, Alex learns that Paige herself has something to hide. Uptown, the murder of an elderly woman with an intriguing past has NYPD officer Mercer Wallace and detective Mike Chapman hunting for an item of stunning value that may have cost McQueen Ransome her life: a legendary Double Eagle gold coin. The twisting threads of the seemingly unrelated tragedies soon entangle Alex in a life-and-death struggle in the watery inlets of New Jersey known as the Kills...where a violent predator is determined to silence her forever.
  • Pocket Star | 
  • 512 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743436687 | 
  • January 2005
List Price $9.99

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

"Murder. You should have charged the defendant with murder."

"He didn't kill anyone, Your Honor." Not yet. Not that I could prove.

"Juries like murder, Ms. Cooper. You should know that better than I do." Harlan Moffett read the indictment a second time as court officers herded sixty prospective jurors into the small courtroom. "Give these amateurs a dead body, a medical examiner who can tell them the knife wound in the back wasn't self-inflicted, a perp who was somewhere near the island of Manhattan when the crime occurred, and I guarantee you a conviction. This stuff you keep bringing me?"

Moffett... see more

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Reading Group Guide

THE KILLS
Linda Fairstein

Questions and Topics For Discussion

1. In THE KILLS, Alexandra Cooper’s date rape case takes a dark turn, and she once again teams up with Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace to investigate a murder. What makes the three of them such an effective team? What unique talents does each bring to the table?

2. The demands of Alex’s profession are starting to wreck havoc on her relationship with Jake Tyler. What other issues are coming between them? Do you think that Jake will return in the next book?

3. During the trail, Peter Robelon dismisses a number of female jurors, assuming that they’d be prejudiced in favor of the alleged rape victim. Instead, Alex tells us that this is a classic mistake: women are often more critical of the victim. Why is this the case? Did this information come as a surprise to you?

4. Why does Chapman prefer to handle murders rather than sexual abuse cases?

5. As Alex reviews the photographs of McQueen Ransome’s murdered body, she mentally catalogs the number of people who would also be looking through them. How is the murder investigation itself in some ways another act of violation against the victim, however unintentional?

6. What other cases—and hazards—does Alex have to contend with while dealing with Paige Vallis’s trial? What do these subplots add to the story, and what do they tell us about Alex?

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