When New York City sex crimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper teams up with colleagues Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace on a case (actually, two), the reader is in for thrills, suspense, a good deal of sexual tension and large doses of New York history.

In her eighth Cooper novel, Fairstein goes to the theater. When Russian ballerina Natalya Galinova is murdered during a performance at Lincoln Center, the suspect list is long. Could the murderer be the flamboyant Broadway producer, the Met's nervous artistic director, a shady stagehand, Natalya's wealthy patron or a random stranger? Meanwhile, a subplot has Alex and Mercer contending with a wily doctor who drugs and rapes victims.

Part of the fun of Fairstein's Cooper books is the New York lore, and here she ladles it out in good measure. Some characters seem to be written just to recite the city's theater history, but the information is fascinating. Another enjoyable aspect is the dance of sexual tension between blue-collar Mike and rich- girl Alex, but a little goes a long way. Fairstein's rollicking suspense story gives readers another satisfying read. (Jan., 416 pp., $26.00)
Reviewed by: 
Liz French