Alex Cooper, sex crimes prosecutor for the Manhattan District Attorney's office, is used to tough cases. But her latest is one in a million. The victim, Paige Vallis, has been holding back on Alex. While open about some aspects of her past, Paige hasn't told her everything.

Alex also must investigate the death of elderly Harlem Renaissance beauty McQueen Ransome. With her police detective colleagues Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace,she discovers unsavory secrets of events from nearly 50 years ago. She must find what a rape victim, an abused boy, a murder victim who used to be a famed dancer in Europe, the CIA and a deposed king all have in common.

This is a thriller you'll want to read in one sitting. Fairstein, the head of the Sex Crimes Unit of the Manhattan D.A.'s office, takes us from dreary walk-up apartments to posh city locales to a hurricane on Martha's Vineyard in her sixth Alex Cooper novel. This is nonstop action at its best and Alex is a gutsy lady who can handle anything. (Jan., 400 pp., $25.00)

Reviewed by: 
Lorraine Gelly