First let me start by saying, if you are a fan of Law and Order: SVU and you haven't read Linda Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper series you are missing out. Ms. Fairstein actually led the Sex Crimes Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's office for 26 years. So she really knows what she is talking about and this realism shines through in all the novels. The main character, Alexandra Cooper, is an Assistant District Attorney and leads the Sex Crimes Unit in Manhattan. (Sound familiar?) The next two major characters are Mercer Wallace, a detective in the Special Victims Unit and Mike Chapman, a detective in the Homicide division. The story is told through Alex's POV, but Mercer and Mike are by her side as whatever mystery unravels. There is a whole host of secondary characters, ranging from Mercer's spouse to Alex's DA boss to Mike Lieutenant.
The story starts us off with Alex in France with her boyfriend Luc. She is supposed to be on vacation but just 48 hours into it, she has been called back to New York by her boss, the District Attorney, Battaglia. She is not as upset about heading back as one would think. Especially as the drowning death of a young woman has put Luc under suspicion due to his new New York restaurant's matchbook in her pocket. Plus Alex is confused as to why Luc wasn't more forthcoming with the police about some old human bones left at his home and restaurant that same night. It could be connected. The criminal justice system in France doesn't make sense to Alex and so she heads back to what she is comfortable with.
Alex returns to New York to work on a high profile case that has come in. The current head of the World Economic Bureau, son of exiled African dictator and French national is accused of rape by a housekeeper of the exclusive hotel he is staying at. Alex doesn't have the lead on the case since she was on vacation. Pat McKinney, head of the trial division and always looking for a way to trump Alex, has taken the case and put himself and his team in charge. And of course, since he doesn't have Alex's expertise, is making mistakes that could snowball later on. When another one of Luc's employees shows up murdered and with his new restaurant's matchbook in his pocket, Alex's attention is torn between the two cases, and what is happening with Luc.
I have immensely enjoyed all of the other books in the Alexandra Cooper series and this one is no different. Ms. Fairstein always manages to weave plenty of New York history into the story seamlessly. And the nightly Final Jeopardy tradition between Alex, Mike and Mercer often adds a touch of lightheartedness in what is often a serious subject. I am giving this book 4 stars on Goodreads. An excellent addition to an excellent series.