Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review: Bad Blood by Linda Fairstein

This is a three-year-old mystery novel in Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper series, but it's a new series to me. I don't know how I missed these novels except that like the old saying, "So many books, so little time." Cooper is a D.A. in New York City and this book involves treachery among the sandhogs who are digging Tunnel #3 to carry water throughout the city. The old tunnels are ancient and in danger of leaking. Think of New York City with no water at all and you can see why this is important.

Sandhogs of course are the guys who dig the tunnels all over the world. One reason for the name dates from the building of the Brooklyn Bridge when caissons had to be sunk deep under the river and the major danger was being pulled down into the sand to their death. Not many people are willing to do such work for obvious reasons but intrepid Irish sandhogs are a brotherhood who continue that job through generations.

Cooper's case involves a member of one of those families. At one point she descends into the shaft to Tunnel #3 after an explosion, scared to death but persevering even though someone tries to kill her. A cold case turns out to be a part of the story as well. As Cooper was in serious danger through most of the story, I was on tenterhooks reading the book. (What are tenterhooks anyway?)

I enjoyed Bad Blood enough that I will look for more of the Cooper series. I like the courtroom drama and the involved plot with characters who are quite believable and fallibly human. I recommend this book.

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