Thursday, December 20, 2007

Death Dance

'"You think we've got a case?" Mercer Wallace asked me.'
The first paragraph of a book is many times for me the deciding factor on if I'm going to read it or not. This paragraph (can you really call one sentance a paragraph?!) generally would not have done it for me, but the book Death Dance by Linda Fairstein was given to me by my daughter, Brittany, after she had read it so I thought I might as well dive in. I have not read any other of this authors books and there were some things that I could have used a little background knowledge of with the characters, but most of the story could stand alone okay.
Alex Cooper is with the Manhattan DA's office and works alongside Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace from the NYPD's Homicide division to solve the murder of an aging prima ballerina, Natalya Galinova. Natalya disappeared during a perfomance at the Lincoln Center Metropolitan Opera House, so the books delves into the history of the theatre, which I found really interesting. We are introduced to our main suspects; Joe Berk, the slimy rich "Godfather" type figure who heads up the Berk family who own many of the Broadway theatres, Berk's young adult son, Briggs, his nasty out-to- get-the-old-man neice, Mona and her husband Ross Kehoe. There is also the head of the Met and former lover of Natalya, Chet Dobbis. Who done it? Where? and Why?
It really was a fun book, quick to read, with other minor sub-plots involved. These sub-plots were scattered throughout the book and solved in just a short paragraph towards the end. Not at all tied in with our main story. I thought that we should have gotten to know the deceased a bit better, also. The author did not really dive into her personality or who she was at all except to let the reader know that she was a bad tempered prima past her prime. We know that she was married, but are never introduced to her estranged husband. She really was a flat character to me and should have been more the focus, since it is her murder that needs to be solved. Like I said, I really enjoyed the history of the New York theatre scene and the buildings themselves. It was all in all not a bad book and I would read this author again if I came upon her. I would not search her out though. I will not be running over to Amazon to swoop up the rest of the series.

I am now of to read Amy Tan's The Kitchen God's Wife.
Happy Reading!


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