Review: Blood Oath by Linda Fairstein


Release date: March 26, 2019

Publisher: Dutton

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper of the Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit is finally back at work following a leave of absence, and not a moment too soon. With more women feeling empowered to name their abusers, Alex is eager to return to the courtroom to do what she does best. But even she can’t anticipate the complexity of her first case when she meets Lucy, a young woman who testified years earlier at a landmark federal trial…and now reveals that she was sexually assaulted by a prominent official during that time.

Yet Lucy’s isn’t the only secret Alex must uncover, with rumors swirling about one colleague’s abusive conduct behind closed doors and another’s violent, mysterious collapse. As the seemingly disparate cases of her client, adversary, and friend start to intertwine, Alex, along with NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, finds herself in uncharted territory within Manhattan’s Rockefeller University, a premier research institute, hospital, and cornerstone of higher learning. But not even the greatest minds in the city can help her when unearthed secrets begin to collide in dangerous ways…and unless she can uncover the truth, the life-saving facility just may become her grave. 


Right before I cracked this one open I realized it was the twentieth book in a series, yes the TWENTIETH and my initial reaction was, ugh no way I’ll be ok starting here! Against my first instinct I went ahead and gave it a try anyway, I mean that blurb got me, and I’m really glad I did because this was fantastic and oddly enough, starting this far into the series didn’t turn out to be a huge deal for me at all.

I could easily see how the protagonist, Alexandra Cooper, can carry a series so far, she’s extremely likable and intriguing and had me won over within a few chapters. She’s just coming back to work at the start of the book and is thrust straight back into the thick of things with a complicated new case. It focuses on a historic sexual assault case and was so timely in the era of the Me Too movement. Besides that case, one of Alex’s colleagues (and a friend) is attacked for no apparent reason, so there was a ton going on here. Not too much though, everything was relevant to the story and all of the various threads kept things moving along at a fast pace.

One that thing was a pleasant surprise for me here was that the author used the setting of NYC as a platform to share some seriously fascinating history lessons. That sounds like it could be boring or unnecessary but it was really cool and the tidbits she interspersed throughout the story both made sense to the plot and taught me something new, a win/win. Even though I’m way late to the game on this series I’ll be following it from here on out, a super engaging and entertaining read.

Blood Oath in three words: Timely, Sharp and Engrossing

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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