Fairstein brings courtroom experience to best-seller list

Author uses real life situations to thrill readers

Linda Fairstein's new novel mirrors her love of cutting-edge forensics, courtroom drama and detective work. The former chief prosecutor for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office Sex Crimes Unit dropped by the Georgetown Barnes and Noble on Feb. 5 in the third week of her book tour to discuss her new best seller, "Bad Blood."

This new release marks the ninth book in Fairstein's series about Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper.

Fairstein looked ready to command the room just as she used to command the courtroom, wearing a sharp brown suit and with her shoulder-length blond hair tucked neatly behind her ears. While she does not base her novels on real cases she has prosecuted, Fairstein does draw from different motives she has encountered over the years.

Fairstein based the story of her latest book on one of her best friends from high school, whose husband hired a hit man to kill her. While she altered the specific facts, Fairstein used the premise of an upscale guy hiring a hit man to kill his wife to create another gripping Alexandra Cooper novel.

As "Bad Blood" starts off, Cooper's prosecution of business mogul Brendan Quinlan for the murder of his wife is in serious jeopardy after the revelation that her lead witness has been hiding an explosive secret. Cooper struggles to keep her case from falling apart, but it becomes further complicated when a fatal explosion occurs in New York City's third water tunnel in the midst of renovations, suggesting that the death of Quinlan's wife is connected with violent acts in his family's past. As Alexandra tries to sort through the mess, she begins to wonder if Quinlan's strangulation of his wife was only the beginning of his misdeeds.

Now a media consultant on criminal justice issues for major news networks, Fairstein said she "loved practicing law" and found it really hard to step away from being a lawyer. Fairstein added she likes to "learn something while [she's] writing" and loves to incorporate New York history into her books. For "Bad Blood," Fairstein fought claustrophobia to go down into the old midtown tunnels for research.

Fairstein said she loves going on book tours and receiving feedback from her fans. She always asks her audience for their questions and comments, she said. Her fans wanted a bigger courtroom trial, so in "Bad Blood," she gave them one. Unlike some authors, Fairstein said she would be delighted if her novels were adapted into films.

Linda Fairstein has written eight other fiction novels and one work of nonfiction. "Bad Blood" was published on Jan. 16. It is currently in the number eight slot on The New York Times' Best Seller list.

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