Devil’s Bridge (Alexandra Cooper)
By Linda Fairstein
Rating 3/5 Stairs
Sometimes on these reviews I like to tell you where I sit (with the Alex Cooper series) before I tell you where I stand (this installment). This is my first Alex Cooper book. I have not read anything in this series, so I have gone into this book knowing nothing about the history of the characters or past cases.
I’m going to give you a little bit of recap on the book so I can tell you what I liked and what didn’t work for me.
Part One: Coop
The book opens from Alex Cooper’s point of view, and drops the reader right into the story. (Detective Mike Chapman calls her “Coop” which I liked, so I’ll refer to her Coop here, too.) We’ve got a few things going on. Coop is in the courtroom, ready for jury selection on a trial. There is also a separate (minor) storyline involving someone out to get her from a previous book, but this ended pretty anti-climatically early on. Narrative continues from Coop’s point of view until that evening, when she leaves a restaurant and that is the last anyone sees of her.
Part Two: Chapman
The narrative switches to Chapman’s point of view at this point through the rest of the book. This is really the bulk of the book – about 75%. (I’m guessing the narrative normally stays with Coop the entire novel in previous books, but don’t quote me on that.) When Chapman takes over, he’s called out to a murder case. It takes a while before he realizes that Coop’s gone missing. The remainder of the book is dedicated to the search for Coop.
Here’s what I liked:
- The characters are well developed and have good relationships with each other. I was able to drop in on them in this 17th installment with no problem.
- I love a good courtroom drama, and it starts out strong with Coop’s current case.
- The investigation into Coop’s disappearance kept me reading. Chapman’s drive to find her kept the plot flowing and the pages turning.
Here’s what didn’t quite work for me, and some of it may be because I was new to the series:
- I enjoyed the opening with the trial. But being new to the books, I wondered is this a continuation from the last investigation? Or is this a new case simply to open up the book?
- We were left hanging on a few things – the court trial, and also Chapman’s investigation into the murder. This murder is clearly a smaller piece of a bigger pie that would be interesting to explore, but Coop’s disappearance takes center stage and all other balls are dropped. I am wondering if this will pick back up in the next book?
- As a reader, we know in general what has happened to Coop and are ahead of the detectives on that score. I would have enjoyed the book better if her narrative had stopped with her leaving the restaurant and left us wondering – did she leave town on her own to get away from it all? Did something happen to her?
Overall, I liked it. It was a page turner. I will be reading more Alex Cooper in the future. Particularly the next novel in the hope that some of my questions from Chapman’s initial investigation get answers.
Thanks to First to Read for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.