Not my usual sort of novel so I don't have a lot that I can compare this to in past reads, but the 2006 Linda Fairstein 'Death Dance' had me gripped from beginning to end in a bid to guess whodunnit.
**Set in NY City***
Set in New York (one of my favourite places in the whole world!) the novel is all about the world of theatre and dance and tracks the untimely end of prima ballerina Natalya Galinova who disappears mid-performance from the Metropolitan Opera House.
We follow Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper (Alex) who finds the corpse and begins to follow all the possible leads in the complicated theatre elite, with her colleagues and buddies Mike Chapman and the detective Mercer Wallace.
**Insight into another world***
I really enjoyed reading this as it gave great insight into the backstage realities of the dance and theatre world with its tangle of producers and directors and funders and 'sponsors'.
***A few weird goings-on**
You get to hear about the - fictional of course - seedy trysts and sexually odd things that go on and create blackmail and corrupt situations... one of the theatre owners has a bank of tvs in his bedroom so he can keep an eye on the changing rooms at his theatres (unknown to the performers)!
**Easily muddled (me)***
It was a little confusing at times as they weave in and out of several unrelated cases, to demonstrate how detectives are working on all sorts at once I suppose.
***The team approach**
The detective's team are friends inside and outside of work and have an ongoing bet between them around the American TV show 'jepoardy' you just get the feeling though that they are always at work and even when they go out to eat, they are still working on their cases. May be true of real life. You can tell that they keep each other sane in this world of crime they work within.
The number of possible suspects kept the story going for its 464 pages but I did find it a little hard to follow at times. The build up to the ending which reveals who did (one of) the murder(s) and why, kept me turning the last 100 pages at a rate of knots.
This book is the eighth book in the Alex Cooper series so I may not have all the insight into Alex's life just having read only this book in the series. You can tell the author knows what she is talking about in the novel and indeed, Linda Fairstein was the Assistant DA of Manhattan's sex crimes unit before taking early retirement in 2002 to concentrate on her writing.
The verdict? Although it was a 2006 book, it felt quite timeless when reading it. This may be due to the fact that it's about ballet and classical theatre shows, so fair dos. If I come accross any more novels by Linda Fairstein I would read them. Her style is easy to read whilst not being too graphic, despite dealing with rape and violent assault cases. The lead character Alex is likeable and 'one of the lads' working in a high profile job with lots of authority but she gets due respect for her smart approach to work.