Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cooling off

Exiting the Great Lawn following The New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks. 10:15 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, June 15, 2017.

“Darkness cannot drive out Darkness; only Light can do that. Hate cannot drive out Hate; only Love can do that. Hate multiplies Hate, Violence multiplies Violence, and Toughness multiplies Toughness to a descending spiral of Destruction.” — Martin Luther King.

It was a beautiful day in New York yesterday. It was warm like summer but the heat wave had noticeably diminished. And in the early morning hours close to sunrise we had a torrential downpour that helped with the cooling off.

Click to pre-order "Deadfall."
I had lunch at Michael’s with Linda Fairstein who is coming out with her new murder mystery, “Deadfall” — her 19th about Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper and two NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace. The official pub date is July 25th, after which Linda goes on a five city book tour — Coast to Coast, as well as many interviews both by phone and in print.

Linda is indefatigable. I was a little late for lunch but she was busy at the table taking and sending messages, fielding calls and checking her schedule. She’d been up since 5 a.m. to do a very early morning talk show. It was she — who lives up the avenue from me — who told me about the early storm in our neighborhood that I slept through. It was quick but the precipitation was so heavy that when she arrived home from her appointment, it came in such torrents that she was soaked through in the seconds between moving from her car to the canopy and in the door of her apartment house. By the time we met for lunch close to one, she’d already had a busy day — was leaving from Michael’s at two to go to Penn Station to catch the Acela for an appointment tomorrow morning in Boston.

Linda’s Alex Cooper novels all take place mainly in New York, in environments that are distinctly New York and often full of history. “Deadfall” involves the Wildlife Conservation Society (whose annual gala we covered in this past Monday’s Diary), and of course murder and/or assassination. I asked how she chose something around the WCS and the Zoos here in New York.
DPC and Linda Fairstein with "Killer Look" at Michael's in 2016.
It started for her when as a kid growing up in Pelham her father would take her to the Bronx Zoo — which in those days was a very different zoo. Back then the animals were all living in small cages, but how its entire refurbishment as well as a greater knowledge/learning about conservation and the animals lives, had created a new zoo.

She wandered into the idea for this novel because of the death of a well known prominent public servant that occurred on an animal preserve and left many unanswered questions. Calling Alex Cooper — who soon finds herself under threat of being in very hot water. The kind that can scalds and burns.
DPC and Linda with "Devil's Bridge" in 2015.
DPC and Linda with "Terminal City" in 2014.
DPC and Linda with "Death Angel" in 2013.
I have a close friend who is a constant reader of murder mysteries among her many reading choices. I asked her once “why” she read so many. She told me it was because she loves the distraction of a story that she can’t figure out until the end, and that mysteries are always a fast read. Because you wanna know what happened!

Knowing Linda as I do, I can attest that she’s one of those girls — she now even writes mysteries for young girls — inspired by her own early readings of Nancy Drew mysteries. And with her own legal background and experience as Chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in the Manhattan DA’s office. Elite big-game hunters, Chinatown street gangs, corrupt politicians, and little ole New York all come together in surprising ways in this new one.
DPC and Linda lunching at Swifty's in 2012.
At lunch we also talked about the news of the moment, the shootings in Alexandria, Virginia, which occurred just two hours before we sat down. At that moment, word had come in that the shooter — who evidently wanted to kill Republicans — had been killed in a shootout with the police.

I ran that quote by Dr. King at the top of the Diary for its wisdom and because it aptly describes the situation we now find ourselves in, in this country and perhaps the world.

Contact DPC here.