Hell Gate by Linda Fairstein is the 12th book in the “Alex Cooper” legal thriller series. Publisher: Dutton, March 2010

New York City government has always been filled with political intrigue, lurid scandal, and behind-the-scenes deals that keep the city moving. In Hell Gate, Alex finds her attention torn between investigating a shipwreck—one that has contraband cargo, human cargo—and the political sex scandal of a promising New York congressman now fallen from grace.

When Alex discovers that a woman from the wreck and the congressman’s lover are connected in aw ay that simply can’t be coincidence—and that might indicate a link to a “snakehead,” the lead of a human trafficking operation—it strikes her that these cases aren’t as unrelated as they seem. It soon become clear that the entire political landscape of New York City could hang in the balance of her investigation.

As Alex looks on at the nameless victims in the morgue, she realizes she’s staring at the present-day face of New York’s long, dark tradition of human trafficking—a tradition that began hundreds of years ago with slave trade from Africa, and now continues as a multimillion-dollar industry, that will stop at no cost, even if that cost is Alex’s life.

Alex and the gang happen on a human trafficking incident and a congressman potential fall from grace. Are the two cases connected? The book was okay, but there was way too much NYC history. My rating: 3 stars

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