Linda Fairstein on crime fiction and her latest, “Deadfall”

“My dad used to say, ‘Get a grip. You need a career, get a job. You can’t sit in a garret writing books all day,'” said Linda Fairstein, who for 30 years prosecuted sex crime cases in New York City. Today, the New York Times best-selling author is considered one of the finest crime fiction writers.

“This great career in the law gave me books,” she said.

Best-selling crime writer Linda Fairstein.

CBS News

“Deadfall” is Fairstein’s 19th novel featuring fictional prosecutor Alexandra Cooper. “I’m actually 24 years older than when I first created her,” Fairstein said Monday on “CBS This Morning.” “She’s aged three years, which is pretty nice! Physically she was 35, she’s now only 38. But she’s learned from the experiences.  

“It’s not easy to work with victims of violent crime, especially in sexual assault [or] domestic violence areas. So you see that change in her throughout. Several books ago she was kidnapped, obviously got out of it fine, but she’s had some PTSD that she’s dealt with, and this event sort of brings her, in ‘Deadfall,’ back to it.”

During her years as a New York City prosecutor Fairstein was referred to in the tabloid press as “Hell on heels.”  Was it a compliment?

“At the time I didn’t much think so,” Fairstein laughed. “The Daily News did it; it was not what my colleagues did. But once the headlines ran, there was a lot of teasing, and that was fun.”


Her latest novel opens shortly after her last book, “Killer Look,” ended with the murder of a major character at the Met Ball gala. “Easiest book I ever started,” Fairstein said. “Because last year’s book ends with a murder. This one, I knew an hour later that Alex would be in the morgue with the victim, whom she knew. He actually fell into her arms when he was killed, so she’s got bloodstains. I turn the…

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