Linda Fairstein is firmly on my list of must read authors. She has a fantastic series featuring Alex Cooper of the New York P.D. Sex Crimes Unit and two homicide detectives - Mike and Mercer. Hell Gate is the 12th book in the series.
Alex, Mike and Mercer are called out to a shipwreck. Not usually their type of case - until the cargo is discovered to be human. Among the dead is a woman with connections to a prominent politician. The deeper the three dig, the more the past collides with the present. Human trafficking happened in New York City hundreds of years ago - but it looks like it's still happening.....
The plotting is believable, combining political intrigue with crimes ripped from today's headlines. What I always find fascinating in Fairstein's novels is the level of historical detail used. New York City is always the background, but I would wager that even native New Yorkers would not be aware of the history behind many of the settings.
The camaraderie of 'Coop', Mike and Mercer is a major part of the success of this series. The banter between Alex and Mike is a source of amusement and the attraction between the two grows stronger with every book. (Linda - you're making me crazy - will they or won't they?!) Mercer provides the calm voice of reason.
Fairstein knows what she writes. She herself was chief of the sex crimes unit in Manhattan for over 25 years and is a noted expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her novels have the unmistakable ring of truth and authenticity to them.
Hell Gate is a fantastic read on it's own - but I'm sure you'll be hunting down the rest of the series!