TODAY   |  July 31, 2013

Author’s new thriller also features NYC history

Linda Fairstein saw her fair share of crime during her 26 years in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, and now she’s writing about it. She chats about her 15th novel, another thriller starring prosecutor Alex Cooper, which also offers a lot of fascinating history about Central Park.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> former prosecutor turned author linda fairstein has seen her fair share .

>> cooper is back as the heroin that tries to solve a murder in central park . good to see you again.

>> good to see you al, carson.

>> the thing i love about your novels besides being a great mystery is they're always a great history lesson about this great city.

>> that's the plan. i like smart books. i like to learn something when i read them. so to get in a place like the park.

>> central park .

>> it's the heart beat of the city and to get in there and find that there are hidden caves and there was an entire village that was raised and had churches and cemeteries and schools and it was destroyed to build the park but there's great stuff in the park.

>> some of the fun facts in the book about the park i never knew. if you take every park bench in central park and put them together you have seven miles of benches.

>> yeah.

>> also from 59th street to 110th all man made.

>> completely man made. i always thought it was the hills and the waterfalls, everything man made down to the trees in the park. it was a swamp.

>> alexander cooper , your heroin who is a prosecutor in the sex crimes unit which of course mirrored your own career, she finds these crimes or these crimes find her. are you still in touch with some of your former colleagues and they give you a little insight.

>> every day. i miss them. but they do this great -- i was so good in court today. here's what i said and here's what the judge did or rivoting cases with new evolving dna techniques. so i talked to someone from that da's office every day.

>> how much of you is in coop?

>> well, as i told al before, the professional part of her really mirrors my passion for the job and the work that i did in learning forensics. it's the personal part because she is only 37 years old and she's thin and she has a nice social life , that's fiction.

>> death angel is the book. thank you so much. we're back in a minute. this is "today" on nbc.

>>> coming up next, kathie lee and hoda getting advice on bad beach behavior.

>> plus paula patton , mrs. robin thicke stops by.