Last summer, best-selling novelist Linda Fairstein left fans of her Alexandra Cooper mystery series on the edges of their seats at the conclusion of Terminal City. In that novel, Ms. Fairstein gave readers only an amuse bouche of what resulted when Alex Cooper, the head of the Special Victims Unit at the district attorney’s office in New York city, finally fell into the arms of police detective Mike Chapman. After years of enjoying the wisecracks, sexual tension and deep friendship between Ms. Fairstein’s central characters, the stage was set for the next chapter.

Devil’s Bridge was released by Dutton on August 11, the 17th Alex Cooper thriller by Ms. Fairstein. Rarely has a mystery novel been so packed with possible motives, suspects, prying eyes and corrupt New Yorkers. The author also explores, with great depth, levels of psychology that help even unfamiliar readers understand why every police officer and City Hall staffer is out to help find Alex Cooper when she goes missing one autumn night.

Early in the novel, Alex makes plans for a weekend getaway to her house on Martha’s Vineyard, where she can indulge in lobsters from Larsen’s Fish Market and fried clams from The Bite. But that same night, she is abducted by someone driving a black SUV that she mistakes for her Uber connection. Her disappearance is scrutinized by police officials and City Hall staffers alike. The possibilities of who might want her out of the picture are numerous considering Alex Cooper’s long career. The sexual predator she is currently prosecuting? Cronies of an Al Sharpton-like Harlem preacher? Could someone be trying to silence her in connection with a corruption offense committed by her boss? Or could her budding romance with Mike Chapman have prompted Coop to fly the coop in order to clear her head?

With lightning speed, law enforcement officers and legal professionals from the mayor’s office on down are mobilized to find Alex Cooper. No one is more invested in this search than her long-time friends Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace. Swiftly and deftly, Ms. Fairstein puts into motion a breathless 48-hour pursuit with many leads and no hard evidence.

Devil’s Bridge tackles new territory in more ways than one. With Coop out of the picture (and in danger), Ms. Fairstein tells most of the story from a point of view that readers haven’t encountered before: from inside the tactical, pragmatic mind of Mike Chapman. The man the author reveals is one that longtime fans always suspected was lurking behind the humorous deflections and tough-as-nails attitude evinced by this second-generation policeman. Not only does Chapman have a heart of gold, his love for Coop is far stronger than either of them ever suspected. His protective streak towards her — always on display in their earlier pursuits of criminals and victims — takes a fiercer turn now. Mike is going to use any and every available method to rescue Coop.

A hallmark of Ms. Fairstein’s thrillers is her exhaustive research about the New York city landmarks around which each of her books take place. In Devil’s Bridge, Ms. Fairstein explores the waterways between Manhattan and New Jersey as well as two notable landmarks presiding over them: the George Washington Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Readers will never again gaze upon Liberty Island or the Little Red Lighthouse without picturing the harrowing scenes described in this book. And in a nod to her second home, Ms. Fairstein creates an analogy between Manhattan and Martha’s Vineyard by identifying a “devil’s bridge” at the tips of each island.

Not even the most canny fans of detective novels nor die-hard devotees of Ms. Fairstein will be able to predict the answer to the question of Coop’s whereabouts. It’s to the author’s credit that Alex Cooper, Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace continue to intrigue, engage and thrill readers 19 years after they first hit bookstores. With the innovations in narrative approach, as well as the advancement of an important storyline, shown in Devil’s Bridge, Ms. Fairstein once again leaves readers impatient for the trio’s next adventure.

Linda Fairstein will hold a book signing at Bunch of Grapes on August 18 and participate in “Lunch with a View” at the Edgartown Yacht Club on August 27.