Wednesday, July 8, 2015

David Rosenfelt asks: “Who let the dog out?”

Jim Farrington
Guest Contributor

When a stray shepherd-mix named Cheyenne is stolen from a shelter belonging to a foundation owned by attorney Andy Carpenter, the recovery of the dog should have been a simple matter of following the tracking device implanted in the animal. Instead, it sets Carpenter on a path that will involve murder, diamond smuggling, international terrorists, and, oh, more murders.

Along with his friends Willie Miller who manages the shelter and police detective Pete Stanton, they track the stolen dog and find her sitting next
to a man whose neck has been cut from ear to ear. That could have ended Carpenter’s involvement, but his curiosity as to why someone would break in and steal a dog they could have easily adopted won’t permit him to let go.

It should be explained that since inheriting millions, Carpenter does everything he can to avoid actually practicing law despite his obvious skill. He prefers the life of a philanthropist supporting canine causes. Unfortunately, his only entrée into this case turns out to be to agree to defend the man accused of the brutal murder just so he will answer questions about the victim’s involvement with the theft of the dog.

Carpenter’s self-deprecating, wise-cracking manner keeps the tone light-hearted and humorous despite the mayhem that occurs.

In his quest to prove his client’s innocence, Carpenter is joined by his investigator/wife, Laurie, Sam (his accountant) who is also an accomplished computer hacker who has turned his class of senior-citizen computer students into hackers as well, and Marcus his other investigator whose mere presence intimidates everyone except Laurie.

Shortly after it is established that Cheyenne belongs to a chemistry professor who is on the lam, the professor turns up dead. Subsequently that link leads to diamond smugglers and more dead professors.

When multiple federal agencies are suddenly taking an interest in the case and camping on Carpenter’s doorstep, it becomes apparent that his case and all the murdered professors has evolved into something even bigger than all that.

With the ongoing trial in the background, the book works its way to a conclusion that still holds some more big surprises.

This is the twelfth book in the Andy Carpenter series and will be released on July 21. The core cast of likable characters surrounding Carpenter appears in most of the books in the series. Carpenter’s self-deprecating, wise-cracking manner keeps the tone light-hearted and humorous despite the mayhem that occurs.

So, there you have it: dogs, mystery, court-room drama and international terrorism all surprisingly sprinkled with a touch of humor. If you haven’t read any of the earlier books in the series, I’m betting after reading this, you will be back for more.

Jim Farrington is a retired newspaper executive living in Chatham County, NC. Upon retirement, he reviewed books for The Star-Ledger for several years. He spends much of his free time volunteering at The CORA food pantry where he also serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors.

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