Leader of the Pack: An Andy Carpenter Mystery by David Rosenfelt (Minotaur Books, $24.99, 362 pages)
Sometime attorney Andy Carpenter can afford just about anything that money can buy. His inheritance has been invested well and it keeps growing, which allows him the flexibility to take on cases as it suits him. Even though he doesn’t need to work, his conscience has prodded him to maintain contact with one of his past clients. This client just isn’t any old guy; he’s the son of a mob boss. Andy is convinced that the client, Joey, who was convicted of murder, is innocent. While revisiting the case, he manages to get himself thoroughly entangled with the mob while stubbornly pursuing new information that might free Joey from prison. Andy’s diligence is rewarded with a heart-stopping attempt on his life.
Rosenfelt always includes a part in the plot for Tara, the wonderful golden retriever that provides Andy with companionship and comfort. This time she is playing the role of therapy dog when Andy needs an excuse to visit Joey’s ailing elderly uncle. The uncle’s babbling makes just enough sense that Andy knows there’s a reason to follow-up on the murder that landed Joey in prison.
Readers of this delightful mystery series written by David Rosenfelt can be confident that the situations encountered by the characters are both dangerous and baffling. Rosenfelt uses his quirky writing style to provide amusement regardless of the harrowing situations he creates for Andy. The lack of pretense or exaggeration in these books is refreshing. Well, maybe there’s a bit of exaggeration when it comes to the feats of strength performed by Andy’s bodyguard Marcus. Marcus often comes in handy when villains are reluctant to tell what they know or Andy is trapped in a nasty predicament.
Andy is in some ways an everyman. He doesn’t come off as a super hero or glamorous leading man. Perhaps it is the down-to-earth nature of his observations that make Andy so likeable.
Laurie has just gotten on the treadmill, which is a device I completely do not understand. I don’t like walking anywhere, and in a million years would not walk to nowhere. This particular treadmill has a video screen that shows fake mountains, I guess under the very misguided assumption that mountain walking is an appealing concept. It isn’t; in fact, it’s one of the reasons they invented tunnels. I never really envied the Von Trapp family much.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. Leader of the Pack was released on July 17, 2012. “Rosenfelt walks a line between pulse-pounding suspense and laugh-out-loud humor… One of the best in the business.” Associated Press