2007 Audie® Award Finalist - Mystery
If there aren't any real-life lawyers as entertaining, as witty and as willing to tilt at windmills as Andy Carpenter, Edgar-finalist Rosenfelt's engaging series hero, then there should be. Carpenter, the Paterson, N.J., lawyer, whose wealth allows him to work as seldom as he chooses, is recovering from the loss of the love of his life, Laurie Collins, who has moved home to Findlay, Wis., to become the acting chief of police. When Laurie calls Andy for help after arresting 21-year-old Jeremy Davidson for murders that she thinks he didn't commit, Andy can't resist heading off to Findlay with his faithful dog, Tara. There's damning evidence against Jeremy, accused of killing two young women, one of whom he was romantically involved with. Andy is forced to pry into the closed society of Center City, home of the victims and a peculiar religious sect called the Centurions.
Even if Rosenfelt's novels about multimillionaire New Jersey defense attorney Andy Carpenter didn't hit all the right mystery novel notes, the intimacy of their hero's breezy, subjective, present-tense narration would make them ideal subjects for audio adaptation. Adding to the ear appeal of book five in the series is reader Gardner, an inspired match for the amusingly self-deprecating, sarcastic, animal-loving, freewheeling, wisecracking, wily lawyer. The inventive story finds Carpenter being lured by a recently lost love to the snow- and sausage-filled wilds of Wisconsin. There, accompanied by his faithful golden retriever, Tara, he reluctantly agrees to defend a 21-year-old local against overwhelming evidence that he savagely murdered two young women from a nearby hamlet inhabited exclusively by members of a religious cult. Using a voice and sensibility reminiscent of Nathan Lane (complete with verbal eye-rolls), Gardner smartly unfolds Rosenfelt's yarn, in which Carpenter is at his hilarious best-a Jersey boy out of his element in the frosty Midwest, motor-mouthing about having to put up with bone-chilling cold, unfamiliar food, a half-rekindled romance, an impossible defense and a possibly homicidal cult. Simultaneous release with the Mysterious Press hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 20). (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.