Publication Date: July 17, 2012
In Leader of the Pack by David Rosenfelt, the Lawyer Andy Carpenter, and his ever-present golden retriever, Tara, go into the therapy business. When visiting a former client and son of a local mob boss in prison, Andy agrees to take Tara to visit the man’s uncle, a former mob enforcer. The uncle, now elderly and a bit senile makes comments to Andy that firm up his belief in his client’s innocence. In typical Andy fashion, he can’t help but dig deeper assisted by his usual team.
One of my friends—a person who really knows what I like to read — recommended this series a few years ago. It has a dog and who doesn’t like dogs? An anti-hero who is a maybe a little more of a schlub than me, but gets it done, who doesn’t like that? Also, it’s hard to end one of the David Rosenfelt’s novels without the feeling of having read the entire novel on a sunny porch with a sweet drink. Rosenfelt is refreshing.
To preface for those of you who don’t know Andy — he’s a lawyer who is wealthy — courtesy of his father (see the first book) — and very selectively active. He needs a personal investment in a case to take it on. Andy is very passionate about rescue dogs, he and a former client Willie, have a shelter for Goldens (as Rosenfelt does in real life with his wife) so oftentimes the case will involve an animal.
In the case of Leader of the Pack, before his wealth, Andy represented a man he thought innocent who is now serving a long term in jail. He feels that he has wronged the man in his defense, and when the man’s uncle gives him reason to question further, he does. When Andy sinks his teeth into something, he goes for it, but seldom alone and I love that about him. His girlfriend, Laurie, is a former cop and he doesn’t mind leaning on her from time to time when needed.
Is this a perfect read? No. A large cast of characters can be daunting and, as per usual, there’s a large cast of usual characters in this novel. While it’s fun to catch up with old friends, new readers may find them hard to remember, but if you focus on Andy and Tara and get to know them over the course of a few books, it evens out. Rosenfelt has had a few moments of brilliance with plotlines, but this book wasn’t one of those moments. I’m not saying the storyline wasn’t very good because it was. The present tense tone of the novel also gave me a bit of a headache.
As usual, Rosenfelt was fast, funny and fun. The flow, despite my personal P.O.V. bias, was steady — nothing really to stop the reader and the dialogue is real. We get as much of the mystery storyline as we do Andy, and he is someone we don’t mind knowing. He’s the guy you want to get a beer and have a laugh with — he’s paying of course.
Very good read as per usual from David Rosenfelt. I highly recommend the Andy Carpenter series.
Read an excerpt and buy Leader of the Pack by David Rosenfeld on