Cover image for Book Club kit : Open and shut
Title:
Book Club kit : Open and shut
Edition:
Warner Books ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [2003], ©2002.
ISBN:
9780446612531
Physical Description:
10 bks. (viii, 305 pages) ; 18 cm + 1 discussion guide
Language:
English
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Mysterious Press, 2002.
Abstract:
Defense attorney Andy Carpenter manages to sail through any tough situation, whether inside the courtroom or in his personal life. But this all changes when his marriage breaks up and his father suddenly dies, leaving him distraught - and 22 million dollars richer. Andy doesn't know how his father accumulated this fortune or why his father begged him to take on the appeal of a death row prisoner. With the help of his new found love, P.I. Laurie Collins, and the support of his golden retriever companion, Tara, he discovers a link between three of the most prominent men in New Jersey, including a senator, and his new client, Willie Miller. Willie was framed, there is no question about it, and Andy soon learns how far powerful men will go to protect their secrets.
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Book Club Kit BOOK CLUB 1 .CIRCNOTE. *****10 BOOKS, 1 DISCUSSION GUIDE*****
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Summary

Summary

"There is nothing like a golden retriever. I know, I know, it's a big planet with a lot of wonderful things, but golden retrievers are the absolute best. Mine is named Tara . . . The only problem she has ever caused is that I spend so much time with her in the mornings that I am almost invariably late for work."







Whether dueling with new forensics or the local old boys' network, irreverent defense attorney Andy Carpenter always leaves them awed with his biting wit and winning fourth-quarter game plan. But Andy prefers the company of his best friend, Tara, to the people he encounters in the courtroom. Tara, a golden retriever, is clearly smarter than half the lawyers who clog the courts of PassaicCounty. However, just as it seems Andy has everything figured out, his dad,New Jersey's legendary ex-D.A., drops dead in front of him at a game in Yankee Stadium. The shocks pile on as he discovers his dad left him with two unexpected legacies: a fortune of $22 million that Andy never knew existed . . . and a murder case with enough racial tinder to burn down City Hall. Struggling to serve justice and bring honor to his father, Andy must dig up some explosive political skeletons-and an astonishing family secret that can close his case (and his mouth) for good.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

It's no surprise to find Harlan Coben giving a blurb to Rosenfelt's debut mystery, an homage to Coben's popular Myron Bolitar series. Like Bolitar, lawyer Andy Carpenter lives in suburban New Jersey, has strong bonds with his father, is a sports nut and has a refreshing lack of respect for wealth and power. Andy also has Myron's self-deprecating sense of humor, which allows him to make fun of his personal shortcomings. But Rosenfelt lacks both Coben's powerful narrative engine and gift for bringing weird minor characters to credible life. Andy, a flamboyant district attorney who dazzles the onlookers in Paterson with cute courtroom antics that probably wouldn't last a New York or L.A. minute, stumbles through a couple of plots that just don't ring true. When his father, Nelson, a straight-arrow DA, asks him to defend a death row rapist/murderer seeking a new trial, Andy reluctantly agrees. When the older man dies (spectacularly, at a Yankees game), a totally unexpected $22 million estate surfaces. On the side, Andy works to restart his failed marriage to an important politician's daughter while also pursuing his no-nonsense female chief investigator. Then Andy finds much too conveniently an old photograph linking his father and a bunch of boyhood friends to the original crime. We never learn enough about Nelson to understand or care about his guilt. Loose ends that a Coben would never have left to dangle undermine the ending. Hopefully, a more seasoned Rosenfelt will do better next time. (May 9) Forecast: Additional plugs from Donald E. Westlake and Margaret Maron, plus the author's status as former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures, will ensure plenty of media attention for this Mystery Guild Featured Alternate. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Kirkus Review

Defense attorney Andy Carpenter just might be the biggest wiseacre to hit the genre since Archie Goodwin. His courtroom antics have already ticked off judges and juries throughout Passaic County, and he'd probably be in jail himself if not for the New Jersey legal system's tremendous respect for Andy's late father, ex-DA Nelson Carpenter. But now Andy's become an irritant to someone still more dangerous than trial judge Walter "Hatchet" Henderson-someone willing to use threats, beatings, and bullets to keep Andy from inheriting his father's strange legacy: $22 million in an account no one knew about, a photo of Nelson in his 20s with three other young men, and a case that he prosecuted successfully seven years ago, now due for retrial on a technicality. And since Andy promised his father he'd defend Willie Miller in what looks like an open-and-shut case-the murder of Denise McGregor, whose body Willie was found standing over in an alley behind a bar, whose fingernails were lined with traces of Willie's skin, and whose blood was smeared on a knife with Willie's prints all over it-he'll do just that, even if it imperils his shaky reconciliation with his wife Nicole, his livelihood, his reputation, and his life. The new-love subplot with his female investigator, perhaps meant to lend manic Andy some gravitas, is just a distraction from the brisk dialogue, careful plotting, and solid spadework in Rosenfelt's series opener.


Booklist Review

Written with the skill of a veteran, Rosenfelt's debut legal thriller boasts fresh characters, an engaging narrator, and a plot that forces readers to keep flipping the pages. Andy Carpenter, a defense lawyer, takes on a new client: a man on death row, appealing his conviction for the murder of a woman nearly a decade ago. Andy takes the case as a favor to his father, the district attorney who originally prosecuted the inmate. When Andy's father dies, leaving him 22 million dollars and a 35-year-old photograph, Andy has some tough questions to answer. Where did his father get the money? Who are the men in the photograph? And could one of them have some connection with the murder for which Andy's client was convicted? Andy Carpenter is a welcome addition to the lawyer-as-sleuth roster; he's a charming and witty hero whose literary allusions and snarky asides keep us thoroughly entertained. In addition, the present-tense, diary-style narrative voice adds another layer of dramatic tension, because--as he's writing--Andy has no idea what's going to happen next. As soon as readers finish this remarkable first novel, they will begin clamoring for a second Andy Carpenter adventure. --David Pitt