Hounded: David Rosenfelt
Sometimes you get blindsided and lose your direction and find yourself floundering until you recover from the shock of what someone has done to you. Defense lawyer, Andy Carpenter has just been thrown a huge curve ball when his friend Police Captain Pete Stanton calls him and the request was anything but what he expected. With the aid of his girl friend and investigator, Laurie Collins and a cast of character so unique, creatively developed and definitely whom you want on your team, Andy goes about solving the mysterious murder of Danny Diaz. Along with his famous golden retriever, Tara and a cute do named Sebastian, the pieces fit together but at a slow pace. Nothing comes easy to Andy and although for the most part the prosecuting attorney cooperates to a point, the obstacles in his way, the deceptions he encounters will not only surprise readers but the characters too. Within this murder/mystery there are many layers as we learn why Pete called Andy and the reasons for this man’s arrest. Andy does not need to work. He is filthy rich but when Pete Stanton is arrested for the murder of Danny Balfour, he’s left with taking care of his young son Ricky and his dog Sebastian. At his fingertips is his team. Our favorite crossword expert who came in eighth in a major tournament, Edna his secretary, computer genius, accountant and computer hacker, Sam Willis, Hike Lynch a ex client, Willie Miller whose presence alone enlists fear and his trusted guard and my favorite Marcus Clark who just has to show up and the person gives in. When you encounter him in the story you’ll understand why.
But, there is a subplot that readers will encounter as Andy investigates the murder of this man, tries to find out what happened to his wife, Juanita, he learns about the suspicious deaths of some wealthy people. There is a killer amidst named Alex Parker is dangerous, fearless and whose presence can be right in front of the victim and you’d never know it. Blaine Pharmaceuticals has produced a drug that will ease the pain of animals when the time comes to put that animal down. But, what happens when the creator of the drug, Danny Mathis finds out that the pills were stolen was instructed not to say anything by the head of the company and bodies start to drop? What happens when a dangerous killer goes unnoticed and decides to use these white pills to rub out some people? If an autopsy is not completed within a half an hour of when the body is discovered the drug is undetectable and the murder or death goes down as a heart attack. So, why does Andy become suspicious and who wants to enlist his help to find out the truth?
With the added assistance of New Jersey Doctor and Coroner Janet Carlson an FBI agent at out of the Boston Bureau, Pete Stanton just might have a chance. Added in Lieutenant Stan Phillips and Lieutenant Patrick Bagwell of the Paterson Police Department and Andy’s team appears to be solid so why is he having so much trouble gathering evidence that would stick in court?
There is much more to learn as he looks in many different places including informants to find Juanita Diaz, Danny’s wife. Was she kidnapped? Was she in on what happened to Danny? Where is Juanita is one question that Hounds Andy as does who planted the drugs in Pete’s house after the arrest? Crime boss Dominic Petrone plays a role in this story as does Joseph Russo not the brightest bulb on the block as we learn that link to the drug cartels. Questioning Joseph reveals not much but when Joseph relays what he tell Andy to someone on the phone, his life is snuffed out? Lies, betrayals, deceits and a huge conspiracy but whose behind it and why? Why does someone want to experiment or use these white pills to delete or kill so many people? 17 pills what happens if they use them all?
Sarcastic, humorous and definitely not everyone’s choice for Mr. Congeniality, Andy Carpenter wins readers over just because he is Andy. Unique, definitely smart, persistence and never gives up he follows every lead and tracks down every clue even when everyone else thinks he’s wrong or way off base. Pete Stanton put his life in his hands and although Andy knows he’s innocent it’s going to take more than just faith to prove it.
Unrelated deaths that someone is behind and are definitely murders but will anyone but Andy realize that. The police discount his thoughts, Laurie does not think he’s right but Andy knows in his heart and after questioning the next of kin of the victims that someone is killing wealthy people but why? Intertwined let’s not forget Ricky, Danny’s son who has to adjust to living with Andy, whose not a kid person, Laurie and Tara. You just fall in love with this precious child who ingratiates himself in their lives and whose family is gone. Without Andy this poor child might wind up in the foster care system something no one wants for any child if possible. But, when the prosecuting attorney is about to turn the tables on poor Ricky and Andy a deal is made to leave things alone.
When the trial begins you wonder which side some of the witnesses are and you witness the Andy at his best as he is able to refute much of what the witnesses say and soon realizes who might be the one who orchestrated these deaths. But, before all is said and done there will be many more dead bodies, as one man has to cover all of his bases and Andy’s life just might be in his way.
As Sam is able to find out all that is needed from the phone records, Andy knows where Danny’s phone was but not why. Basing his case strictly on forensic evidence that was taken from Pete’s home, the drugs appear to be worth at least 100,000 dollars planted in an unlocked closet. So, why would Pete leave it unlocked? Who put it there? Why? How come the police had no trouble finding it? As Andy meets with several officers, Lieutenant Simon Coble, helps refute an eye witness that sees Pete coming out of his house the night Danny was killed, the pieces are not quite fitting together and Pete’s life is at stake.
For anyone studying law or about to enter law school the author takes readers through the many legal procedures. How to gather evidence, discovery and how you process it, getting a judge to agree to subpoenas, choosing a jury and what to look for in a perspective juror and courtroom procedures.
But, Andy has some unsavory characters that are watching his back such as Joseph Russo and lets not forget Willie and Marcus.
Every step of the way there have been deaths as the author relates what happens when Alex Parker is found, located and killed not once but twice. How you won’t believe and the brilliance behind the killer’s actions will let you know that author David Rosenfelt has taken this novel to an even higher plane as Andy learns the truth but can he use it to save Pete? Sharon Dalton knows the truth about Danny Mathis and has revealed it to Andy and the FBI. So, why the lag and why hasn’t the FBI moved on what she told him? What is Danny’s fate?
Katherine Reynolds is dead and her husband Carson has found her replacement. Carson’s phone records reveal that he is involved in this conspiracy and has been in contact with many of the players. But, someone wants him out of the way and is killing very rich philanthropists and businessmen using the drug that Daniel Mathis developed. When approaching Mitchell Blackman he appears to want to cooperate but someone decides against it. Money, greed, deceits and betrayals are just some of the issues that run through this book as Andy comes face to face with his mortality and a decision about his future with Laurie is made.
What will the verdict be? Will Andy be able to save Pete? Who is the mastermind? Why? What will happen to Ricky? Will he be placed into the system or will someone step up and adopt him? Lawsuits against the pharmaceutical company if the truth comes out and not revealing the existence of the pill would save the company from ruin. Documents that are missing and many lives on the line. Hounded: Technology savvy Sam, muscle Marcus, Laurie, Joseph and a crew that would remind you of Abbot and Costello’s Who’s on First, What’s On Second and I don’t know on third: Let Sam get the phone records, GPS to find the locations and sit back and take the ride of a lifetime as Andy Carpenter is Hounded to find the truth.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer