Deck the Hounds: David Rosenfelt
Christmas is the time for giving and doing kind things for people, but would you take in a homeless man that you never met and give him an apartment above your house? What about if his dog took a chunk out of someone that tried to attack him? Would you figure out a way to get them both to safety? Poor Don Carrigan was the victim of someone trying to hurt him but his dog Zoey comes to the rescue but what happens next will either restore your faith in Christmas kindness, hope for a Christmas miracle or make you wonder well let’s introduce our star Andy Carpenter first and you decide after hearing the events of what happened next.
Andy and his wife Laurie decided to help Don and take him in. But when Andy leaks the name of the man who was bitten things take on a different turn when the police turn up with guns drawn and handcuffs for his new border. Why? It seems that Don is wanted for murder but swears he’s innocent?
Carrigan is arrested for murder but swears he does not know anything, or anyone involved namely the victim. Yet, for some reason his DNA, his hat and the victim Steven McMaster are killed with when the killer breaks his neck and Carrigan a former Green Beret fits the bill for the crime.
Andy decides to take the case and help free this man and even take care of his dog Zoey who took a huge bit out of the assailant which might be the key to another part of the case and the murders of several more people that take place in this novel filled with humor suspense, wise cracks and Andy’s special brand or point of view. Added in his adopted son Ricky creates some cool moments dealing with their new Christmas tree that Andy chopped down himself and the fun or not fun of decorating it.
Andy has a cast of hackers named Hike, the lawyer working for him, Sam who can get into just about any computer system, Edna who has created the title of office manager and, does nothing major and when asked to do something when if she is inclined. Laurie his wife is his investigator and manages to get things done and interview using her personality and special convincing ways.
Carrigan has PTSD and its quite evident that he suffers and is given Xanax in while in jail. His personality changes from time to time yet we know he appreciates Andy’s help but at times withholds important information like that fact that his assailant had a gun and that there was someone else there with him. The officer that took down the information could care less about this case, but one piece of evidence might link not only what happened when Zoey bit this person but to the murder and three others that come to light.
Ronald Lester is a divorce lawyer and is killed with one bullet the sniper not missing his target. The sniper left his sunglass case at the scene and is identified and the next thing we know his ex-wife is the next victim. But this person is far from done as the man who attacked Carrigan, Eddie Vinson, the same one who killed Ronald and the sniper’s ex-wife kills Eddie for not completing the job the right way. Leaving this piece of evidence got him killed but just who is behind the killings, how was Don framed and will Andy be able to win the case with very little evidence?
The sniper appears to have done underground but Danny Acosta the driver of the SUV that witnessed what happened to Don is becoming paranoid and afraid that he might be the next victim of this man. Added in Marcus and Sam are on the scene to help Andy dig into the lives of those directly connected to the mob and Willie and Sondra the two who operate the dog shelter are taking in Zoey until she has her puppies and gets them adopted and Andy is going to meet with someone that might clear up more if he’s not killed during the meeting.
Author David Rosenfelt takes the many different plots and subplots and intricately weaves them into a tapestry that if put on a wall would outline a story that will mystify and surprise readers when the final square and stitches are sewn to reveal the truth behind what happened to those the sniper killed and why.
Chuck Simmons is the sniper and is far from done killing anyone that was involved with his divorce or anyone that he feels needs elimination. So, why not go after the judge’s son who was involved in his divorce case and more victims as they add up.
There are other thugs that Andy meets with and both are part of the mob and have their own turfs but when Marcus accompanies him to one the altercation and what he does lets you know that no one would mess with Marcus Clark even this reviewer or the author of this book. Andy finds himself holding a gun on this guy and his henchmen but the result well you must live it and read it to understand why no one dares to mess with Marcus. The question that comes to mind is how is Chuck able to get these targets, is anyone monitoring their whereabouts and their movements and who is really behind the murders and why? The best part are the asides that Andy preludes before each encounter and his description of the events that followed. The humor is right there, his fears are often unfounded, but the result is will he win the case and what happens when he meets with the guy who claims Don confessed to him in the soup kitchen?
The climax creates suspense as the trial begins and the witnesses take the stand and Andy creatively takes charge in many ways. When he realizes that the killer might be right in front of him or yet hired someone to do the deed, we learn just how resourceful Laurie can be, Marcus is dynamite, and everyone needs someone like Sam to find the information no one else can get. Judge Hatcher seems right on target and when evidence comes to light about a lying witness the face of the prosecutor if placed as a photo in this book would show egg on it.
Creatively both Andy Carpenter and author David Rosenfelt take the jury on a journey into the minds of several people: One the real killer who thinks he’s immune to what is about to happen. Secondly, the wife of Steven McMaster who seems like a prime suspect since 250 million dollars is just the tip of her new wealthy iceberg left to her upon his death. The phone calls that were made by two dangerous men and the truth behind why this killer decided to not only take out the victims, the snipers and frame Carrigan by planting his hat, McMaster’s ring in his locker and the DNA that appeared on a simple cloth to find the truth behind why so many were killed. Greed, power, selfish wants, deceptions, betrayals and one man named Don Carrigan who served his country, happened to be homeless and trained to defend himself and he did, PTSD and the affects it has on someone after fighting in Iraq, this book brings out all of these issues and several more: Trust, honesty, holiday spirit, love and the power of truth and the love of some many special dogs that needed homes, needed love and here’s to Christmas as Laurie says until the end of January or whenever she decides it ends here’s to DECK THE HOUNDS! And the Halls! Andy Carpenter takes the spotlight and shines it on many others as once again author David Rosenfelt creates a blockbuster novel worthy of Five Golden Stars.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ network/MJ magazine
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