Monday, January 20, 2014

Another David Rosenfelt Novel: A Prisoner, Her Heart and Insurance Fraud

I have enjoyed three books by David Rosenfelt that were part of a series. Now I am reading a "stand alone" novel, Heart of a Killer, by the same author. It starts off as a story about a female prisoner who wants to give an organ to her dying daughter.  Problem is that the organ is her heart. The authorities are not going to kill the prisoner so that her child may live. Yet, this is what Sheryl Harrison is asking her lawyer to fight for on her behalf.  There are some other aspects to this story. Someone wants Sheryl murdered in prison. At this point I don't know why.  So far I know that there is a secret relating to Sheryl and her mother can not reveal it. Also, I am on page 72 and I have been introduced so far to two characters who have no connection so far to the main story. They are Alex Cahill and Ryan Palmer. Their story is that for one reason or the other they have died. An unknown claimant, who has no connection to any of the deceased, has received large payments from the insurance company. It is clear that the book is going to deal with insurance fraud at some point.  I am looking forward to see how all these stories will connect.

The main character in the book is a lackadaisical lawyer named Jamie Wagner.  This organ donation case seems to be allowing him to blossom into a more assertive lawyer. His sense of humor reminds me of Andy Carpenter, the protagonist in Rosenfelt's other books that I have read. The police officer who initially arrested Sheryl Harrison, Novack, is an interesting character. He is described as tough, moody and unpredictable and at this point in the story it seems he will be assisting Jamie Wagner with his case. His "visiting relationship" with his ex-wife reminded me of the "visiting relationship" between Andy Carpenter and his girlfriend. I am enjoying this book.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Andy Carpenter Series: A Decapitated Body, A Drug Dealer and An Investigator

I recently finished reading the second book in the Andy Carpenter mystery series by David Rosenfelt, First Degree. This book published in 2003 was selected as one of the best mysteries of  the year by Publishers Weekly.

A book club member recommended the series. In November, our club discussed Rosenfelt's debut novel which was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award in 2003, Open and Shut  The most outstanding things about Andy Carpenter, our protagonist and young lawyer, are that he is a dog lover, he has a corny sense of humor, he believes in justice and he is in love with his field investigator, Laurie Collins.  I wrote about the first book on November 2nd.

In this second book, Andy is fighting for his lady love because she has been accused of murdering a corrupt cop, Alex Dorsey. Is the corrupt cop really dead or is he just faking his own death and gloating about Laurie's arrest? I will not give away any secrets. Read and find out.  I liked the complexities of this mystery; it was not open and shut. The storyline held my interest.  Some of the characters in the first book reappear in the second book for example, Willie Miller who was Andy Carpenter's client. Also  making a brief appearance is Andy's ex-wife. They are both on the periphery of this legal thriller. I am wondering if the writer is setting the stage to re-introduce these two characters to play a more active role in the third book.

I will be reading the third book in the series Bury The Lead soon. First, I have to complete reading John Grisham's The Racketeer   Yes, I am way behind on my Grisham reading.  His latest book for those who don't already know is actually, Sycamore Row, which I hear is excellent.