Monday, September 25

Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt

Review by Theodore Feit


In this, the fourth in the Andrew Carpenter series, the author deviates from his usual basic pattern in a plot which introduces an unexpected situation.  It seems Laurie Collins, Andy's investigator and love of his life, has been offered a police department captaincy in her native Findlay, Wisconsin, with the prospect of becoming chief of police in the near future.  She contemplates that chance for the entire book, keeping Andy on edge throughout, not reaching a decision until the conclusion of a sensational murder trial.


A star running back for the New York Giants is arrested for the shooting murder of his friend, a wide receiver for the Jets, whose body is found in the closet of his home.  He fends off arrest by firing a pistol at arriving police.  He calls for Andy to represent him, and we embark on the trials and tribulations of another high-profile murder contest, with the prosecution having a slam-dunk case and Andy and his team without the foggiest idea on how to defend.


The novel moves forward, without much of the wisecracks exhibited in the earlier books, but with the same intensity and inventiveness.  The conclusion of the trial, of course, is foregone, but the author gives us a twist that cannot and should not be anticipated.  The quality is up to the level which the first three books give rise to, and now, for this reader—onto the fifth.


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