Friday, January 24, 2014

Open and Shut (Andy Carpenter Mysteries #1), by David Rosenfelt (author)

Listen & Live Audio, ISBN 9781593161262, June 2008 (originally published 2002)

Andy Carpenter is a criminal defense attorney with a high sense of ethics, a (now retired) prosecutor father whom he deeply admires, a broken marriage, a new girl friend, and a beautiful Golden Retriever, Tara, rescued from a kill shelter. He's enjoying his life.

Life is about to get much more interesting than he wants.

His father asks him to take on the appeal of a death penalty case he successfully prosecuted a few years ago. Willie Miller has been convicted, and sentenced to death, in the brutal murder of a reporter who was dating the son of a very wealthy local businessman. Nelson Carpenter has learned that one of the jurors lied during jury selection about something that would certainly have kept her off the jury; he's gotten this from a privileged source, but he can't just let it lie, either. Against his better judgment, Andy agrees to take on the appeal.

A few days later, Nelson Carpenter dies in front of his son, at a baseball game. And Andy discovers he has two unexpected legacies: $22 million that he never suspected his father had, and a picture of his father and three other men, taken thirty-five years ago. Just about the time his father acquired the $2 million which has since become $22 million, in fact.

Andy now has two mysteries to solve--what really happened the night the reporter was murdered, and how did his father come by the money that he never touched or mentioned.

What's worse, it looks like the two mysteries may be connected.

Andy is smart, sarcastic, a bit theatrical--a bit more theatrical than some judges like--and deeply, deeply ethical. He can't let either mystery go, even with the death threats start, and it looks like finding the source of the money may change what he thinks he knows about his father.

This is a fun, fast-paced, but thoughtful story, asking tough questions about ethics, honesty, and loyalty to family and friends.

Recommended.

I received this book as a gift from a friend.