The mob intrigue, as is customary with Rosenfelt (On Borrowed Time, 2011, etc.), is unconvincing, and, despite the title,...

LEADER OF THE PACK

Dog-loving Andy Carpenter, Paterson, New Jersey's gift to the criminal bar, gets another chance at a murder case he lost six years earlier.

Not even Joey Desimone disputes that his father, Carmine, runs one of central New Jersey’s dominant crime families, or that Joey carried on an adulterous affair with Karen Solarno, or that he was angry and hurt when she broke it off to give her marriage another shot. But Joey vigorously disputed prosecutor Dylan Campbell’s accusation that he rang the Solarnos’ doorbell and gunned down Karen and her husband, Richard. Despite Andy’s best efforts, Joey’s story didn’t sway a jury of his peers, and he’s already done six years of his life sentence when Andy, following an unwitting tip he’s gotten from Carmine’s aging brother and enforcer Nicky Fats, realizes that Richard Solarno was up to his gizzard in gunrunning and that a group of his clients, paramilitary survivalists who deemed a shipment he supplied short on firepower, had threatened his life—facts that Lt. Kyle Wagner of the Montana State Police not only knew, but duly reported to Dylan Campbell six years ago. Even Henry “Hatchet” Henderson, the irascible judge who seems to preside over all Andy’s trials (Dog Tags, 2010, etc.), acknowledges that the prosecution’s concealment of such exculpatory evidence constitutes grounds for a new trial. If only the trail weren’t so cold—and cooling further every day, thanks to the executions of Nicky Fats, Carmine and associates as far away as Peru at the hands of Simon Ryerson, a Harvard MBA who thinks the time is ripe for a hostile takeover of the Desimone empire and doesn’t mind stepping on Joey’s toes in order to close the deal.

The mob intrigue, as is customary with Rosenfelt (On Borrowed Time, 2011, etc.), is unconvincing, and, despite the title, there’s not much for dog fanciers this time around. But Andy is as effervescent as ever, and the courtroom byplay is consistently entertaining.

Pub Date: July 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-312-64804-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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POP GOES THE WEASEL

After a flight in fantasy with When the Wind Blows (1998), Patterson goes to ground with another slash-and-squirm psychokiller page-turner, this one dedicated to “the millions of Alex Cross readers, who so frequently ask, can’t you write faster?” By day, Geoffrey Shafer is a charming, 42-year-old British Embassy paper-pusher with a picture-perfect family and a shady past as an MI-6 secret agent. Come sundown, he swallows a pharmacy of psychoactive pills, gulps three black coffees loaded with sugar, and roams the streets of Washington, D.C., in a battered cab, where, disguised as a black man, he rolls dice to determine which among his black female fares he—ll murder. Afterwards he dumps his naked victims in crime-infested back alleys of black- slum neighborhoods, then sends e-mails boasting of his accomplishments to three other former MI-6 agents involved in a hellish Internet role-playing game. “I sensed I was at the start of another homicide mess,” sighs forensic-psychologist turned homicide-detective Alex Cross. Cross yearns to catch the “Jane Doe murderer” but is thwarted by Det. Chief George Pittman, who assigns sexy Det. Patsy Hampton to investigate Cross and come up with a reason for dismissing him. Meanwhile, Cross’s fiancÇe is kidnaped during a Bermuda vacation, and an anonymous e-mail warns him to back off. He doesn’t, of course, and just when it appears that Patterson is sleep-walking through his story, Cross nabs Shafer minutes after Shafer kills Det. Hampton. During the subsequent high-visibility trail, Shafer manages to make the jury believe that he’s innocent and that Cross was trying to frame him. When all seems lost, a sympathetic British intelligence chief offers to help Cross bring down Shafer, and the other homicidal game-players, during a showdown on the breezy beaches of Jamaica. Kinky mayhem, a cartoonish villain, regular glimpses of the kindly Cross caring for his loved ones, and an ending that spells a sequel: Patterson’s fans couldn’t ask for more.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-69328-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1999

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Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

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THE SILENT PATIENT

A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak.

"Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists—Alicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's just—I'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.

Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30169-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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