Andy Carpenter rescues one client from prison and another from Death Row in his most ambitious case yet.
During a torrential rainstorm five years ago, Coast Guard officers boarded a boat four miles off the New Jersey Coast to find one occupant, U.S. Customs inspector Richard Evans, comatose from an overdose of sleeping pills and the other two, Richard’s fiancée Stacy Harriman and his dog Reggie, missing. Long before they identified Stacy’s body, washed ashore three weeks later, they’d already arrested Richard for murder, and he was tried and convicted. But a startling new piece of evidence emerges when Andy (Dead Center, 2006, etc.) tries to save Yogi, a golden retriever who bit his abusive owner, from being put down: Richard’s sister Karen identifies Yogi as Reggie. She proves his identity to Andy, who in an amusing courtroom sequence proves it to a judge. Presumably Reggie got off the boat because somebody took him off. Who was that somebody, what was his or her role in Stacy’s murder and Richard’s near-death, why haven’t the authorities found any trace of him or her, and how can Andy do better? The stakes are raised but the answers obscured by the news that both the FBI and the New Jersey mob are so interested in the case that one is bugging Andy’s phone and the other shooting at him.
A steadily absorbing journey through layers and layers of deception. Only the very last surprise fizzles.