After taking a dollar to represent a client for an hour, Paterson attorney Andy Carpenter ends up signing on for the tour: multiple murder, a fortune in suspect diamonds, and international terrorism.
The theft of a Shepherd mix named Cheyenne from the rescue shelter Andy runs with his former client Willie Miller might not seem like a big deal, and thanks to Willie’s know-how, they track down the missing dog before midnight. But the case gets red-hot when Cheyenne turns up standing guard over the body of her dognapper, Gerry Downey, who’s been nearly decapitated. The police, with their customary lack of imagination, arrest Tommy Infante, an associate of Downey’s who’d publicly threatened to cut his throat if Downey didn’t turn over his share of the proceeds from a recent jewelry robbery. Convinced that Tommy must know something about the dog, Andy bluffs his way into jail, where he earns a dollar and satisfies himself that Tommy doesn’t know a thing. But when he’s at the point of turning over the case to Deb Kohl, Andy suddenly learns that Cheyenne belonged to Eric Brantley, a brilliant chemist sought by the police for the murder of his business partner, Michael Caruso. Now certain that the dognapping is connected to something bigger, Andy hangs on to the case, and soon enough he’s hanging on for dear life as he’s dragged through a series of expertly choreographed courtroom scenes in which prosecutor Dylan Campbell keeps insisting that this open-and-shut case has nothing to do with the wild schemes Andy and his investigators have uncovered.
As in Andy’s other recent adventures (Unleashed, 2013, etc.), the mystery is neatly turned, the detection authentic, the legal back and forth expertly judged, the wisecracks amusing, and the dog-love stuff nicely modulated. Only the international intrigue fails to catch fire—and a good thing, as Andy would say.