63 y/o psychologist with two sons, living in SF Bay Area. I absolutely love all the feedback I've been getting for my reviews. It's very gratifying. Thanks to all of you.
This is about the seventh book in the Andy Carpenter series, and by now we have come to know the loosely-formed family around Andy. Each case he takes on is interesting, and he always finds ways to tell us things about his dog, Tara, and his dog rescue foundation, The Tara Foundation, run by a guy he sprung from prison on a trumped-up charge. The current case takes Andy into mob territory, which is common for him, despite the fact that he paints himself as something of a schlemiel. What initially looks like two local murders turns into something extremely larger. The very end of the book is another twist of our expectations, which I have come to appreciate from Rosenfelt. Grover Gardner can simply do no wrong. No matter what the subject, he has one of the friendliest, most comfortable voices around, and it is always a pleasure to listen to him. These books are not great literature, and they are not meant to be: they are fun. Period. They may be a bit formulaic, but if you like the formula, as I do, then that just doesn't bother. I also like the quirk that Andy is wealthy and doesn't have to work, meaning that each case he takes on has to grab him in some way. If I won the lottery, as people say, this is what I would do with my life. Turning the books into mass-market successes is the icing on the cake.
John Lescroarts has written about Hardy and Glitsky for about twenty years now. He may feel like he needs to break out into new territory, but I humbly disagree. He has made real lives of these fictional characters. They have not stood still, as many other writers of thrillers have done. They get married, raise children, have tragedies and successes, and climb in their careers, although in the ways that ordinary people do, not as some kind of Supermen. This book may be the last of the duo. Gina Roake is the star here, and she has a real history herself. The widow of David Freeman, perhaps the best lawyer in the San Francisco Legal community, Gina, who is now a partner of the law firm that bears the names of the protagonists, withdrew after the death of her husband. She now has taken on a murder case. Her first, this is a case of many facets. Gina believes that her client is innocent, a rarity. Most defense lawyers tend not to want to hear whether their clients are guilty or innocent., There is a strong circumstantial case against Stuart Gorman. The courtroom scenes hold your attention. Lescroarts is certainly not Grisham, but he knows how to create believable characters, a murder case with truly complicated aspects, and he has a dramatic touch that keeps you rooting for Gina. If you have not read any of the Hardy-Glitsky books, I recommend all of them. Some are obviously better than others, but you will be drawn into the lives of these people.You can't go wrong here.
Grover Gardner and David Rosenfelt are an excellent team. The writing is funny in a consistent way and the reader sells it just right. This is not great literature, as I am sure the author would be the first to admit, but you will have infinitely more fun with it than with 100 famous books one could name. The entire series is entertaining, and, even if you aren't a dog lover, even the dog is a vivid character. It doesn't matter that you know Andy Carpenter will win in the end and get the girl, it's the ride that counts, and this is one I'll be happy to take again, ASAP.
I listen while I paint- classic or modern mysteries, true adventure, & books that inspire or motivate
I was so looking forward to this novel, as two of my favorite Turow books, "Innocent" and "Presumed Innocent" are so rich in the details and drama of courtroom action. However, this story does not put the spotlight on the judge or attorneys.
Overall this is a complex story of two Greek families over a 25 year period. You need to pay close attention to get the numerous characters straight in your mind at the beginning, or it is easy to become lost. The two main players are Paul and Cass Giannis, identical twin brothers.
I found this a difficult review to do since there is so much going on, but I've condensed it to the following:
The story starts in 1982 at the home of Zeus Kronon during his annual Labor Day party. Among the guests are Lidia Giannis and her twin boys who are 25 at the time. The Giannis family and Kronon family have a shaky history, especially between Lidia and Zeus, but that doesn't keep their children from being friends. Unfortunately that day turns out to change the future of both families lives. Zeus Kronon's daughter, Dita, is found murdered in her bedroom after the guests have gone home, and Cass Giannis is quickly arrested on circumstantial evidence. He agrees to a 25 year sentence if he can serve it in a minimum security prison. No trial is necessary and the deal is agreed to.
Jump ahead to 2008. Paul Giannis is running for mayor. Cass Giannis is about to get out of prison. Dita's brother, Hal, a wealthy businessman, is against it and starts a media campaign to stop his release. This is where the real story starts. Hal asks his head of security, Evon Miller and a former homicide detective, Tim Brodie, to investigate and see if they can turn up any new information from the murder 25 years ago. Hal has never been convinced that Paul wasn't involved in some way, and is using the suggestion of his involvement to stall his campaign for mayor.
Back and forth the story is slowly revealed to us over time, from the Labor Day party and the actions of people on that day, then back to the present and what the investigation is turning up.
I liked the story, and it had enough momentum to keep me listening. The only small complaints I would mention are 1) the narrator is ok, but gets a little monotone, and 2) there is a lot of extraneous material that just goes nowhere. This is mostly related to Evon's girlfriend who keeps popping up throughout, and has no real relevance to the story.
Turow did keep me entertained throughout. There are a ton of suspects- - it is never really clear until almost the very end who murdered Dita and why. Recommended!