I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
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.
Abe Glitzky and Dismas Hardy are two of the greatest fictional characters ever created. Lescroarts' series is
justifiably famous, and Davis Colacci's narration is tone-perfect. The feel of San Francisco (where I have lived and worked since 1978) is so vivid and accurate that you can't help but feel you are there. The plots are classic thrillers, and Lescroarts keeps you guessing until the very end. His knowledge of police behavior, criminals, defense attorneys and investigators is deep, the result of years of working in that environment. The author certainly writes what he knows. Hardy and Glitzky have grown during the long series, have had their disasters and triumphs, much like the rest of us, perhaps more dramatically than most lives; maybe not. Anyone who enjoys this genre will be thrilled. I guarantee it.
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.