COLLARED By David Rosenfelt
An Andy Carpenter Novel
Pages: 333 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release date: July 18, 2017
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery> Animals
Lawyer Andy Carpenter’s true passion is the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization he runs with his friend Willie Miller. All kinds of dogs make their way to the foundation, and it isn’t that surprising to find a dog abandoned at the shelter one morning, though it was accompanied by a mysterious anonymous note. But they are quite surprised when they scan the dog’s embedded chip, and discover that they know this dog. He is the “DNA dog.”
Two and a half years ago, Jill Hickman was a single mother of an adopted baby. Her baby and dog were kidnapped in broad daylight in Eastside Park, and they haven’t been seen since. A tip came in that ID’d a former boyfriend of Hickman’s, Keith Wachtel, as the kidnapper. A search of his house showed no sign of the child but did uncover more incriminating evidence, and the clincher that generated Wachtel’s arrest was some dog hair, notable since Wachtel did not have a dog. DNA tests showed conclusively that the hair belonged to Hickman’s dog. Wachtel was convicted of kidnapping, but the dog and baby were never found.
Now, with the reappearance of the dog, the case is brought back to light, and the search for the child renewed. Goaded by his wife’s desire to help a friend and fellow mother and Andy’s desire to make sure the real kidnapper is in jail, Andy and his team enter the case. But what they start to uncover is far more complicated and dangerous than they ever expected, in David Rosenfelt’s Collared.
COLLARED is a fast-moving mystery thriller with a little bit of humor and suspense. David Rosenfelt creates a compelling mystery written around Rosenfelt’s protagonist Andy Carpenter, who runs an animal rescue organization the Tara Foundations and on occasion, practices law. Rosenfelt provides his readers with Andy’s backstory from the first fifteen books in the Andy Carpenter Mystery series including details of Andy’s two co-workers Willis and Sondra Miller. The author delivers a light-hearted storyline and places his readers next to Andy as he unravels well-defined storyline. Andy shares the limelight with his two dogs Tara and Sebastian and the dog protagonist Cody.
The storyline starts out slowly when a border collie is left tied to Tara Foundation’s front door. There is a strange note attached that adds to the developing mystery. Andy and Willis scan the collie’s chip and find the dog’s name is Cody, in addition to Cody’s name being on the chip the owner Jill Hickman is also in the information. The author begins adding twists and turns to the storyline changing directions almost as fast, and readers can turn the page. Rosenfelt introduces several support characters, and as the author brings them into the plot, he provides the history of each character and their role in the developing thriller.
Rosenfelt creates several subplots taking the storyline down different paths leading towards finding out who-done-it. As the author develops his storyline, he shares details of Jill Hickman’s young adopted son, Dylan and his dog’s disappearance three years earlier. The subplot continues growing with the arrest and conviction of Jill’s ex-boyfriend, Keith Wachtel for the abduction. Rosenfelt keeps piling on to the intrigue and suspense with the disappearance of the witness whose testimony helped convict Wachtel
Rosenfelt creates a well written a fast paced, thought out and intriguing mystery. The suspenseful storyline, with excellent character development, and unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader engaged. I highly recommend this book to all cozy mystery fans. The author skillfully brings all these threads together uncovering reasons for the kidnapping, deaths of key characters and an ending that proves for an attorney who only occasionally practices law, Andy Carpenter helps collar all the bad guys. COLLARED is an entertaining, mystery thriller is a must read and earns a five-star ranking.
Review by John W Kurtze
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Rosenfelt, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a graduate of NYU. He was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. “Open And Shut” was his first novel; “First Degree,” his second novel, was named a best book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and 35 dogs.