Unleashed – David Rosenfelt

May 24, 2017

David Rosenfelt brings us another winding plot of intrigue with his latest Andy Carpenter mystery Unleashed, published by St. Martin’s Press. copyright 2013.


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I was looking for some lighter fiction than my usually intense murder mysteries so I picked a mystery about a dog that solves the crime, saves lives, and does dog tricks.  David Rosenfelt satisfies us with those things all while showing us how intense a novel he can present us with.  At the begining, Sam Willis is driving on a dark rainy highway and hits a dog, turns his car around, and calls the police.  They take the dog to a veterinary clinic and Sam follows, misses his flight with an old friend and prospective client who he had hoped was willing to invest large amounts of money.  Barry Price had called Sam for his advice on financial matters and also had called Andy Carpenter for his legal advice.  Andy is a very highly regarded lawyer and quite wealthy because as a result.


Sam, who also works with Andy as his accountant, had missed the appointment with Barry because he was busy seeing after the dog he had hit and that is how the dog had saved his life.  Sam was going to fly with Barry to Concord and discuss his finances on the flight but the plane crashed and Barry was killed.  In this way the dog, that Sam names “Crash”, had kept him from a fiery death in the wreckage of a small plane.  Barry was actually murdered with a poison that paralyzed him after he lifted off and could no longer fly the plane so the plane hit some trees and he was thrown from the craft.  This development proved advantageous for the forensic team as they were able to determine that he had been poisoned.  Had he remained in the airplane his body would likely have been incinerated leaving no trace of the poison.

The police of course suspect Barry’s wife, Denise Price, and send a forensic team to inspect the house where they find traces of the paralyzing poison so she is arrested for the murder.  Sam, having been a friend of Denise, feels some obligation to ask his employer to defend her.  The famous Andy Carpenter reluctantly delves into the case and is faced with a huge challenge as all the evidence points in her direction.  She is in prison for the first time in her life.  This was a great shock to her since she was accustomed to a leisurely life with Barry who was a very rich man,.  Denise then tells the investigating detective, Lieutenant Jennings, that she had been having an affair with Sam and it was he who had given Barry the poison that caused the plane crash and that he had avoided being on that flight because he knew it would end in disaster.  The sheriff believes her and arrests Sam who is taken by surprise and tells Andy that there was no affair, only a friendship that had lasted since high school.

Andy switches cases but his only hope is to find out who actually poisoned Barry Price.  He decides to follow the money, which is usually the best route to take in a murder investigation.  This tactic proves successful but not in a way anyone had anticipated.  They uncover an intricate plot to assassinate several top political figures on Memorial Day.  Not just locally but in several states throughout the northeastern United States.  A man named Carter is the major planner of this highly coordinated operation.  It involves a lot of heavy artillery and that is where the connection lies between the conspiracy, Barry Price and his small plane.

This is the first novel that I have read by David Rosenfelt and it very much impressed me with the many twists and changes he was able to include in an extraordinary novel along with many intriguing characters of whom some are very lovable while others will strike fear into your heart.  There is much more to be said about this writing but you should read it and find out.

Literally, Paul.

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