Open and Shut (Andy Carpenter Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview "There is nothing like a golden retriever. I know, I know, it's a big planet with a lot of wonderful things, but golden retrievers are the absolute best. Mine is named Tara . . . The only problem she has ever caused is that I spend so much time with her in the mornings that I am almost invariably late for work." Whether dueling with new forensics or the local old boys' network, irreverent defense attorney Andy Carpenter always leaves them awed with his biting wit and winning fourth-quarter game plan. But Andy prefers the company of his best frien See more details below
Open and Shut (Andy Carpenter Series #1)

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Overview

"There is nothing like a golden retriever. I know, I know, it's a big planet with a lot of wonderful things, but golden retrievers are the absolute best. Mine is named Tara . . . The only problem she has ever caused is that I spend so much time with her in the mornings that I am almost invariably late for work."



Whether dueling with new forensics or the local old boys' network, irreverent defense attorney Andy Carpenter always leaves them awed with his biting wit and winning fourth-quarter game plan. But Andy prefers the company of his best friend, Tara, to the people he encounters in the courtroom. Tara, a golden retriever, is clearly smarter than half the lawyers who clog the courts of Passaic County. However, just as it seems Andy has everything figured out, his dad, New Jersey's legendary ex-D.A., drops dead in front of him at a game in Yankee Stadium. The shocks pile on as he discovers his dad left him with two unexpected legacies: a fortune of $22 million that Andy never knew existed . . . and a murder case with enough racial tinder to burn down City Hall. Struggling to serve justice and bring honor to his father, Andy must dig up some explosive political skeletons-and an astonishing family secret that can close his case (and his mouth) for good.
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Editorial Reviews

Margaret Maron
... a terrific debut...writes like a seasoned professional ...once I opened this book, I couldn't shut it till I finished the last page.
Harlan Coben
Wow, what a great book...all around terrific. I loved every page and hated to see it end... is the best debut I've read this year. Case closed.
Donald E. Westlake
...fast and funny. For some reason New Jersey brings out some dark streak of comedy in writers and I'm grateful to the state for that. A terrific debut.
Publishers Weekly
It's no surprise to find Harlan Coben giving a blurb to Rosenfelt's debut mystery, an homage to Coben's popular Myron Bolitar series. Like Bolitar, lawyer Andy Carpenter lives in suburban New Jersey, has strong bonds with his father, is a sports nut and has a refreshing lack of respect for wealth and power. Andy also has Myron's self-deprecating sense of humor, which allows him to make fun of his personal shortcomings. But Rosenfelt lacks both Coben's powerful narrative engine and gift for bringing weird minor characters to credible life. Andy, a flamboyant district attorney who dazzles the onlookers in Paterson with cute courtroom antics that probably wouldn't last a New York or L.A. minute, stumbles through a couple of plots that just don't ring true. When his father, Nelson, a straight-arrow DA, asks him to defend a death row rapist/murderer seeking a new trial, Andy reluctantly agrees. When the older man dies (spectacularly, at a Yankees game), a totally unexpected $22 million estate surfaces. On the side, Andy works to restart his failed marriage to an important politician's daughter while also pursuing his no-nonsense female chief investigator. Then Andy finds much too conveniently an old photograph linking his father and a bunch of boyhood friends to the original crime. We never learn enough about Nelson to understand or care about his guilt. Loose ends that a Coben would never have left to dangle undermine the ending. Hopefully, a more seasoned Rosenfelt will do better next time. (May 9) Forecast: Additional plugs from Donald E. Westlake and Margaret Maron, plus the author's status as former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures, will ensure plenty of media attention for this Mystery Guild Featured Alternate. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Defense attorney Andy Carpenter just might be the biggest wiseacre to hit the genre since Archie Goodwin. His courtroom antics have already ticked off judges and juries throughout Passaic County, and he'd probably be in jail himself if not for the New Jersey legal system's tremendous respect for Andy's late father, ex-DA Nelson Carpenter. But now Andy's become an irritant to someone still more dangerous than trial judge Walter "Hatchet" Henderson—someone willing to use threats, beatings, and bullets to keep Andy from inheriting his father's strange legacy: $22 million in an account no one knew about, a photo of Nelson in his 20s with three other young men, and a case that he prosecuted successfully seven years ago, now due for retrial on a technicality. And since Andy promised his father he'd defend Willie Miller in what looks like an open-and-shut case—the murder of Denise McGregor, whose body Willie was found standing over in an alley behind a bar, whose fingernails were lined with traces of Willie's skin, and whose blood was smeared on a knife with Willie's prints all over it—he'll do just that, even if it imperils his shaky reconciliation with his wife Nicole, his livelihood, his reputation, and his life. The new-love subplot with his female investigator, perhaps meant to lend manic Andy some gravitas, is just a distraction from the brisk dialogue, careful plotting, and solid spadework in Rosenfelt's series opener.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Splendid...intricate plotting."
Harlan Coben
"A great book...gripping...all around terrific."
From the Publisher
"A great book...gripping...all around terrific."—Harlan Coben

"Splendid...intricate plotting."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446551076
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/15/2008
  • Series: Andy Carpenter Series , #1
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 11,660
  • File size: 612 KB

Meet the Author

DAVID ROSENFELT is the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures and lives in Southern California.

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Read an Excerpt

Open and Shut


By David Rosenfelt

Warner Books

Copyright © 2002 David Rosenfelt
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61253-7


Chapter One

The Lincoln Tunnel is a scary place. Especially now, at the end of the workday. I'm one link in an endless chain of drivers, all moving our cars through an atmosphere of one hundred percent pure carbon monoxide. Tunnel workers patrol walkways along the walls; I assume they are there to make sure no car achieves a speed above three miles an hour. Their lungs must have a life expectancy of an hour and a half. Surrounding us all are thousands of tons of dirt and water, just waiting for a crack to come crashing through.

I usually avoid this tunnel. It is one of three main passageways between New York City and Northern Jersey, where I live. I prefer the George Washington Bridge, where oxygen is plentiful and it doesn't feel like I'm driving through an enormous MRI machine. The fact is, I don't come into New York that often, and when I do it's rarely during the absurdly misnamed "rush" hour. But I needed to go to the NYU law library to do some research for an appellate case I'm handling, and I was stuck in court all day, so here I am.

I have two choices. I can ponder my impending death by suffocation under all this mud and water, knowing my loved ones will forever wonder whether my final resting place was in New York or New Jersey. Or I can think about the case, and what my strategy will be if the Court of Appeals turns us down. I go with the case, but it's a close call.

My client is death row inmate Willie Miller, a twenty-eight-year-old African-American convicted of murdering a young woman named Denise McGregor in the alley behind the Teaneck, New Jersey, bar where he worked. It's a case my father, Nelson Carpenter, prosecuted seven years ago, when he was the State District Attorney. Ironically, it's also my father's fault that I'm on the case now.

I think back almost two years to the day I was at home watching the Giants play the Redskins on television. It was a frigid, windy, December Sunday, the kind of day that passing would be difficult, so each team would try to run the ball down each other's throats. My father had come over to watch the game with me. He was never a big football fan, and my fanaticism about the Giants was clearly learned elsewhere. But he had been joining me to watch the games with increasing regularity since my mother died a year before. I don't think it's that he was liking football any more; I just think he was liking loneliness even less.

It must have been halftime that he brought it up, since if it were during the game I never would have heard him. "Do you remember the Willie Miller case?" he asked.

Of course I did. My father had sought and received the death penalty; this was not something I was likely to forget.

"Sure. What about it?"

He told me that some information had recently come to his attention. He wouldn't tell me how, or even what the specific information was, but he said that he had learned that a juror lied in voir dire, a significant lie that could result in a new trial if revealed to the court.

He was grappling with what to do with the information, since revealing the specifics would amount to breaking a privilege. Yet as an officer of the court he felt uncomfortable with concealing it, since Willie Miller was entitled to have the truth come out.

"How would you feel about representing him on an appeal?"

"Me?" I'm sure my mouth was stuffed with potato chips, so it probably came out "Mnnpphh?"

"Yes. You could have an investigator look into it, find out the facts without me having to tell you, and then go to the appeals court."

The case, as I remembered it, was open-and-shut. Willie Miller, even when seen through my skeptical defense attorney's eyes, was a murderer. I was not about to get involved in an appeal based on a technicality. What if it succeeded? I'd have to go through a trial I was bound to lose.

"No thanks."

"It would be important to me."

There it was, the sentence from which there was no defense. In my family, when you asked a favor of someone, it was acceptable to refuse. But once the person said that it was important to them, it crossed a line and became an absolute imperative. We did not use those words frivolously, and they carried an awesome weight.

"Then I'll do it."

"You've got no chance, you know."

I laughed. "Then why the hell is it so important to you that I enter the swamp?" That is how we referred to legal cases that dragged on forever with little or no chance of ultimate victory. "Because the man is on death row."

The Giants kicked off to start the second half, the Redskins drove the length of the field for a touchdown, and I was on a case that might well leave me forever stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel.

But, no! Suddenly, without warning, a burst of speed by the cars ahead lets me gun the accelerator to almost five miles an hour. At this rate, there's a chance I might make it home in time to leave for court tomorrow morning.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt Copyright © 2002 by David Rosenfelt . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 91 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 91 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2004

    Funny & Easy Reading

    An easy reading book that doesn't bore you with mundane details. Whenever I read a crime story, I know that clues are left for us to try to figure out the ending.... but this time I never saw it coming. Andy is so down to earth and a nice guy that if he didn't grow up with the senator's daughter, they probably never would have gotten married. I am glad this didn't get in the way of the truth.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun and Offbeat Escape

    I happened to pick up Open and Shut when my current list of "must read" authors had nothing new. I found an enjoyable story with characters-both two and four legged-that held my attention through the entire read. Many of us wish we had Andy Carpenter's lifestyle but the way he decides to deal with his windfall is both touching and enviable. Andy comes across as a good guy with a sense of humor about himself and life and is refreshing to read. I enjoyed my first Andy Capenter story enough to go back and purchase two more in the series.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2007

    Fantastic Author

    I absolutely could not put this book down! Andy Carpenter's sense of humor is what made the book. As soon as I finished it, I went out and ordered his other 4 books. David Rosenthal is now one of my favorite authors along with James Patterson, Stuart Woods, Phillip Margolin, Janet Evanovich. Harlan Cobin, Robert Crais and Sue Grafon. That's a pretty high ranking for a first book. I do hope the rest are just as great.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2010

    Recommended

    Just finished #1 & 2 in the series and rate both 4 stars. I just added all the rest (except cannot find #4) to my list to buy. Fast reads, witty, and informative. Gets right to the point and does repeat things over and over. Will recommend to my friends. J.Dee

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    Tara

    Loved it. Can't wait to finish the last one. Hope there is more coming, really loved Andy.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2009

    Open and Shut

    David Rosenfelt does an excellent job of pulling you into the story of OPEN and SHUT! My book club chose this for an "easy" read, but now we call it an "Excellent" read.

    Rosenfelt has you wondering "who did it" through out the book. You think you have it solved and then there is a new twist. The ending is SO unexpected.

    Great read!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2009

    Great writing and story.

    I picked up this book at the airport and found my cross country flight was the fastest ever. I loved the story and the writing. I have recently purchased all of David Rosenfelt's books and love them all. I am so happy to find a new author that I enjoy.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2006

    Excellent Lazy Summer Read

    I enjoyed this book very much. I consider it a perfect summer read. Not so heavy that you need to think a lot, but still with enough suspense to keep you going.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Okay

    It was an okay book. It had many unexpecting events take place. The plot took a while to really pick up speed. I have to admit my favorite character is Tara, the golden retriever. :) I hope the next book is better than this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    highly recommended, one of the best i have read lately

    i loved this debut book and i plan to start the others in the series soon. writing style was not too heavy but just right

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2002

    Fabulous Read

    This is a great book if you enjoy courtroom mysteries,witty main characters, and a storyline that grabs you from the first page to the last. I loved every page and just wish it had lasted longer. I can't wait for Mr Rosenfelt's next book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Lots of fun...

    Delightful! Well-plotted whodunit with witty protagonist; wry, dry humor is great in any season. Glad I tried this series; bought more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2013

    Fast paced, easy reading, funny, and griping tale.

    Fast paced, easy reading, funny, and griping tale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Fun read

    Witty and entertaining, whodunit read with the added "realism" of a great Golden Retriever, Tara. Since we also have a Golden, we can identify with Andy's love for a great dog and enjoy the humor of the author in his twisted tales, full of dry and not so dry, humor. Find ourselves reading funny excerpts out loud to each other. Very entertaining!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Very enjoyable

    I've been looking for another series that would stay interesting and not just rehash the previous story so I started with this one - I love the characters, especially the way the dog is worked in but doesn't take over - terrific!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2012

    Highly recommend this series

    Enjoyable series, looking forward to reading next one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2011

    !Check this one out! Great lighthearted mystery~!

    I really liked this murder mystery and upon finishing it, I went on to read five more David Rosenfelt novels! Hs style is great! I love it when Andy goes against the grain of legalese and still comes out the winner! The dialogue is very refreshing and brought many laughs--not something I find in many courtroom dramas!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    This is a very good book. Witty and suspenseful.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fabulous legal thriller

    In New Jersey judicial circles, the name Nelson Carpenter is legendary as the former District Attorney earned the respect of the entire state. In Passaic County, Nelson¿s oldest born, defense attorney Andy Carpenter abuses that reputation that enables him to avoid contempt charges due to his questionable courtroom antics that irritate judges and prosecutors, but frees his clients. <P>Nelson asks Andy to defend Willie Miller in the felon¿s appeal of a murder conviction that the older Carpenter prosecuted. Witnesses stated that they found the accused standing over the murdered corpse of Denise McGregor and Willie¿s fingerprints and blood were all over the murder weapon. When Nelson dies while attending a baseball game with Andy, the latter knows he must honor his father¿s last wish of him. As he begins to become more familiar with the Miller case, Andy is stunned to inherit a fortune and find a seemingly incriminating photo of his dad. Soon someone threatens to kill Andy if he insists on working the Miller appeal. <P>OPEN AND SHUT is a fabulous legal thriller that is at its best when Andy stays on center stage as a loose cannon attorney. When the subplot involves Andy¿s personal relationships with his wife and his private investigator, it loses an edge though having the sleuth capable of kicking butt is a nice gender bender twist. Overall, the story line is fast-paced providing readers a thrilling ride through the New Jersey judiciary system. Jurors will discover David Rosenfelt¿s debut is quite appealing and sentence the author to providing more tales starring Andy. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    Good read for all Andy Carpenter fans who didn't read the first one.

    Great book like all the newer ones in the Andy Carpenter series. Being the first one, it gave me a lot of background information that helped me understand some of Andy's relationships a little better (like Laurie & Willie).

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 91 Customer Reviews

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