Play Dead (Andy Carpenter Series #6)

( 38 )

Overview

Few can rival attorney Andy Carpenter's affection for golden retrievers, especially his own beloved Tara. After he astonishes a New Jersey courtroom by successfully appealing another golden's death sentence, Andy discovers that this gentle dog is a key witness to a murder that took place five years before. Andy pushes the boundaries of the law even further as he struggles to free an innocent man by convincing an incredulous jury to take canine testimony seriously. It will take all the tricks Andy's fertile mind ...

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Play Dead (Andy Carpenter Series #6)

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Overview

Few can rival attorney Andy Carpenter's affection for golden retrievers, especially his own beloved Tara. After he astonishes a New Jersey courtroom by successfully appealing another golden's death sentence, Andy discovers that this gentle dog is a key witness to a murder that took place five years before. Andy pushes the boundaries of the law even further as he struggles to free an innocent man by convincing an incredulous jury to take canine testimony seriously. It will take all the tricks Andy's fertile mind can conceive to get to the bottom of a remarkable chain of impersonations and murder, and save a dog's life—and his own—in the process.

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Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
"A taut thriller full of whiplash plot twists and wisecracking dialogue."
Booklist
A cracking good yarn...As always, Andy's offbeat, outspoken personality shines on every page, and the balance of humor and mystery is dead-on.
Booklist (starred review)
"A cracking good yarn...As always, Andy's offbeat, outspoken personality shines on every page, and the balance of humor and mystery is dead-on."
From the Publisher
On PLAY DEAD:
"Riveting....Alive with reliable Rosenfelt's wit and heart."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A taut thriller full of whiplash plot twists and wisecracking dialogue."—Entertainment Weekly

"[Andy Carpenter's] most ambitious case yet...absorbing."—Kirkus

"A cracking good yarn...As always, Andy's offbeat, outspoken personality shines on every page, and the balance of humor and mystery is dead-on."—Booklist (starred review)

Publishers Weekly

Gardner's breezy, slightly sarcastic delivery is just what's needed for Rosenfeld's breezy, slightly sarcastic mysteries featuring multimillionaire New Jersey lawyer Andy Carpenter. The yarns, told in first-person, present tense by the attorney, often have the feel of standup comedy routines, and this latest is no exception. ("She wanted to get me before I went to work," Carpenter says of an early wakeup call. "She must think I'm a dairy farmer.") Happily, Gardner possesses a comedian's timing and knows exactly where the laughs are. The plot centers on a golden retriever that was thought to have perished at sea five years ago along with its murdered mistress. Following the animal's lead, Carpenter winds up constructing a new defense for the man imprisoned for the murder. Gardner's vocal interpretations of the other characters all sound a little like him. This is appropriate, since, after all, Carpenter is supposed to be the one telling us this witty, well-plotted, highly entertaining shaggy dog story. Simultaneous release with the Warner hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 26). (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

The latest mystery featuring Paterson, NJ, defense lawyer Andy Carpenter is a blast. After adopting a dog from an animal shelter, Andy learns the dog may be the clue to solving a five-year-old murder of a customs inspector's fiancée. Andy decides to conduct his own investigation, which leads to meetings with the mafia, multiple attempts on his life, and some explosive courtroom scenes. But the minimalist plot is secondary to the excellent protagonist; his relaxed perception of his job and life is amusing and appealing and will draw in even the most jaded mystery fan. Play Deadlisteners will garner plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as well as trite one liner-induced groans. Reader Grover Gardner is worthy of the myriad awards he has won; his laid-back, humorous approach will win over new listeners and surely please old fans. Recommended.
—Jesse Light

Library Journal
New Jersey defense attorney Andy Carpenter reopens a five-year-old case when he discovers a witness-a golden retriever. The sixth in the series by Edgar Award finalist Rosenfelt. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Andy Carpenter rescues one client from prison and another from Death Row in his most ambitious case yet. During a torrential rainstorm five years ago, Coast Guard officers boarded a boat four miles off the New Jersey Coast to find one occupant, U.S. Customs inspector Richard Evans, comatose from an overdose of sleeping pills and the other two, Richard's fiancee Stacy Harriman and his dog Reggie, missing. Long before they identified Stacy's body, washed ashore three weeks later, they'd already arrested Richard for murder, and he was tried and convicted. But a startling new piece of evidence emerges when Andy (Dead Center, 2006, etc.) tries to save Yogi, a golden retriever who bit his abusive owner, from being put down: Richard's sister Karen identifies Yogi as Reggie. She proves his identity to Andy, who in an amusing courtroom sequence proves it to a judge. Presumably Reggie got off the boat because somebody took him off. Who was that somebody, what was his or her role in Stacy's murder and Richard's near-death, why haven't the authorities found any trace of him or her, and how can Andy do better? The stakes are raised but the answers obscured by the news that both the FBI and the New Jersey mob are so interested in the case that one is bugging Andy's phone and the other shooting at him. A steadily absorbing journey through layers and layers of deception. Only the very last surprise fizzles.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446614528
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Series: Andy Carpenter Series , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 119,781
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

A former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures, David Rosenfelt now writes novels and screenplays. He also runs the Tara Foundation which rescues dogs, mainly golden retrievers. For more information, visit his website: www.davidrosenfelt.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Play Dead


By David Rosenfelt

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2007 David Rosenfelt
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-446-58241-4


Chapter One

"ANDY, YOU'RE NOT GOING to believe this."

This is the type of sentence that, when said in a vacuum, doesn't reveal much. Whatever it is that I am not going to believe might be very positive or very negative, and there would be no way to know until I see it.

Unfortunately, this particular sentence is not said in a vacuum; it's said in the Passaic County Animal Shelter. Which means that "positive" is no longer one of the possibilities.

The person speaking the words is Fred Brandenberger, whose job as shelter manager is an impossibly difficult one. There are far more dogs that come through his doors than potential adopters, and he therefore must helplessly supervise the euthanasia of those that are not taken. I know it drives Fred crazy; he's been in the job for two years, and my guess is he's not going to last much longer.

It bothers me to come here, and I rarely do. I leave this job to my former legal client, Willie Miller, who is my partner in the Tara Foundation, a dog rescue operation. We rescue a lot of dogs, over a thousand a year, but there are many more worthy ones that we simply do not have room for. I hate making the life-or-death decisions on which ones we will take, and Willie has been shouldering that responsibility.

Unfortunately, Willie and his wife, Sondra, are in Atlantic City for a few days, and we've gotsome openings for new dogs, so here I am. I've been dreading it, and based on what Fred has just said to me, I fear that dread has been warranted.

Fred leads me back to the quarantine room, which houses dogs who are sick or are unavailable to be adopted for other reasons. The other reason is usually that the dog has bitten someone; in that case they are held for ten days to make sure they don't have rabies, and then put down. "Put down" is shelter talk for "killed."

Fred points to a cage in the back of the quarantine room, and I walk toward it, cringing as I do. What is there turns out to be far worse than expected; it's one of the most beautiful golden retrievers I've ever seen.

Golden retrievers do not belong in cages. Ever. No exceptions. The dog I'm looking at is maybe seven years old, with more dignity in his eyes than I could accumulate in seven hundred years. Those eyes are saying, "I don't belong in here," and truer eye words were never spoken.

I can feel myself getting angry at this obvious injustice. "What the hell is this about?" I ask as Fred walks over.

"He bit his owner. Eleven stitches," Fred says. "Not that I blame him."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, for one thing, the owner is an asshole. And for another, he might not even be the owner."

"Tell me everything you know," I say.

It turns out that Fred doesn't know that much. A man named Warren Shaheen, who had just come home from the hospital, called him to a house in Hawthorne. He said he had been bitten by his dog, Yogi, for no reason whatsoever. He wanted the dog taken to the shelter and put down.

As Fred and Yogi were leaving the house, a young boy who claimed to live next door approached. He said that Warren was always kicking the dog, and he was sure that the dog bit him in retaliation. Further, he claimed that Warren had found the dog wandering on the street less than three weeks ago and apparently made no effort to find the real owner.

"What are you going to do?" I asked.

Fred shrugged. "You know the drill. After ten days, we put him down. We're not allowed to adopt him out."

I ask Fred if he'll open the cage and let me take the dog out. He knows he shouldn't, but does so anyway.

I take Yogi into a small room where potential adopters go to get to know the dogs they might take. I sit in the chair, and Yogi comes over to me. He has cut marks on his face, clearly visible in this light. They look old, perhaps remnants from some long-ago abuse. It's likely that Yogi has not had the best life.

He puts his paw up on my knee, a signal from goldens that they want their chest scratched. I do so, and then he rests his head on my thigh as I pet it.

Fred comes over to the room, looks in and sees me petting Yogi in this position. "Pretty amazing, huh?"

"Fred, I'm aware of the regulations, but there's something you should know."

"What's that?"

"Nothing bad is going to happen to this dog."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Play Dead by David Rosenfelt Copyright © 2007 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    Always a treat!

    Always a treat! Author has found a delightful formula - wry wit, courtroom banter, interesting plot twists - that is entertaining, yet never feels repetitive. Have read the series and started the next.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2013

    Terrific, relaxing read

    I read for numerous reasons - in this particular case, bedtime reading. This book is part of the Andy Carpenter series. They all follow a similar basic concept but with interesting variations that are at times rather clever. I am also a dog lover so the character, Tara, is an extra special touch. I do highly recommend this author - I have read all but the last book of this series and have started on the 4 or 5 other (thriller) books he has written. I always look for a book that my husband will enjoy - he is definitely hooked on these, too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Wonderful

    Love this series - the author is soooooo funny and keeps me interested!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Calling all Doglovers

    I just started reading the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt and am now going back to all the books he's written and enjoying them. I especially love the fact that he's a doglover and especially the fact that he features Golden Retrievers.

    In this installment he's rescued a Golden that just happens to be wrapped in a murder/suicide case from 5 years ago. Trying to help out the sister of the accused, Andy is not only having his phone tapped by some government agency, but he's being shot at while driving.

    How did Reggie the Golden survive all these years and what does it mean to the prosecution's case against his owner? You'll have to read to find out. Along the way you'll enjoy Andy's conversation with his friend Sam that involve song lyrics and movie dialogue which is just another delightful turn in this book.

    I highly recommend this book as well as the others in the Andy Carpenter series if you enjoy a great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    What a find!

    I recently stumbled across Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter series, and promptly obtained all six books after reading the first one. This is a fun read, particularly after reading something much heavier as I do often. I like the way he develops his characters, and with only two left for me to read, I feel like I'm friends with most of the people in his plots. This series would make a good movie, and it would be interesting to see who would be picked to play Tara, his dog, who is obviously the star of the series! For those who like light mysteries from time to time, this is the book for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    Play Dead

    I'm reading this book right now and it is very good can't wait to finish it, all the books I read of his are good book. I'm a dog lover and that makes this book more interesting to me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    Good dog, mediocre book

    Writing style so simple-minded that I wasn't enticed to read on.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2009

    If you love dogs and mysteries its a good book.

    If you love dogs and mysteries its a good book for a rainy day.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I'm a cat lover, but I DID love this book!

    The author, David Rosenfelt, has a great style of writing. This made the story itself even better! Lots of mystery, fun, a little romance and a great dog. What more could you ask for?? By all means, read this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2008

    Loved it!

    I saw the Golden on the cover and bought this book. It was my first by David Rosenfelt but won't be my last! I plan to read every one. His writing is engaging, hilarious and keeps you in suspense till the end. The goldens involved don't hurt!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2007

    STILL GREAT

    While I did not think this book was as good as his previous books, you cannot not love Andy Carpenter, Tara, Laurie, Willie and all the other characters. His song talking with Sam, his silent 'bodyguard' Marcus, His do-nothing secretary Edna, his sarcastic cop friend Pete and Vince from the newspaper are so real you feel like you know people just like them. All together they make the book outstanding even if this one was slightly weak.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2007

    Fun

    I've read all of David Rosenfelt's books, and while 'Play Dead' was not my favorite, it is still witty, fun, and suspenseful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2007

    good, but not his best

    I really enjoy this series and the main character, Andy. But this installment was not his best. It seemed to me that the ending was just too quick, too pat. I found myself wondering how solved it. Still an enjoyable read. If you are new to Mr. Rosenfelt, start at the beginning of the series. You will not be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent legal thriller

    In Paterson, New Jersey affluent attorney Andy Carpenter only accepts cases that interest him since he inherited millions. When he learns that Yogi the golden retriever is going to be executed for allegedly biting his owner, Andy who loves dogs especially this breed, provides a community service by representing this death row canine in this capital case. The court gives Yogi to Andy. As he walks his dogs, Yogi recognizes a nearby woman. Karen Evans explains that Yogi is actually Reggie, who belonged to her brother, former U.S. Customs Inspector Richard Evans convicted of murdering his fiancée, Stacy Harriman five years ago Karen thought Reggie was dead. Unable to resist as he witnessed the love between Karen and Reggie and assuming that Richard and Reggie would be even stronger, Andy decides the canine¿s former owner would not cold bloodedly kill someone he allegedly loves. Andy also thinks he has the key eye witness to the homicide, Reggie. He decides to represent Reggie¿s former human pet and like a pit bull keeps untangling a conspiracy cover-up that smells government in nature. --- Although it sounds like a dog lover fluff legal thriller, PLAY DEAD is a terrific tale due to the eccentricity of Andy who chases the truth like male dogs chasing a female in heat. The story line is fast-paced as Andy sniffs out clues trying to affirm his theory that Richard is innocent. Fans will appreciate this five bark novel starring an unconventional hero with an even more unusual eye witness. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    Darkthorn bio

    Name: Darkthorn<p>Gender: &male<p>Age: 30 moons<p>Appearance: Red-violet tom with black ears and patches of black. Yellow eyes. Strangley enough, has a pale blue tongue. Thin, but still da<_>ngerous.<p>History: see res 7<p>Style of Attack: As<_>sissanation and brutal attacks.<p>Other: Likes to wear a face that says "If you provoke me one bit, I'm gonna go ps<_>ycho on you".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Highly recommend

    Love this series. Bought the first book and I won't stop until I've read them all!,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    SO ENJOYABLE

    Just keeps getting better i am hooked also i can see myself rereading them

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    Legal Thriller Meets Dog Lovers' Mystery!

    Andy Carpenter, an independently wealthy lawyer who used his inherited wealth to set up a golden retriever rescue, is called in to save the life of a condemned golden accused of biting its owner. Few have his resources, whether it be creativity or finances, and Andy mounts a successful defense for the golden known as Yogi. However, Yogi turns out to be Richard Evans¿ missing, formerly believed to be dead dog, Reggie. It¿s Kelly, Richard¿s sister who finds Andy and claims Yogi is Richard¿s dog. She informs Andy that Richard is on death row for the murder of his fiancé Stacy. They had been on his boat with Reggie. When the boat is found, only Richard is on the boat unconscious with an open bottle of sleeping pills and Stacy¿s blood on the floor. Both Stacy and Reggie are missing. Later, a body came to shore with Stacy¿s dna, and Richard went to trial. Finding Reggie alive and other anomalies enable Andy to successfully win a new trial for Richard. There were two processes proceeding through the book. One is the preparation for the trial, and the other is the investigation into the original crime. When the trial fails, the investigation remains, and the investigation is very successful indeed. This is a quick moving, engrossing, and fascinating read. I loved it! It's the best of the Canine inspired mysteries I've read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2007

    Good beach read, but I liked Bury the Lead and Dead Center better.

    love love love this author and the andy carpenter series. As an owner of a golden retriever, I can relate to how he feels about his dog. Can't wait for another book. Do yourself a favor and read all of David Rosenfelt's books.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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