Who Let the Dog Out? (Andy Carpenter)
by David Rosenfelt
Cover Artist: Heather Paul / Getty Images
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250055330
Date: 21 July 2015 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /
In his latest novel, Who Let the Dog Out?, David Rosenfelt has once again created an over-the-top thriller involving a dog and the threat to thousands of American lives. A heinous murder grabs the reader. Additional murders, committed by a ruthless assassin, Aleksandre, ensure a fast-paced plot. Most of the novel, however, involves a trial in which Carpenter attempts to perform the impossible: Have Tommy Infante declared innocent even though the evidence against him is overwhelming. Carpenter, with his glib, witty, smart-alecky humor, always seems to outsmart the prosecuting attorney. This time around, it is one of his oldest nemeses, Dylan Campbell--a crooked lawyer who has his sights set on a future career in politics.
At the beginning of Who Let the Dog Out?, Carpenter has already married his long-term girlfriend, Laurie Collins, who is an ex-police officer. He has also adopted Ricky Diaz; this adorable, nine-year-old boy was orphaned in the previous novel, Hounded. Ricky's basset hound, Sebastian, has become a playful companion to Carpenter's golden retriever, Tara. Carpenter is much happier now that he has a family. Despite being a wiseass, he is a very likeable protagonist. In all fairness, he belittles himself as much as other people. One example of Carpenter's wiseass humor is when he is introduced to two FBI employees, Agent Hernandez and Agent Gardiner:
"Both of your first names are Agent? Wow, what are the odds against that?"Even though he is a wiz in the courtroom, Carpenter would be floundering if not for his excellent staff. Sam Willis is an expert computer hacker who is able to find hidden records on the internet. Hike Lynch is a great assistant lawyer, but his manic depressant persona could permanently erase the huge smile on Pastor Joel Osteen's face. Marcus is Carpenter's hired muscle; he is a large Neanderthal who listens to classical music, only grunts when spoken to, and moves faster than lightning. He has saved Carpenter's life on more than one occasion. After nearly thirty years working in the Federal Government, I have learned that a supervisor is only as good as their employees.
I was disappointed that more of the novel wasn't set in Maine. Readers soon learn there is a group of terrorists concealing themselves in a remote area of Maine, primarily an island, Ashby, which is connected to the mainland by only one bridge. A fan of Paul Doiron's Mike Bowditch mysteries, I have learned to love the Maine wilderness with its beauty and danger. However, most of David Rosenfelt's latest novel takes place in a courtroom in Paterson, New Jersey. The trial's outcome, however, has far more outreaching consequences other than whether or not an innocent man goes to prison. With its zany, but lovable, characters; gruesome deaths; and intriguing plot involving stolen diamonds, Who Let the Dog Out? is a great installment in the Alex Carpenter series.