Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Book Review: Dead Center by David Rosenfelt

Dead Center

David Rosenfelt
Series: Andy Carpenter Mysteries (Book 5)
Publication: Grand Central Publishing (December 2, 2008)

Description: After Laurie Collins left him and headed west, New Jersey defense attorney Andy Carpenter didn't expect to ever see her again. So he's shocked when his ex-girlfriend appears on TV--and then calls him pleading for his help. Two coeds in Wisconsin have been found brutally stabbed to death. As the town's acting police chief, Laurie had to arrest a young college student with a carful of bloodstains who argued with one of the victims just before her death. Yet Laurie strongly believes that the suspect, Jeremy Davidson, is innocent.

Trading the refineries and factories of Paterson for the frozen pastures of Findlay, Wisconsin, Andy soon finds himself in a small town handling a big-time double homicide case. He looks into Jeremy's romance with one of the victims--and the possible involvement of a bizarre religious cult--one that may sanction the most unholy, and vicious, of acts.

While Andy tries to save Jeremy, make sense of his love life, and find a decent pizza for his beloved dog, Tara, the secrets of an ultra-religious community begin to rain down on him like bricks from a cracked fortress. But as Edgar®-nominated Rosenfelt proves to us once again, the path to the truth is littered with lies and misdirection. And before it's all over, the unexpected is the only thing Andy can count on.

My Thoughts: The last thing Andy Carpenter expects is for his former girlfriend Laurie Collins to call him and ask him to defend a young man she has arrested for murder. But Andy, and Tara, are off to the wilds of Wisconsin to look into the case. 

Jeremy Davidson is accused of murdering his girlfriend Elizabeth and her friend Sheryl and burying their bodies in his parents' yard within steps of his apartment in the family guesthouse. Laurie doesn't believe it and Andy has questions.

Teaming up with local attorney Calvin Marshall who is as snarky as Andy, the two try to find out about the two girls who were both residents of a very private and insular town near Findlay. No one in the town is willing to speak to either attorney. Even calling on the computer skills of Andy's friend Sam back home in New Jersey only gives them the barest hint of a way to proceed when he manages to give a possible name to Elizabeth's former boyfriend.

When Jeremy's home is firebombed, Laurie insists that Andy call in Marcus to provide protection for him. But the protection isn't expansive enough and Calvin winds up dead with a broken neck in a supposed car accident. Then, after agreeing to talk to Andy, the former boyfriend is found hanging in his motel room's bathroom after leaving a signed confession. 

The confession is enough to get Jeremy's trial cancelled and get Jeremy released from jail, but Andy isn't satisfied. He still wants to find out who actually murdered Elizabeth and Sheryl and the boyfriend. His continued investigations manage to put both him and Laurie in peril. 

I'm curious to see where this series goes next. Andy and Laurie have agreed to try a long-distance relationship since, while they love each other, their choices of places to live are incompatible.

Favorite Quote:
Bringing Marcus to Findley would be like bringing a bazooka to a Tupperware party.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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