Legal mysteries are popular because readers enjoy the drama surrounding the case and the satisfaction of seeing justice done. These thrillers seem to strengthen our faith in a system that we rely on to be fair and moral. Just as we count on the main characters in a romance to get together by the end of the story, so we count on the good guys proven innocent and the bad guys to get convicted. David Rosenfelt gives us the additional treat of watching his hero, Andy Carpenter, build a defense in a seemingly impossible case and follow it through no matter what roadblocks he encounters along the way.
"If you love complex legal mysteries that are not overly complicated, you'll love this series and the characters in it."
It all begins when Danny Butler calls the FBI to report that he knows the truth behind a fire that happened six years ago and killed 26 people. He tells the agents that he was in a halfway house with Noah Galloway, both in treatment for drug addiction. Danny alleges that Noah told him all about the method he used and the steps he took to set the tragic fire. But, although Noah is sure he committed the crime, he has no recollection about how he did it or what he used, since he was in a state of frenzy trying to quell his need for heroin at the time.
Danny Butler is only the first in a series of characters who is bent on stopping the trial, or, if that fails, making sure that none of the secrets regarding the fire are revealed. As the body count piles up, it actually leaves a trail for Andy and his team of investigators to follow. Where it leads will put several highly placed and highly regarded people in the limelight whom they had tried so desperately to avoid for the past six years. Once again Andy is drawn into work that he was not looking for. Since he is independently wealthy, he would rather spend time with his rescued golden retrievers at the shelter and bantering with Willie, a former client who now runs the Tara Foundation.
But once he accepts a case, Andy pulls out all stops and will not be satisfied until justice is done. In this case, he even uses a group of senior citizens who are taking a computer class from Sam, resident geek and accountant. It must be an advanced class because they discover some important clues that help the investigators connect the dots. So between Hike, his pessimistic partner; the elderlies; Marcus, the scariest man anyone has ever seen; and Edna, his receptionist who waits for someone else to answer the phone when she's working a crossword puzzle, is it any wonder that Andy muses, "I feel like I'm on the planet Goofball."?
Although some of the chapters that come between the first-person chapters do reveal the deceptions and machinations of the antagonists, there are still plenty of surprises to keep readers guessing until the end. If you love complex legal mysteries that are not overly complicated, you'll love this series and the characters in it.