David Rosenfelt is a new author to me, though he has written quite a few novels previous to Leader of the Pack. Discovering him on the shelves of the library was a happy accident. The cover of the book asserts, "Rosenfelt walks a line between pulse-pounding suspense and laugh-out loud humor." Now, that's my favorite line to walk in reading a novel, so I decided to check it out. Leader of the Pack lives up to the review.
Andy Carpenter, having been the recipient of a healthy award in a previous case, can afford to be a part-time lawyer. He's not particularly interested in the courtroom anymore; however, haunted by the conviction of one of his earlier clients, Joey Desimone, Andy continues to visit him in prison. During one of those visits, Joey requests that he check up on his elderly Uncle Nick who just happens to be the titular head of a powerful crime family.
Uncle Nick's memory is not the best and he seems to come in and out of awareness, but a comment made during a moment of clarity, leads Andy to believe that he might be able to prove Joey's innocence and win his freedom. Inevitably, this takes Andy and his cohorts into the dangerous world of syndicated crime where the body count piles up and long-kept secrets are revealed.
The dialogue is filled with humor and Andy Carpenter is a thoroughly likeable character whose flaws only make him more endearing. There is plenty of suspense and an ending that provides a delicious, ironic twist.
Leader of the Pack is my introduction to the Andy Carpenter series and I look forward to catching up with the earlier novels.
Recommended by Carol Brannock