I have read all the Andy Carpenter books and the five or so previous one-off books that Rosenfelt has put out and have never been disappointed having always given a four or five star rating for each. I can't say that for this book.
Judge Brennen is about to rule on an important case involving fracking (a means of getting oil) and is found dead. A tip leads detective Luke Somers to Stephen Gallagher's place. When he gets there he sees Gallagher with a gun and yells at him to put it down. When he gets no response, Luke fires three bullets, killing Gallagher. A bag of bloodied clothing is found and it appears that Gallagher was the judge's killer. Unfortunately, Gallagher's brother Chris doesn't think so. Chris is back on military leave and has a history of violence against "bad" people who had wronged his brother in the past.
Chris thinks that Luke went in to Stephen's place with the intent of murdering him. So to get even, he kidnaps Luke's brother Brian and hides him underground with a week's air supply. He then confronts Luke and tells him to re-open the investigation and find the judge's "real" killer or his brother will die when his air supply runs out.
That is the premise of the book and it may sound more interesting than it is. For me it wasn't. I struggled with this book. Firstly, Rosenfelt makes it blatantly obvious that Stephen may have been set up with his chapters on the fracking and the people that will benefit from it. I had problems with Luke. Firstly, Luke is not so likeable as most of Rosenfelt's heroes are, having wronged his brother. I found it real hard to find much to like about Luke.
I am a bit claustrophic and do not like tales about people stuck in tight spaces with no air. I felt that the story just "hobbled" along and unlike prior books, had no compulsion to pick the book back up once I had put it down. This book in no way influences me getting future Rosenfelt books, as he is still one of my favorite authors. But even great authors sometimes put out "turkey." Read Heart of a Killer instead or one of the author's excellent prior books.
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