Heart of a Killer Hardcover – Feb 14 2012
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Praise for David Rosenfelt
“David Rosenfelt’s series, featuring wisecracking Paterson attorney Andy Carpenter, is two parts John Grisham and one part Dave Barry. . . . More murders and plot twists advance the story to an exciting conclusion involving homeland security, making this the best, most complex legal thriller in the series.”
---The Star-Ledger on One Dog Night
“A blessed anomaly in crime fiction . . . Andy is like a gulp of cold water on a steamy day. . . . Rosenfelt peels back the layers of puzzlement ever so skillfully, tantalizing us throughout until, finally, both Andy and the reader are enlightened simultaneously. A gem.”
---Booklist (starred review) on One Dog Night
“An absolutely irresistible hook . . . No one who picks up this greased-lightning account will rest till it’s finished.”
---Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on On Borrowed Time
“Dynamite thriller . . . Rosenfelt’s sly humor, breathless pacing, and terrific plot twists keep the pages spinning toward the showdown on New Year’s Eve in Times Square.”
---Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Down to the Wire
“[Rosenfelt] has pulled together a cynical political thriller that rings true in this age of terrorism, media hype, and Washington scandals.”
---Minneapolis Star Tribune on Don’t Tell a Soul
“This fast-paced and brightly written tale spins along. . . . Don’t Tell a Soul is a humdinger.”
---St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Don’t Tell a Soul
From the Back Cover
A CAREER CASE
Jamie Wagner is a young lawyer who is happy to be flying under the radar at a large firm. It's not that he isn't smart. He is. It's just that hard work, not to mention the whole legal thing, isn't exactly his passion. But then he's put on a case that turns his whole world upside down.
A FAMILY TORN
Sheryl Harrison is serving a thirty-year murder sentence for killing her husband, who she claims was abusive. The case is settled―there shouldn't be anything for Jamie to do―except now Sheryl's fourteen-year-old daughter, Karen, is sick. She has a congenital heart defect and will die without a transplant. Sheryl is a matching donor―and is willing to die to save her daughter. But suicide, no matter the motive, is illegal. Now Jamie is in way over his head.
A TRIAL BY FIRE
With Sheryl on suicide watch, Jamie's only shot at saving Karen is to reopen the murder case, prove Sheryl's innocence, and get her freed so that she can pursue her own plan. And time is running out…
"Rosenfelt has earned his crime-novelist pedigree."―Entertainment Weekly--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book tells the story of Sheryl Harrison, in prison for the brutal murder of her husband Charlie six years previously. She has a daughter with a terminal heart condition and wants to donate her heart to her daughter. Enter Jaime Wagner - a young, Harvard educated attorney toiling as an associate at a big corporate firm. The firm has been assigned the Harrison case pro bono and it is eventually assigned to Wagner.
John Novack is the detective who answered the call to the Harrison home the day of the murder. He has always questioned her guilt. Wagner asks for his help and his decision to reopen the case obviously doesn't sit well with someone.
Wagner's attempt to honor Sheryl's wish to donate her heart to her daughter plays out against a national terrorist plot. John Novack's attempt to solve the Harrison murder runs headlong into the terrorist plot.
Rosenfelt weaves the story expertly. You are torn between rooting for Harrison's right to save her daughter and the character you have come to like and admire. Novack is a gruff cop and Wagner is smart and vulnerable. As always, Rosenfelt's storytelling is superb.
When I saw this stand alone, I was at first a little disappointed, I was thinking I would rather have had something from the Carpenter series, but once I started the book, I knew I was in for another fun read from Mr. Rosenfelt.
First of all, I loved how from chapter to chapter, something else was going on. At first it was a little confusing, even knowing eventually it would all come together in the end. Then I realized I was discovering what was going on, the same way the main character was. It was a fun way to follow through the book.
Second, I really loved the secondary character of the policeman that was working with the main character. I was thinking how great it would be for him to have his own series.
Third, the evil guy, was really, really evil. Kind of James Bondish movie kind of evil, and that added to the fun of the book.
I started reading the book and was so glad it was a quiet day, I was able to sit and read until I had finished the book. Mr. Rosenfelt never disappoints.
Let's see if we can list the elements of this one: mother-daughter love, witty underachieving attorney, high tech hacking, national terror, gruff cop, murder, explosions, the FBI, and twists and turns in every short chapter.
Our "hero", Jamie aka "Harvard" is a lazy happily underachieving attorney in a white shoe firm who is given a pro bono case. All he has to do is arrange to have a convicted murderer allowed to donate her heart to her dying daughter. That alone is intriguing on all sorts of levels. But then the rub - it does not look as if she committed the murder she confessed to six years ago. Enter the arresting policeman and intrigue surrounding who her murdered husband really was.
Although it seems a stretch, the book turns into terrorism at an international level while Jamie is trying to get his client's suicidal wishes come true.
This is plainly a terrific mystery/thriller. The characters are great. There is just the right of humor and all through the book the heart-wrenching emotional aspect never gets maudlin. This is a true page turner and highly, highly recommended.
To add to the disappointment was a thin story with a weak plot and flat characters. The main character had potential and his snobby parents were a bit funny--but even then--Jamie was too obviously meant to charm and his parents had an unexplained and mostly unrealistic personality shift near the end. The prison scenario didnt work for me very well but the big flaw--in my mind anyway--was the all powerful computer criminals. It was very clear early on what the thrust of the story was but it went overboard. Apparently the omniscient bad guys could manipulate any computer from a pacemaker, to an airplane, a car, and a nuclear plant. The final scenario though had me wondering--why dont they just shut down the plant, the power, the computers, or all of the above? Since there was zero believability or explanation as to how all the computers were breached, Rosenfelt could have just not explained this as well. With some 'fixing', this could have been a much better book.