Leader of the Pack by David Rosenfelt

Leader of the Pack by David Rosenfelt

Genre: Mystery
Series: #10 in the Andy Carpenter series
Publisher: Listen and Live Audio
Publication Date: 2012
Length: 6 hours, 58 minutes
Read by: Grover Gardner
Source: Library

The Short Version:
I read many of the first books in this series but once I switched to the audio versions narrated by Grover Gardner I won’t go back to the print versions.

Why I Read It:
This has been one of my favorite series for several years. When the new one came out I asked my library to order the audio because I love Grover Gardner’s narration.

The Book:
From the publisher:

Over the course of his legal career, Andy Carpenter has lost a few cases. But that doesn’t mean he forgets his clients. Andy has always been convinced that Joey Desimone, a man convicted of murder nine years ago, was innocent and believes that Joey’s family’s connections to organized crime played a pivotal role in his conviction. While there isn’t much Andy can do for him while he serves out his prison sentence, Joey suggests that he check up on Joey’s elderly uncle. He’d rather not, but as a favor to Joey, Andy agrees to take his dog, Tara, on a few visits.

The old man’s memory is going, but when Andy tries to explain why he’s there, it jogs something in the man’s mind, and his comments leave Andy wondering if Uncle Nick is confused, or if he just might hold the key to Joey’s freedom after all this time.

Andy grabs on to this thread of possibility and follows it into a world where the oath of silence is stronger than blood ties, and where people will do anything to make sure their secrets are kept.

My Thoughts:
I’ve always had a good time with the Andy Carpenter series even though they’ve been rather formulaic. This time around there are a few differences. While Andy’s dog Tara is still around there’s less of a dog-centric theme to this book than there has been in others. That turns out to be a bit of a refreshing change. There’s still plenty of humor mixed in but it feels slightly less forced than in the past couple of books.

The story moved fast and had plenty of twists and turns. The recurring character continue to add plenty of fun and Andy is still his sarcastic and somewhat lazy self but when he believes in a client he won’t stop until he has to.

A couple of my favorite quotes

Andy would really rather watch sports than just about anything

“I’ve got an idea, Andy.”
Uh, oh. Laurie’s ideas often involve my expending energy by actually doing things, and today I really just want to plant myself in front of a large-screen TV in the den. I’m so looking forward to total relaxation that I bought a bag of already-popped popcorn so I don’t have to deal with the microwave.

He’s persistent when he’s on a case

Ryerson’s refusal to talk to me is in a strange way sort of encouraging. I’m fairly well known, and he could easily have me checked out. Because I’ve been so persistent, I would think that he would talk to me, at least to find out what I’m calling about. If he didn’t talk to me personally, he could have an associate or a lawyer learn what the issue is about.
The fact that he doesn’t do those things means he probably knows what it’s about, and doesn’t want to deal with it. And if he doesn’t want to deal with it, that could be because it’s problematic for him.

His approach to planning his case is to go with the flow

I have no set way that I do it; I go by instinct, and often it depends on the way I feel the jury reacted to the prosecution’s evidence. In that sense for me it’s more art than science, though in real life I usually pick science over art ninety-nine times out of a hundred. The only exception is when I’m pretending to be touched by art so that Laurie will think I’m sensitive.

As for the narration, Grover Gardner is the reason I now prefer audio to print for this series. He’s great at conveying Andy’s personality. Here is a clip of him reading the section that includes one of the quotes I have above but my favorite part of this is the very end of the clip. Don’t stop this until the very end.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm0MHMdA6fQ]

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5 for the book

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the narration

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.