First Sentence: Frank Salvio checked into the hotel under an assumed name, using fake identification.
Truman, a healthy French bulldog, was left to be euthanized at the veterinary office where attorney and rescuer Andy Carpenter takes his dog. Truman is chipped, but the man who dropped him off is not his apparent owner. When Andy finds the owner has been murdered, it sets him off on an interstate investigation involving far more than one bulldog.
The first thing to know is that, in spite of the cute dog on the cover, this is no cozy. Dead bodies abound. The other thing to know is that, in spite of their number, the murders aren't described in gruesome detail.
From the very beginning, the case is delightfully twisty, almost a bit too much so. Rosenfelt engages the reader and ensures one wants to know what happened as much as do the characters, and there are a lot of characters. This is one time when a cast of characters might have been helpful.
It is those on Andy's team, of which there is a good, succinct introduction. who are quirky and enjoyable. Everyone should have a Marcus in their life—or maybe not. Most of all, there's Andy. There's something rather delightful about having a protagonist who is a picky eater, not a crack shot, or a boxing/martial arts expert but is, in fact, a bit inept, and admits it. Even when he tries to lose at a game, he accidentally wins.
Andy's, and Rosenfelt's, expertise is the law. It is interesting learning how an investigation team goes through a location of interest and it is those details which provide veracity to the plot. A well-written courtroom scene can provide tension. What is nice is that he explains the process and legalities along the way and that he writes very good dialogue—"Am I doing down for this?" he asks, the fear evident in his voice. "You're sitting here in handcuffs, Joey. You're already down. We're about to start digging you out."
The explanation of what is behind all the deaths is a terrifying one, all the more because of its believability. The escalation of the plot's timetable makes things exciting and tense. The only slight complaint might be that after everything which has occurred, the ending seemed too quick and the subsequent actions of the person behind it all seemed unlikely.
"Bark of the Night" has more bodies than some small towns, yet very little actual violence. No, it's not the best of the series, but Andy Carpenter fans will still find it an enjoyable read as much because the proceeds help support the Tara Foundation.
BARK OF NIGHT (LegalMys-Andy Carpenter-New Jersey-Contemp) – Good
Rosenfelt, David – 19th in seriesMinotaur Books – July 2019