I know I take dog-loving to a somewhat absurd degree, but what he just said pleases me. Someone who doesn’t care about dogs, or this one in particular, would have said, “It’s about the dog being found.” But he said Cody instead of the dog, which to me is a sign of respect and caring.
I may need to get out more.
Cody has been assumed to have been one of two victims of a kidnapping -- the other was the baby the dog's owner had recently adopted. It's been two and a half years, with no trace of either. The mother's ex-boyfriend and ex-employee has been convicted for the crime, on some pretty flimsy evidence. Now Cody has been left at the front door of The Tara Foundation. Naturally, once Andy is told about this, he brings in the police and the dog's owner (a friend of Laurie's, as coincidence would have it). The question at the front of everyone's mind is: can the dog somehow lead to answers about her son?
Jill, the boy's mother and Cody's owner, asks Andy to look into this for her. Almost as soon as he begins, Andy uncovers some evidence that leads him to become Keith's attorney and get him a retrial. Andy is pretty clueless (as is everyone) why someone would kidnap the boy and the dog (and return the dog), not to mention frame Keith for the crime. But while he can't answer that, he can chip away at the evidence that put Keith behind bars -- the only hope the boy has is that by doing so, someone may stumble on an explanation for what happened to him.
Along the way, Andy's associate Hike has to go down to North Carolina to do a little research. While there, something happens to him -- I won't ruin anything for you, but it's a lotta fun for people who have been around since Hike's introduction -- you will enjoy it. Laurie does what Laurie does, ditto for Marcus (who might be his most-Marcus-y here) and Sam. I do worry that Rosenfelt isn't doing much with these characters beyond their regular heroics and chuckle-worthy antics, but we got some good Hike material this time, maybe it'll be someone else's turn to shine next. I don't think the addition of Ricky to things added that much to the series, and that's the last major change since Hike came along.
I really would've appreciated a little more courtroom action, but I'm not sure what else could've happened. It just seems like less time is being given to the courtroom lately -- maybe I'm wrong. I can't imagine that Andy would approve of someone doing the work to determine if I'm right or not -- he sure wouldn't -- so let's just assume I am.
I sound like I'm complaining about the book -- that's not really my intention. I wouldn't expect so much from it if I wasn't such a fan. Collared has a clever mystery, some funny moments, a nice twist or two, and we get to spend time with characters that readers have come to know and like. For a series 16 books in, that's pretty good. Where else are you going to get a friend of the protagonist describe a potential suspect like this?
“Because Kaiser is a bad guy— a very bad, very dangerous , very evil guy . He might even be a Cardinals fan.”
It's a fun read -- from the moment that Andy assembles the family to help him decide if he'll renew his law license to the party at Charlie's, Rosenfelt keeps you turning the pages with a smile on your face.
Disclaimer: I received this eARC from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for this post -- thanks to both for this.
N.B.: As this was an ARC, any quotations above may be changed in the published work -- I will endeavor to verify them as soon as possible.