Open and Shut (Andy Carpenter Series #1)

Open and Shut (Andy Carpenter Series #1)

by David Rosenfelt

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Revised ed.)

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"There is nothing like a golden retriever. I know, I know, it's a big planet with a lot of wonderful things, but golden retrievers are the absolute best. Mine is named Tara . . . The only problem she has ever caused is that I spend so much time with her in the mornings that I am almost invariably late for work."

Whether dueling with new forensics or the local old boys' network, irreverent defense attorney Andy Carpenter always leaves them awed with his biting wit and winning fourth-quarter game plan. But Andy prefers the company of his best friend, Tara, to the people he encounters in the courtroom. Tara, a golden retriever, is clearly smarter than half the lawyers who clog the courts of Passaic County. However, just as it seems Andy has everything figured out, his dad, New Jersey's legendary ex-D.A., drops dead in front of him at a game in Yankee Stadium. The shocks pile on as he discovers his dad left him with two unexpected legacies: a fortune of $22 million that Andy never knew existed . . . and a murder case with enough racial tinder to burn down City Hall. Struggling to serve justice and bring honor to his father, Andy must dig up some explosive political skeletons-and an astonishing family secret that can close his case (and his mouth) for good.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446612531
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 05/28/2003
Series: Andy Carpenter Series , #1
Edition description: Revised ed.
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 30,700
Product dimensions: 4.12(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

DAVID ROSENFELT is the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures and lives in Southern California.

Read an Excerpt

Open and Shut

By David Rosenfelt

Warner Books

Copyright © 2002 David Rosenfelt
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61253-7

Chapter One

The Lincoln Tunnel is a scary place. Especially now, at the end of the workday. I'm one link in an endless chain of drivers, all moving our cars through an atmosphere of one hundred percent pure carbon monoxide. Tunnel workers patrol walkways along the walls; I assume they are there to make sure no car achieves a speed above three miles an hour. Their lungs must have a life expectancy of an hour and a half. Surrounding us all are thousands of tons of dirt and water, just waiting for a crack to come crashing through.

I usually avoid this tunnel. It is one of three main passageways between New York City and Northern Jersey, where I live. I prefer the George Washington Bridge, where oxygen is plentiful and it doesn't feel like I'm driving through an enormous MRI machine. The fact is, I don't come into New York that often, and when I do it's rarely during the absurdly misnamed "rush" hour. But I needed to go to the NYU law library to do some research for an appellate case I'm handling, and I was stuck in court all day, so here I am.

I have two choices. I can ponder my impending death by suffocation under all this mud and water, knowing my loved ones will forever wonder whether my final resting place was in New York or New Jersey. Or I can think about the case, and what my strategy will be if the Court of Appeals turns us down. I go with the case, but it's a close call.

My client is death row inmate Willie Miller, a twenty-eight-year-old African-American convicted of murdering a young woman named Denise McGregor in the alley behind the Teaneck, New Jersey, bar where he worked. It's a case my father, Nelson Carpenter, prosecuted seven years ago, when he was the State District Attorney. Ironically, it's also my father's fault that I'm on the case now.

I think back almost two years to the day I was at home watching the Giants play the Redskins on television. It was a frigid, windy, December Sunday, the kind of day that passing would be difficult, so each team would try to run the ball down each other's throats. My father had come over to watch the game with me. He was never a big football fan, and my fanaticism about the Giants was clearly learned elsewhere. But he had been joining me to watch the games with increasing regularity since my mother died a year before. I don't think it's that he was liking football any more; I just think he was liking loneliness even less.

It must have been halftime that he brought it up, since if it were during the game I never would have heard him. "Do you remember the Willie Miller case?" he asked.

Of course I did. My father had sought and received the death penalty; this was not something I was likely to forget.

"Sure. What about it?"

He told me that some information had recently come to his attention. He wouldn't tell me how, or even what the specific information was, but he said that he had learned that a juror lied in voir dire, a significant lie that could result in a new trial if revealed to the court.

He was grappling with what to do with the information, since revealing the specifics would amount to breaking a privilege. Yet as an officer of the court he felt uncomfortable with concealing it, since Willie Miller was entitled to have the truth come out.

"How would you feel about representing him on an appeal?"

"Me?" I'm sure my mouth was stuffed with potato chips, so it probably came out "Mnnpphh?"

"Yes. You could have an investigator look into it, find out the facts without me having to tell you, and then go to the appeals court."

The case, as I remembered it, was open-and-shut. Willie Miller, even when seen through my skeptical defense attorney's eyes, was a murderer. I was not about to get involved in an appeal based on a technicality. What if it succeeded? I'd have to go through a trial I was bound to lose.

"No thanks."

"It would be important to me."

There it was, the sentence from which there was no defense. In my family, when you asked a favor of someone, it was acceptable to refuse. But once the person said that it was important to them, it crossed a line and became an absolute imperative. We did not use those words frivolously, and they carried an awesome weight.

"Then I'll do it."

"You've got no chance, you know."

I laughed. "Then why the hell is it so important to you that I enter the swamp?" That is how we referred to legal cases that dragged on forever with little or no chance of ultimate victory. "Because the man is on death row."

The Giants kicked off to start the second half, the Redskins drove the length of the field for a touchdown, and I was on a case that might well leave me forever stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel.

But, no! Suddenly, without warning, a burst of speed by the cars ahead lets me gun the accelerator to almost five miles an hour. At this rate, there's a chance I might make it home in time to leave for court tomorrow morning.


Excerpted from Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt Copyright © 2002 by David Rosenfelt . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Harlan Coben

A great book...gripping...all around terrific.

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Open and Shut (Andy Carpenter Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 118 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An easy reading book that doesn't bore you with mundane details. Whenever I read a crime story, I know that clues are left for us to try to figure out the ending.... but this time I never saw it coming. Andy is so down to earth and a nice guy that if he didn't grow up with the senator's daughter, they probably never would have gotten married. I am glad this didn't get in the way of the truth.
JT05 More than 1 year ago
I happened to pick up Open and Shut when my current list of "must read" authors had nothing new. I found an enjoyable story with characters-both two and four legged-that held my attention through the entire read. Many of us wish we had Andy Carpenter's lifestyle but the way he decides to deal with his windfall is both touching and enviable. Andy comes across as a good guy with a sense of humor about himself and life and is refreshing to read. I enjoyed my first Andy Capenter story enough to go back and purchase two more in the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely could not put this book down! Andy Carpenter's sense of humor is what made the book. As soon as I finished it, I went out and ordered his other 4 books. David Rosenthal is now one of my favorite authors along with James Patterson, Stuart Woods, Phillip Margolin, Janet Evanovich. Harlan Cobin, Robert Crais and Sue Grafon. That's a pretty high ranking for a first book. I do hope the rest are just as great.
jdee01 More than 1 year ago
Just finished #1 & 2 in the series and rate both 4 stars. I just added all the rest (except cannot find #4) to my list to buy. Fast reads, witty, and informative. Gets right to the point and does repeat things over and over. Will recommend to my friends. J.Dee
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. I consider it a perfect summer read. Not so heavy that you need to think a lot, but still with enough suspense to keep you going.
NYer More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book at the airport and found my cross country flight was the fastest ever. I loved the story and the writing. I have recently purchased all of David Rosenfelt's books and love them all. I am so happy to find a new author that I enjoy.
Vic7 More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Can't wait to finish the last one. Hope there is more coming, really loved Andy.
doggies More than 1 year ago
David Rosenfelt does an excellent job of pulling you into the story of OPEN and SHUT! My book club chose this for an "easy" read, but now we call it an "Excellent" read. Rosenfelt has you wondering "who did it" through out the book. You think you have it solved and then there is a new twist. The ending is SO unexpected. Great read!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book if you enjoy courtroom mysteries,witty main characters, and a storyline that grabs you from the first page to the last. I loved every page and just wish it had lasted longer. I can't wait for Mr Rosenfelt's next book.
1unicorn2many More than 1 year ago
I've been looking for another series that would stay interesting and not just rehash the previous story so I started with this one - I love the characters, especially the way the dog is worked in but doesn't take over - terrific!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this murder mystery and upon finishing it, I went on to read five more David Rosenfelt novels! Hs style is great! I love it when Andy goes against the grain of legalese and still comes out the winner! The dialogue is very refreshing and brought many laughs--not something I find in many courtroom dramas!
bearkram More than 1 year ago
i loved this debut book and i plan to start the others in the series soon. writing style was not too heavy but just right
harstan More than 1 year ago
In New Jersey judicial circles, the name Nelson Carpenter is legendary as the former District Attorney earned the respect of the entire state. In Passaic County, Nelson¿s oldest born, defense attorney Andy Carpenter abuses that reputation that enables him to avoid contempt charges due to his questionable courtroom antics that irritate judges and prosecutors, but frees his clients.

Nelson asks Andy to defend Willie Miller in the felon¿s appeal of a murder conviction that the older Carpenter prosecuted. Witnesses stated that they found the accused standing over the murdered corpse of Denise McGregor and Willie¿s fingerprints and blood were all over the murder weapon. When Nelson dies while attending a baseball game with Andy, the latter knows he must honor his father¿s last wish of him. As he begins to become more familiar with the Miller case, Andy is stunned to inherit a fortune and find a seemingly incriminating photo of his dad. Soon someone threatens to kill Andy if he insists on working the Miller appeal.

OPEN AND SHUT is a fabulous legal thriller that is at its best when Andy stays on center stage as a loose cannon attorney. When the subplot involves Andy¿s personal relationships with his wife and his private investigator, it loses an edge though having the sleuth capable of kicking butt is a nice gender bender twist. Overall, the story line is fast-paced providing readers a thrilling ride through the New Jersey judiciary system. Jurors will discover David Rosenfelt¿s debut is quite appealing and sentence the author to providing more tales starring Andy.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delightful! Well-plotted whodunit with witty protagonist; wry, dry humor is great in any season. Glad I tried this series; bought more.
Shar-Pei-Man More than 1 year ago
Fast paced, easy reading, funny, and griping tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Witty and entertaining, whodunit read with the added "realism" of a great Golden Retriever, Tara. Since we also have a Golden, we can identify with Andy's love for a great dog and enjoy the humor of the author in his twisted tales, full of dry and not so dry, humor. Find ourselves reading funny excerpts out loud to each other. Very entertaining!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. Includes truly gem-oneliners and lol dry humor throughout, sometimes when least expected which makes it even more funny. Rosenfelt is a joy to read. Plot has suspense, strategy, engaging characters, terrific dialogue. The characters and plot evoke thoughtfulness and emotion from the reader. Rosenfelt draws you in completely and gives you a very satisfying read. This is the first book of his I've read and now I will be looking to read All his books!
stunning More than 1 year ago
It was an okay book. It had many unexpecting events take place. The plot took a while to really pick up speed. I have to admit my favorite character is Tara, the golden retriever. :) I hope the next book is better than this one.
scoda More than 1 year ago
When the latest Rosemfelt book made the best seller list, I decided to start at the beginning of the series with #1 first. I immediately ordered the remaining 6 of the series and can't wait for the newest one to be published. Each book is a page turner with a surprise ending. Great reading! It doesn't hurt to have a Golden Retriever of your own!
KathyK More than 1 year ago
I have been looking for different authors to read, since many of my favorite authors are deceased, seem to have retired or are not writing books as frequently as they did. After reading this book, the first in the Andy Carpenter series, I have now purchased three more -- guess no more needs to be said as to how much I enjoyed this book!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
An okay book. Story seemed slow but that could have just been my dislike of books written in first person. I did get tired of hearing 'Tara' all of the time (not a great name for a dog).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PamMcC More than 1 year ago
Andy Carpenter is a Defense Attorney who can drive any Prosecutor or Judge to distraction, but he’s very good at what he does. When his father, a well known and respected ex-district attorney askes Andy to take on the appeals case of Willie Miller, a man he put away himself, Andy knows this is something Nelson Carpenter needs him to do. Andy has his hands full with a case that was considered by all open and shut. Then his father dies, and Andy finds an old photograph among his father’s things that somehow ties in with the present. Andy attacks Willie’s appeal and coming re-trial as he would any of his cases along with his investigator, Laurie, and things become more complex and threatening. Andy won’t back down and discovers that deep pockets and political ambitions are somehow behind the threats, but how does this tie in with the murdered reporter and the previously convicted Willie Miller? For all of Andy’s normal theatrics in the courtroom, he is brilliant in his defense against an intelligent prosecutor and the system that failed Willie Miller. This is the first in a series and was truly hard to put down. The conclusion is satisfying and makes you want to read more of David Rosenfelt.
sleahey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Defense attorney Andy Carpenter has finagled a re-trial for a guy convicted of murder several years ago. He has also just found out that he inherited wealth from his father that he knew nothing about. An old photo of his father and some high rollers raises more questions about possible connections with this case. In the meantime, his x-wife wants to reconcile and his girlfriend is his investigator. Lots to juggle, but the author pulls it off handily.