“Animal Instinct”

The K-Team on the job again; this time to save one of their own.

“Animal Instinct” finds Simon and the K-Team on the job again in this, the second book in David Rosenfelt’s series about – what else – dogs, crime, criminals and the people and dogs who catch them. Did I mention dogs? “Animal Instinct” unfolds in the first person narrative by Corey Douglas, the person owned by Simon Garfunkel, retired Paterson police German shepherd. (Anyone who has read Carpenter’s books knows that I did not make a mistake, the dogs own the people.) Alternate chapters in third person allow readers to learn what participants do not know. Douglas is troubled; the victim in a domestic call he took while on the Patterson Police force is brutally murdered, and he feels guilty about not having helped enough at the time.

When there are other deaths, Douglas’s quest for redemption is viewed by the police as revenge and vigilantism; he is arrested for murder. Enter Andy Carpenter, Laurie Collins, and Marcus Clark to the rescue. Of course, anyone who loves dogs as much as Corey does is sure to be innocent, but this story is about the journey, even though readers know the ultimate outcome. The case is complicated; people lie for a reason, and unfortunately lots of them are lying. There are many layers of intrigue, complexity, and an assortment of possible additional victims and perpetrators. All this must be reconciled before Carpenter can determine the real killer.

Readers do not pick David Rosenfelt’s books because they wonder if Andy Carpenter will save the day; they absolutely know that from page one. Rosenfelt’s books are loved by readers because they know that at the end, (the actual, absolute, very last minute) the questions will be answered, the unexpected will be explained, good will triumph, the hero will win, and the dogs will live happily ever after. (Okay, so Andy is anti-hero, but the dogs will always be fine.) The stories are well constructed, filled subtle and sarcastic humor, with plenty of suspense and unexpected twists and turns. In the end, both readers and characters are happy, satisfied, and eager for more.

I received a review copy of “Animal Instinct” from David Rosenfelt and Minotaur Books.  Sign me up for the next installment.