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Heart of a Killer Hardcover – February 14, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312598378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312598372
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #840,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Here’s what seems to be a winning combination: a popular and accomplished novelist, a likable hero, and two themes of overwhelming importance. The result? Readers will likely turn the last page and wonder what went wrong. The main plot involves assisted suicide. A woman jailed for murder wants to be killed and have her heart given to her dying daughter. Officialdom resists, so the case must go to court. Next, computers. They control everything, so someone controlling them can crash an airplane, burn a car, and melt down a nuclear-power plant. All these things—and more—happen here. The plots converge midbook, when Jamie Wagner, the lawyer hired by the prisoner who wants to die, finds himself battling a crazed computer maven. The wisecracking Wagner would be fine in a different novel, but here—in a book dealing with such portentous matters—he’s the wrong man. When things grow ominous, he jokes about his hatred of work and lack of ambition, scuttling the tone and keeping the reader distant from the plot. A good character and a gripping story, but they simply don’t mix. Stick with Rosenfelt, though; he can write, despite this misstep. --Don Crinklaw


Praise for David Rosenfelt

“David Rosenfelt’s series, featuring wisecracking Paterson attorney Andy Carpenter, is two parts John Grisham and one part Dave Barry. . . . More murders and plot twists advance the story to an exciting conclusion involving homeland security, making this the best, most complex legal thriller in the series.”
---The Star-Ledger on One Dog Night

“A blessed anomaly in crime fiction . . . Andy is like a gulp of cold water on a steamy day. . . . Rosenfelt peels back the layers of puzzlement ever so skillfully, tantalizing us throughout until, finally, both Andy and the reader are enlightened simultaneously. A gem.”
---Booklist (starred review) on One Dog Night

“An absolutely irresistible hook . . . No one who picks up this greased-lightning account will rest till it’s finished.”
---Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on On Borrowed Time

“Dynamite thriller . . . Rosenfelt’s sly humor, breathless pacing, and terrific plot twists keep the pages spinning toward the showdown on New Year’s Eve in Times Square.”
---Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Down to the Wire

“[Rosenfelt] has pulled together a cynical political thriller that rings true in this age of terrorism, media hype, and Washington scandals.”
---Minneapolis Star Tribune on Don’t Tell a Soul

“This fast-paced and brightly written tale spins along. . . . Don’t Tell a Soul is a humdinger.”
---St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Don’t Tell a Soul

More About the Author

David Rosenfelt, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is a graduate of NYU. He was the former marketing president for Tri-Star Pictures before becoming a writer of novels and screenplays. "Open And Shut" was his first novel; "First Degree," his second novel, was named a best book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly. He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and 35 dogs.

Customer Reviews

David Rosenfelt is one of my favorite authors.
Louise M. Stewart
He's simply a very good storyteller always combining wit, humor and suspense and great dialog in his novels.
Bob Rueff
The many, many twists and turns in the plot will keep you on the edge of my seat until the very end.
Barbara J.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By MED on February 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed all of Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter series. Realizing 'Heart of a Killer' wasn't another Carpenter installment disappointed me. Combining that with the synopsis I wasn't sure it was a book I would enjoy - bought it because it was Rosenfelt. Certainly not disappointed.

The book tells the story of Sheryl Harrison, in prison for the brutal murder of her husband Charlie six years previously. She has a daughter with a terminal heart condition and wants to donate her heart to her daughter. Enter Jaime Wagner - a young, Harvard educated attorney toiling as an associate at a big corporate firm. The firm has been assigned the Harrison case pro bono and it is eventually assigned to Wagner.

John Novack is the detective who answered the call to the Harrison home the day of the murder. He has always questioned her guilt. Wagner asks for his help and his decision to reopen the case obviously doesn't sit well with someone.

Wagner's attempt to honor Sheryl's wish to donate her heart to her daughter plays out against a national terrorist plot. John Novack's attempt to solve the Harrison murder runs headlong into the terrorist plot.

Rosenfelt weaves the story expertly. You are torn between rooting for Harrison's right to save her daughter and the character you have come to like and admire. Novack is a gruff cop and Wagner is smart and vulnerable. As always, Rosenfelt's storytelling is superb.

Highly recommend.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By N. Gargano VINE VOICE on February 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge David Rosenfelt fan, I love his Andy Carpenter series so much, they are a must buy and read for me.
When I saw this stand alone, I was at first a little disappointed, I was thinking I would rather have had something from the Carpenter series, but once I started the book, I knew I was in for another fun read from Mr. Rosenfelt.
First of all, I loved how from chapter to chapter, something else was going on. At first it was a little confusing, even knowing eventually it would all come together in the end. Then I realized I was discovering what was going on, the same way the main character was. It was a fun way to follow through the book.
Second, I really loved the secondary character of the policeman that was working with the main character. I was thinking how great it would be for him to have his own series.
Third, the evil guy, was really, really evil. Kind of James Bondish movie kind of evil, and that added to the fun of the book.
I started reading the book and was so glad it was a quiet day, I was able to sit and read until I had finished the book. Mr. Rosenfelt never disappoints.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rick Mitchell VINE VOICE on March 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is my the first I've read of Mr. Rosenfelt and I put him on the top pier of mystery/thriller authors with Crais, Koryta, Parker and the like.

Let's see if we can list the elements of this one: mother-daughter love, witty underachieving attorney, high tech hacking, national terror, gruff cop, murder, explosions, the FBI, and twists and turns in every short chapter.

Our "hero", Jamie aka "Harvard" is a lazy happily underachieving attorney in a white shoe firm who is given a pro bono case. All he has to do is arrange to have a convicted murderer allowed to donate her heart to her dying daughter. That alone is intriguing on all sorts of levels. But then the rub - it does not look as if she committed the murder she confessed to six years ago. Enter the arresting policeman and intrigue surrounding who her murdered husband really was.

Although it seems a stretch, the book turns into terrorism at an international level while Jamie is trying to get his client's suicidal wishes come true.

This is plainly a terrific mystery/thriller. The characters are great. There is just the right of humor and all through the book the heart-wrenching emotional aspect never gets maudlin. This is a true page turner and highly, highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gidgetdog on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of the Andy Carpenter series but also really enjoy Rosenfelt's stand- alones. Lots of things going on in this one but he pulls them together nicely and, while far-fetched, makes the plot believable. The premise of someone wanting to commit suicide in order to donate an organ was intriging and thought-provoking. Wasn't sure how that plotline would be resolved but I liked how it was handled, and while not the happiest outcome, it was satisfactory and it worked. A few things bothered me about how the lawyer and the cop handled the investigation and there was one character (the murdered husband) who was somewhat central to the plot but it never seemed clear how he really fit in. That's the only reason I gave it 4 stars. In spite of that, if a dog would have been thrown into the mix I would have given it 5 stars anyway.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Monica Segal Halperin on October 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Was this really written by David Rosenfelt, author of the Andy Carpenter / Tara books ? I was looking forward to receiving the Kindle edition and read it as soon as I received it: it was a waste of time and money.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SherriLee on April 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Rosenfelt, especially the Carpenter books, and did not mind that this one was a stand alone...until I read it. First and foremost was the crappy editing--which I am seeing more and more. Within a couple of chapters, it had become distracting. Grammar was a problem throughout as were other issues that should have been caught. At one point Jamie (protagonist) is walking with his uncle Regg, who is then called Charlie (a secondary character who is deceased), then called Regg again. How does no one catch this? I have got to believe that it cant be that hard to get readers with red pens in hand to go over a book before the final run.
To add to the disappointment was a thin story with a weak plot and flat characters. The main character had potential and his snobby parents were a bit funny--but even then--Jamie was too obviously meant to charm and his parents had an unexplained and mostly unrealistic personality shift near the end. The prison scenario didnt work for me very well but the big flaw--in my mind anyway--was the all powerful computer criminals. It was very clear early on what the thrust of the story was but it went overboard. Apparently the omniscient bad guys could manipulate any computer from a pacemaker, to an airplane, a car, and a nuclear plant. The final scenario though had me wondering--why dont they just shut down the plant, the power, the computers, or all of the above? Since there was zero believability or explanation as to how all the computers were breached, Rosenfelt could have just not explained this as well. With some 'fixing', this could have been a much better book.
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