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Open and Shut Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 313 customer reviews
Book 1 of 14 in the Andy Carpenter Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It's no surprise to find Harlan Coben giving a blurb to Rosenfelt's debut mystery, an homage to Coben's popular Myron Bolitar series. Like Bolitar, lawyer Andy Carpenter lives in suburban New Jersey, has strong bonds with his father, is a sports nut and has a refreshing lack of respect for wealth and power. Andy also has Myron's self-deprecating sense of humor, which allows him to make fun of his personal shortcomings. But Rosenfelt lacks both Coben's powerful narrative engine and gift for bringing weird minor characters to credible life. Andy, a flamboyant district attorney who dazzles the onlookers in Paterson with cute courtroom antics that probably wouldn't last a New York or L.A. minute, stumbles through a couple of plots that just don't ring true. When his father, Nelson, a straight-arrow DA, asks him to defend a death row rapist/murderer seeking a new trial, Andy reluctantly agrees. When the older man dies (spectacularly, at a Yankees game), a totally unexpected $22 million estate surfaces. On the side, Andy works to restart his failed marriage to an important politician's daughter while also pursuing his no-nonsense female chief investigator. Then Andy finds much too conveniently an old photograph linking his father and a bunch of boyhood friends to the original crime. We never learn enough about Nelson to understand or care about his guilt. Loose ends that a Coben would never have left to dangle undermine the ending. Hopefully, a more seasoned Rosenfelt will do better next time.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.

From Booklist

(*Starred Review*) Written with the skill of a veteran, Rosenfelt's debut legal thriller boasts fresh characters, an engaging narrator, and a plot that forces readers to keep flipping the pages. Andy Carpenter, a defense lawyer, takes on a new client: a man on death row, appealing his conviction for the murder of a woman nearly a decade ago. Andy takes the case as a favor to his father, the district attorney who originally prosecuted the inmate. When Andy's father dies, leaving him 22 million dollars and a 35-year-old photograph, Andy has some tough questions to answer. Where did his father get the money? Who are the men in the photograph? And could one of them have some connection with the murder for which Andy's client was convicted? Andy Carpenter is a welcome addition to the lawyer-as-sleuth roster; he's a charming and witty hero whose literary allusions and snarky asides keep us thoroughly entertained. In addition, the present-tense, diary-style narrative voice adds another layer of dramatic tension, because--as he's writing--Andy has no idea what's going to happen next. As soon as readers finish this remarkable first novel, they will begin clamoring for a second Andy Carpenter adventure. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; First Warner Books Printing edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446612537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446612531
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (313 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Quido VINE VOICE on July 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
in town. Rosenfeldt worked in marketing for Tri-Star pictures before trying his hand at screenplays, and this, his first novel. He has a smooth, confident style and a hero steeped in courtroom shenanigans. Like Coben's hero, Myron Bolitar, Andy Carpenter is a sports nut and a smartass, but a loveable one. Like Koontz's heroes, Andy is hung up on his Golden Retriever, Tara, and much of the charm and humor of the character comes out in his frequent references to her.
Carpenter's first story (I say first, because the book cries out for a sequel or two or thirteen) involves an appeal in a case of capital murder. His case is tangled in his past with his beloved father, and his feeling that there is more than meets the eye to his dad's request for him to defend a man that he, himself, had convicted. Tangled with the defense of his client, Willie Miller, is Andy's own broken marriage and his attempt at reconciliation after he's already fallen in love with someone new.
The plot to prove Willie's innocence is less than original, and a little shallow, but the witty repartee and diarization style of writing adopted by Rosenfeldt is charming and breezy. Many small humorous passages will make you laugh, even though the scene is serious. Carpenter's explanation to Miller of why he will probably still lose the trial..."suppose Dinky University's football team goes down to Florida State and loses ....but the game doesn't count because FSU's water boy wasn't eligible....Dinky is still Dinky". Carpenter's rants against DNA, his soliloquy to the Yankees and his betting contests with his father, courtroom antics such as the stunt with Kevin's cousin -- all are irreverent and totally New Jersey in their origin and humor.
It's not a great novel, but it ranks as a great and entertaining first effort, and Rosenfeldt will have a terrific career if there are more like this to come!
Read it, enjoy,laugh!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the tradition of Harlan Coben and Nelson DeMille's characters, David Rosenfelt introduces us to Andy Carpenter, a lawyer based in New Jersey. And be prepared because once you begin this book you won't be able to put it down.

When Andy's father, a former District Attorney, suddenly dies, Andy never expected to inherit 22 million dollars. Neither did he expect to be seeking a new trial for a man on death row who is there after Andy's father successfully prosecuted him. Then while Andy is going through his father's things, Andy finds a photograph which was hidden behind another photo which shows his father with three men. The photograph which was taken in 1965 shows one man who looks vaguely familiar but the other two are unknown to him. Now confused by the size of his inheritance and the surprising photograph while seeking a new trial for Willie Martin, Andy decides to investigate not only where the money came from but who else is in the picture. Unfortunately for Andy though as he gets deeper and deeper into his investigation along with some colleagues, some disturbing events occur. His home is broken into, he's assaulted in his office by a man wearing a ski mask and then a bullet meant for him mistakenly wounds somebody else, Andy begins to wonder if somehow all of these events aren't


This is one terrific book which I couldn't put down. It is a roller coaster of a read which although convoluted is easy enough for readers to follow and enjoy. And as improbable as it may seem, I couldn't help but think that the plot of this novel could very well have happened.

I found this book exciting, entertaining and well written.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Andy Carpenter is a defense lawyer whose prominent father just died, leaving him with a lot of unanswered questions. First is why he wanted Andy to take on an appellate case of a convicted murderer, which he prosecuted years ago. Second is how is it possible that his father left him 22 million dollars in his will. If that weren't enough, his personal life takes a turn as well. After being separated from his wife, Nicole, he's been seeing a beautiful private investigator, Laurie. And yet his wife wants to try again by moving back in with him.

This legal thriller is an excellent quick read with fantastic courtroom maneuvers. It's one of those rare books that strikes the right balance between plot and character development. Well-written, concise, and entertaining, Rosenfelt's first book will not disappoint. Andy is a charismatic character whose sarcastic wit, courtroom antics, and investigative techniques are extremely appealing. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Open and Shut had me laughing hard. I like to read at coffee shops some times. Big mistake bringing this book along. Every couple of minutes I was barking out loud and everyone was looking at me like I was a mad man.

Rosenfelt, an author I had never read before, has a true gem here with 'Open and Shut'. He plots a good traditional mystery around some first rate characters and a wit a mile long. Its been a little while since I read a genre story exactly like this plot wise. It got me to thinking about how in the 80's there were nothing but lawyer mysteries. This is in many ways an homage to that era. (whoops, I have read Rosenfelt before and didn't like what it very much "Dont Tell a Soul" was an poorly plotted thriller with big holes).

The story itself is very simple. Andy Carpenter, a married (though separated) lawyer working in a small suburb outside of Manhattan defends a death row inmate on his last appeal. At the same time, he is looking for the 'real' killer and tries to make amends with his estranged wife.

Some of the reviewers here are tying strings between Rosenfelt and Harlen Coben. I dont buy it. Bolitar and Carpenter are too different. I also dont agree that this book is a pale companion to the Bolitar books. I find it more like a Stuart Woods novel (let me just say I think Woods has been a disaster over the last 15 years, but he started off as a decent writer). It has that jaunty, tongue-in-cheek, in-the-know style.

What got me down a little was how unbelievable some of the courtroom stunts were. This guy should have been dis-bared long ago. Instead he continuously pulls out last minute rescue ploys. Its also on the simpler side. Your not going to be wowed or bowled over by anything here. This is what I would consider an 'All American Stick to the Ribs' starch meal.

If you want a simple easy to read genre tale that feels like it stepped out of the 1980's, this one is for you.
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