Summary and book reviews of Play Dead by David Rosenfelt

Play Dead

By David Rosenfelt

Play Dead
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: May 2007,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2009,
    384 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Few can rival attorney Andy Carpenter's affection for golden retrievers, especially his own beloved Tara. After he astonishes a New Jersey courtroom by successfully appealing another golden's death sentence, Andy discovers that this gentle dog is a key witness to a murder that took place five years before.

Andy pushes the boundaries of the law even further as he struggles to free an innocent man by convincing an incredulous jury to take canine testimony seriously. It will take all the tricks Andy's fertile mind can conceive to get to the bottom of a remarkable chain of impersonations and murder, and save a dog's life—and his own—in the process.

Excerpt
Play Dead

“ANDY, YOU’RE NOT GOING to believe this.”

This is the type of sentence that, when said in a vacuum, doesn’t reveal much. Whatever it is that I am not going to believe might be very positive or very negative, and there would be no way to know until I see it.

Unfortunately, this particular sentence is not said in a vacuum; it’s said in the Passaic County Animal Shelter. Which means that “positive” is no longer one of the possibilities.

The person speaking the words is Fred Brandenberger, whose job as shelter manager is an impossibly difficult one. There are far more dogs that come through his doors than potential adopters, and he therefore must helplessly supervise the euthanasia of those that are not taken. I know it drives Fred crazy; he’s been in the job for two years, and my guess is he’s not going to last much longer.

It bothers me to come here, and I rarely do. I leave this job to my former legal client, Willie ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse

Rosenfelt's style is light and witty, putting the reader at ease with a promise of an entertaining plot with minimal bloodshed. It's shoo-in for animal lovers and those who like their legal thrillers on the cozy side.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (839 words).

Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. No shaggy dog story, this puppy's alive with reliable Rosenfelt wit and heart.

Booklist - David Pitt

Starred Review. Andy's offbeat, outspoken personality shines on every page, and the balance of humor and mystery is dead-on. There is nothing else to say about this fine novel, except this: read it as soon as you can.

Entertainment Weekly - Bob Cannon

David Rosenfelt concocts a taut thriller full of whiplash plot twists and wisecracking dialogue from Carpenter's Godfather-quoting partner, proving that he's long since earned his crime-novelist pedigree. B+

Reader Reviews
Whoizzit

Not Just for Dog Lovers - Best Yet!
I discovered David Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter series a few years ago and have read them all. I love his wit, the well-defined characters, the plotlines, and the dogs that are always close to the main characters. IMHO, Play Dead is one of Rosenfelt's ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Animals on Trial
The idea of canine testimony being accepted in court is not without precedent (e.g. drug smugglers who are convicted on the evidence of sniffer dogs), but what about the idea of putting an animal itself on trial?

These days, animals are not tried on the basis that they lack the ability to make moral judgments and therefore cannot be held culpable for an act. However, this was not always so. Numerous cases exist in history, many of them collected in The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals written by Edward Payson Evans in 1906 and reprinted in the 1980s. For example:

"In 1386, the tribunal of Falaise sentenced a sow to be mangled and maimed in the head and forelegs, and then to...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Play Dead, try these:

  • Killer Smile jacket

    Killer Smile

    by Lisa Scottoline

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    A stunning new tale filled with witty dialogue, vibrant characters, and breakneck pacing, in which true-life history reinforces Scottoline's hallmark themes of justice and family.

  • McNally's Dilemma jacket

    McNally's Dilemma

    by Vincent Lardo

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Palm Beach private investigator Archy McNally takes on the murder of a socialite and uncovers a thorny tangle of blackmail and deceit, south Florida style. Vincent Lardo continues the series started by Lawrence Sanders.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...
  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin
  2.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh

All Discussions

Who Said...

The good writer, the great writer, has what I have called the three S's: The power to see, to sense, and to say

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.