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 lifeand his ownin the process.
ANDY, YOURE NOT GOING to believe this.
This is the type of sentence that, when said in a vacuum, doesnt 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; its 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; hes been in the job for two years, and my guess is hes 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 ...
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 (839 words).
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...
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