Grand Central Publishinc 2010
Dog Tags, the new mystery novel by David Rosenfelt begins with Billy Zimmerman being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A former cop, he returns injured from the Iraq war, and assisted by his canine partner Milo, turns to theft to make ends meet.
A job goes bad when, bang, bang, the mark is killed. During the commotion, Milo snatches a crucial envelope, takes off like a shot, and disposes of it dog knows where.
Billy is wrongfully arrested for murder, and Milo is kept under armed guard.
Enter Andy Carpenter, lawyer and self-confessed "certified animal lunatic" who cannot bear Milo's incarceration. He successfully has his canine client released into protective custody. .Next, it's Billy's turn, but with incriminating evidence piling up, it doesn't look good.
Through the course of his investigation, the stain widens. Andy uncovers an unexpected ripple of high level connections and people motivated by greed. Serious destruction is on the horizon.
Having an interesting premise and an increasingly complex mystery, Dog Tags is quirky and sometimes funny, with a dry, sarcastic feel. Unfortunately, it also has glitches.
This reader found the plentiful, largely one dimensional and unsympathetic characters and their relationships to each other often difficult to track. Fortunately, Rosenfelt provides reminders.
Sections of the book seem like filler. Even murders are boring and somewhat predictable.
One pet peeve is when authors simply tell us what happens, rather than truly engage us in the story, i.e., there is a big difference between stating "There was a fire." and describing it in frightening detail. Unfortunately, Rosenfelt uses the former approach, often making the story simply a narrative. Even with a challenging court case, multiple murders, security breeches, and the threat of a serious incident, Dog Tags is much less interesting and exciting than it could have been.