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The murder of Judge Daniel Brennan sets in motion a terrifying series of events. Almost before the body is cold, Luke Somers of the New Jersey State Police solves the case. Based on an anonymous tip, the police believe that they have found their man in long-time drug abuser Steven Gallagher. So now all should be right with the world. But it’s far from it. The suspect dies at Somers’s hand, and the now-dead man’s brother wants his own sort of justice. An eye for an eye, as it were. Or, in this case, a brother for a brother. Chris Gallagher makes it clear to Luke Somers that he had better find a way to exonerate Steven, or else Bryan Somers will die. He has one week.

"David Rosenfelt’s AIRTIGHT is a lightning-fast read with a killer ending that I really didn’t see coming. The final paragraph left me with goosebumps…and a huge smile."

Luke is a straight-up kind of guy, but with Bryan’s life in jeopardy, he’ll do almost anything to ensure that he doesn’t lose his brother. And “almost anything” includes faking evidence and/or inventing a plausible killer. Now, as he runs his sham investigation, he starts seeing the truth. Whoever was behind the murder of Judge Brennan, it begins to seem highly unlikely that it was a burned-out addict called Steven Gallagher. There is much more at stake here than a reduced prison sentence for a junkie.

Not only does Luke have to come up with an answer to satisfy Chris, in doing so, he needs to steer clear of the Feds who would insist on handling Bryan’s kidnapping differently and, quite possibly, fatally. They also would be very interested in knowing that the man they all thought was the killer probably isn’t. Luke doesn’t much care about the FBI and their feelings, but he is not happy about deceiving his own department. He’ll sort all that out once he saves his brother. Meanwhile, time is running out --- not just for Luke’s brother, but for an entire town as well.

As murder mysteries go, this one satisfies on so many levels. First, the hero. It would be a challenge to find someone who didn’t like Luke Somers. He’s a true good guy. Oh, he’s not perfect --- not by a long shot. Luke will bend every rule and twist every law to keep Bryan alive. But that just makes you like him even more. After all, rules are made to be broken, as the saying goes. The situation that Luke and Bryan are in couldn’t be a more fitting time for breaking rules.

Then there’s Bryan’s wife, Julie, a prosecuting attorney. She has contacts that Luke doesn’t, along with influence. She also has doubts about her marriage. But that’s a problem she will have to solve later. If they can save Bryan. It’s even possible to sympathize with Chris, even though his methods leave a lot to be desired.

David Rosenfelt’s AIRTIGHT is a lightning-fast read with a killer ending that I really didn’t see coming. The final paragraph left me with goosebumps…and a huge smile.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on March 8, 2013

by David Rosenfelt

  • Publication Date: October 29, 2013
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250040760
  • ISBN-13: 9781250040763