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Black and Blue: A Doug Brock Thriller


Black and Blue: A Doug Brock Thriller

David Rosenfelt has written 18 Andy Carpenter novels, featuring the wise-cracking New Jersey attorney who only represents clients he likes. Occasionally he deviates from these stories to provide readers with stand-alone thrillers and revisit his second series, which kicked off in 2016. BLACK AND BLUE marks the return of New Jersey state police officer Doug Brock, offering a fast-paced, well-plotted and entertaining mystery. Rosenfelt’s stories are notable for their wit, wry characters and an easy style that makes for wonderful reads. His latest effort fits that mold perfectly.

This is Doug’s third appearance in a Rosenfelt mystery. In his debut, BLACKOUT, Doug investigated a potential terrorist attack focused on the New Jersey area. That investigation resulted in his hospitalization with massive injuries that required a medically induced coma. When he woke up, he had lost all memory of the past decade. Two books later, Doug is slowly recovering from his memory loss and has rekindled his romance with his girlfriend, Jessie Allen. They are now living together with a dog named Bobo. Canines are the one constant in every Rosenfelt novel. All of his detectives are dog lovers, and no mystery can be solved without doggish involvement.

"Rosenfelt’s stories are notable for their wit, wry characters and an easy style that makes for wonderful reads. His latest effort fits that mold perfectly."

BLACK AND BLUE opens with Doug and his partner, Nate Alvarez, called to a murder scene that has major significance for the two detectives. In Paterson, New Jersey, attorney Alex Randowsky has been gunned down by a long-range sniper shot after playing tennis. While the crime normally would be investigated by local authorities, Doug and Nate have been summoned because 18 months ago, they investigated a murder with the identical modus operandi. Walter Brookings, a prominent New Jersey citizen, was killed by one long-range bullet through the heart, fired by a sniper. Because Doug’s amnesia has left him with no memory of the Brookings case, when the bullets turn out to have been fired from the same rifle, he must reinvestigate. The situation becomes even more complex and challenging as more shootings occur.

Rosenfelt adds another twist to the story by providing Andy Carpenter with a cameo appearance. A prime suspect in the string of murders is Danny Phelan. Although he was never charged with the initial shooting, Danny did go to prison for an unrelated drug crime, and his incarceration coincides with the year-and-a-half gap in the killings. Doug is haunted by the belief that his investigation may have missed evidence that would have led to Danny being held accountable for the first murder. He wonders if all of these subsequent shootings that are taking place now that Danny is out of prison might have been prevented. Andy is Danny’s lawyer, and since Rosenfelt’s readers all know that Andy never represents a guilty man, the Phelan investigation obviously will have many twists and turns.

Those twists and turns and occasional swerves are the bedrock of a David Rosenfelt mystery. Just when you think you have solved the crime, a new ingredient gets added to the pot. BLACK AND BLUE is an enjoyable and appealing story from beginning to end.

Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman on March 29, 2019

Black and Blue: A Doug Brock Thriller
by David Rosenfelt

  • Publication Date: March 26, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250133149
  • ISBN-13: 9781250133144