Dead Center - David Rosenfelt

~~Moved from GR~~

Dead Center

by David Rosenfelt


A relatively entertaining audiobook, but with a host of plot-related flaws. Right off the bat, I felt that the main character, Andy Carpenter, suffered from a bad case of Mary Sue disease: wealthy, powerful, popular, and irresistible to women,he is also a media darling and (at least, so we are told) a fantastic defence lawyer. We are introduced to him when he is still reeling from the loss of his romantic interest and has been celibate for four whole months! Gasp! Tragedy! And clearly all the girl's fault! What in his misogynistic mind is a horrific and coldblooded betrayal was actually her finding her perfect job in her own community where she grew up, and him being unwilling to move to be with her. Because god forbid that a man, even one with $25M to spare, ever make any career or location sacrifice for a woman.

Mystery-wise, the evildoer is awfully obvious, the plot requires a large concatenation of circumstances, and I felt like we had a bad case of Did Not Do The Research. There is a nearby oh-so-scary religious cult which is clearly a biased blend of scientology and Mormonism, a rather pathetically unrealistic set of court scenes, and a far too naive defence attorney as the main character. That perhaps irritated me most; detection and initial determination of guilt before accepting a case...well, that isn't how the justice system works, or, indeed, is supposed to work. Fortunately, the narrator's cheery and self-deprecating cynicism, likeable side characters, and a dog elevated this from abysmal to relatively enjoyable. The narrator is not half as funny as he thinks he is, but I'm a sucker for that type of narrator affect. In addition, the much- maligned ex is on the scene, and the narrator is far less bitter and hateful to her in person than in his thoughts. Last, I listened to this on audio and I always get a kick out of anything that Grover Gardner reads.