"Bark of Night: an Andy Carpenter Mystery" (Minotaur Books), by David Rosenfelt
Andy Carpenter, a fictitious defense attorney created by David Rosenfelt, hates to work. He doesn't need money because he's wealthy from a large inheritance. He loves dogs, so when one is in peril, he springs to the rescue.
"Bark of Night," the latest in the Carpenter series, begins when a man pays a veterinarian to euthanize a healthy French bulldog. Carpenter discovers the dog's name is Truman and that his owner, documentary filmmaker James Haley, was murdered near Carpenter's home in Paterson, New Jersey.
The police arrest Joey Gamble, 20, who was interviewed by Haley on the day of the murder, but Carpenter suspects the man who tried to kill Truman may be the true culprit. He decides to defend Gamble, puts Truman in "protective custody" at a dog rescue organization that he operates, and starts his investigation. These actions alarm a group of gangsters — the author's favorite antagonists — because they fear the attorney could expose their moneymaking scheme.
Carpenter is in danger, but he's not worried. He's protected by his ex-policewoman wife, Laurie Collins, and his bodyguard Marcus Clark, "the single scariest and toughest person on the planet."
A series of local and nationwide murders follows, and Carpenter begins to see an odd pattern: some of the victims are homeless. Why should anyone want to kill people with no money? He's puzzled, but in the end, connects the dots and saves Gamble and Truman.
"Bark of Night" is a treat, especially for those who love thrillers and dogs.