|I really was not particularly intrigued to read Heart of a Killer. It is not part of the Andy Carpenter series which I quite enjoy. Nor was the premise, a woman in jail for killing her husband with a daughter to whom she wanted to give her heart (literally), particularly captivating. However, once I started reading, the sarcastic humor of David Rosenfelt made me laugh out loud and drew me in quickly. (“My parents considered me an underachiever – a 3.7 at Penn then on to Harvard Law.”) In fact, Jamie Wagner takes the case only after cocktails with his parents (father a renown physician and mother CEO of a Fortune 500 company) and his mother's "fifteen frowns of disapproval."
Sheryl Harrison is imprisoned for the murder (she confessed) of her husband despite the fact that one of the investigators, John Novack, initially thought otherwise. Meanwhile, her 14 year-old daughter Karen is dying from a congenital heart disorder which can only be reversed with a heart transplant.
Jamie, a six year associate at a big law firm, is assigned the case – pro bono. From there, the twists begin. A guard is receiving money each month to report any and all details regarding Sheryl's incarceration. The computer controls of a routine flight are overwhelmed and all aboard perish.
Jamie enlists the help of John Novack locally, while FBI agent Mike Janssen is assigned to handle the national case with terrorist implications. As the story unwinds, the two cases become intertwined and Jamie, John, and Mike work together to stop a catastrophic event.
Heart of a Killer, which starts out as a legal thriller, is really a complicated cyber thriller with legal overtones including references to famous cases likes Griswold v. Connecticut. David Rosenfelt's use of self-deprecating humor combined with a complicated plot which includes a technical mastermind adept at computer espionage add to the enjoyment of Heart of a Killer. Even without Andy, this is a very good read. Enjoy!