‘Good Dog, Bad Cop’ by David Rosenfelt is the 4th book in the ‘K Team’ mysteries series

The group of detectives named the K Team is named after Simon Garfunkel, the dog. As the “K” might indicate, Simon was a K-9 “officer” along with his handler, Corey Douglas. They are still partners, but both have retired from the Paterson police force and now work with the other two members of the K Team solving cold crimes for the Paterson police. In this mystery, they are solving a cold case that has special meaning for them because it involves the killing of two Paterson police officers. One had retired, and both were killed in what the K Team is speculating was a connected case.

The other two members of the K Team are known to readers of both this series and the “Andy Carpenter” series. Laurie, also a former member of the Paterson police force, is Andy Carpenter’s wife, and Marcus, who is a scarily competent investigator and protector, and whose powerful athleticism more than compensates for his lack of loquaciousness, is the third member of the team and provides the “muscle.”

As per David Rosenfelt’s usual MO, he starts the narrative with a murder. As the story begins, we witness the drive-by shooting of Danny Avery. We read that he is investigating something, and that the police department doesn’t know about it because he’s waiting for what he will learn while he’s staking out a location. He’s listening to audio from a planted microphone, and it’s being recorded on his phone, but he’s shot and his phone is stolen, and that’s not going to help him or anyone else who might want to solve his murder.

The other two murders that the team suspects are connected to Danny Avery’s is the death of his wife Susan as well as the death of Corey’s mentor at the department, Jimmy Dietrich. Their deaths were originally labeled as a murder/suicide, but Corey doesn’t believe that Jimmy would do that. So those three deaths are the ones that the K Team has begun investigating.

Corey is the first person narrator. Interspersed occasionally is a narrative about one of the criminals, a factor which adds another layer of mystery because we have to figure out how that person is related to all the seemingly unrelated crimes. There are suspects galore, including the thugs who are obviously hired by the masterminds to try to harm Corey when he gets too close to the heart of the matter. Filled with action and a web of intrigue, the novel once again demonstrates Rosenfelt’s ability to juggle many trails that inevitably lead to the heart of the criminal enterprise.

This is not a mystery that can be read while simultaneously doing something else. There are too many names and motives and strands that demand your complete attention. Also be careful lest you be suckered into falling for the most obvious suspect. Things are literally and figuratively not what they appear to be. So get ready to put the clues together and think outside the box with “Good Dog, Bad Cop.” Spoiler: there really isn’t a bad cop.

Please note: this review was first posted on Bookreporter.com. Thanks to Minotaur Books for the review copy.