Review: Superior Court Judge Daniel Brennan has seen a lot of cases cross through his courtroom, from business fraud to drug offenses to murder. And his sentences could be harsh. So when he is found murdered in his garage, stabbed no less than 37 times, it seems at first that a very angry someone may be getting back at him for something they found unjust. New Jersey detective Lucas "Luke" Somers is assigned the case and quickly identifies a potential suspect: Steven Gallagher, an erratic young drug user, who was soon to be sentenced by the judge. When Luke takes him in for questioning, Steven pulls a gun; Luke kills him in self-defense. Case apparently closed. Or not. Steven's older brother Chris, who believes that Steven was framed, abducts Luke's younger brother Bryan, imprisoning him in an underground room with enough food, water, and air for seven days, enough time he believes for Luke to identify the real killer in Airtight, a stand-alone thriller by David Rosenfelt.
Luke has no choice but to go along. And somewhat to his surprise, he comes to believe that Steven may have been innocent of the murder of the judge, though there is no hard evidence to support this. Luke shares his findings with Chris, asking for more time to make a case, but Chris says that without solid proof his brother was innocent, no one will believe Luke, that he was simply doing whatever he could to free Bryan. And the days keep slipping by, quicker and quicker …
Airtight is a thrilling mystery, one that uses two plot devices to ramp up the tension: a clock ticking down to a deadline and a claustrophobic setting, in which all one — and innocent of the circumstances — young man can do is hope that his brother comes through for him. In a very real way, Luke and Chris are more alike than different; both are brothers, who care deeply for their younger siblings, each caught up in a situation not of their own making in which the younger brother is at risk due to a situation not of their own making. One innocent man is already dead. Will another innocent one die, too? This is a solidly plotted, very exciting thriller that will have readers anxious to learn how it plays out.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Airtight.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Airtight for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Heart of a Killer
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), February 2012
ISBN-13: 9780312598372; ISBN-10: 0312598378
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), July 2013
ISBN-13: 9781250024725; ISBN-10: 1250024722
Location(s) referenced in Airtight: New Jersey
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Airtight by David Rosenfelt
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: February 2013
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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