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FIRST DEGREE

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After inheriting $22 million, criminal lawyer Andy Carpenter can’t get motivated to take a case — until his PI girlfriend is accused of decapitating a sleazy cop she used to work with. His consuming search for the truth takes him to pimps, drug dealers, FBI big shots, and the ranks of the North Jersey Mob. This textbook legal thriller boasts a solid setup with suspense just where you want it, humor just when you need it, and twists just when you’re getting bored. Plus, Carpenter is a breezily self-deprecating narrator whose sarcasm only occasionally feels strained. Though sometimes explaining too much for any semi-regular viewer of Law & Order, Rosenfelt exploits the inherent drama of the legal process.