Associated Press

“The K Team,” Minotaur, by David Rosenfelt

Readers who have followed David Rosenfelt’s 21 novels about New Jersey attorney and dog rescuer Andy Carpenter will find much to like — and familiar characters — in “The K Team.” While Andy does appear in this spin-off that launches a new series, he is not the lead character.

The judge isn’t well liked but his honesty and ethics have never been questioned. The judge has no idea who recently sent him a cryptic message telling him that he is going to be asked to do something that he has been paid to do. If he refuses, he will be publicly humiliated, including the exposure of a secret bank account in the Cayman Islands. And it doesn’t matter if the judge has no knowledge of that money.

Showing just how well they work together, the team members delve into Henderson’s past and current cases and his role in the court system since, as chief judge, he decides who presides over various cases.

Harder edged than Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter novels, “The K Team” works well as private investigative novel, showing the details that can add up. The K Team members ferret out a conspiracy with wide-range implications. While rescuing dogs plays a major role in Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter novels, don’t expect that in “The K Team.” Simon is a canine cop and he acts as a dog trained to be a cop – always on guard and ready for action when needed.

“The K Team” makes a strong companion to Rosenfelt’s ongoing serie and it should be fighting crime for many novels.