Publication Date: September 20, 2016
In Infamy (A Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi Thriller) by Robert K. Tanenbaum, An army veteran kills an officer and claims that he’s was compelled to do so as a result of mind control experiments. When an influential criminal defense attorney with important friends steps up to defend the soldier, defense attorney Roger “Butch” Karp knows there’s more to this case than meets the eye. Infamy is the twenty-eighth book in the Butch Karp — Marlene Ciampi Thriller Series.
I was given a copy of this book by a representative of the author in exchange for my review.
Infamy is a courtroom procedural set mostly in New York City. Tanenbaum lets us know from the outset that Butch Karp is a badass. The novel opens in a courtroom where everyone but Butch is cowed by the mighty authority of the judge, one he let us know suffers not a single fool. Karp has a pedigree laid out in a fairly casual way in the narrative that speaks for a very practiced hand. There is an of the moment story line that involves international intrigue.
Much of the story is Butch preparing his case. A man shoots and kills a soldier and then takes hostages at the Central Park Zoo. I think we’re supposed to find it shocking that his demand to speak with the DA but, and I’m not hostage negotiator, think that’s fairly logical when you’re in a corner and there’s no way out without making matters worse. The story really gets going when the investigative reporter, Ariadne Stupenagel, enters the story. She has the scent of an elaborate behind the scenes corruption involving high-level government officials. The moment that story begins, Butch being involved in these far-reaching cases on a regular basis became clear. He has a set network on which he relies. I’m going to guess that Butch’s partner, Marlene, is more involved in other novels in the series as she is a partner in the title of the series.
The point of view is omniscient which some readers may find a bit hard to follow. Where secrets must be kept to keep the reader engaged, it feels as though perhaps those shifts would have been better left out and the author would have given Butch more time to pursue leads. The bad guy is a bit awesome in his ability to widely manipulate everyone including government officials. There’s a snatched-from-the-headlines feel to this master manipulator which will lead readers to perhaps look closer at the larger picture of the plot line.
With the shifting focus, Infamy is a quick read. There’s nothing really, other than trying to fill in the blanks, to hold up reading progress. Butch is clearly the star and just following him will ensure that readers do not get lost in the minutia. Tanenbaum clearly knows his character well and there are things left unsaid that are perhaps addressed in earlier books. When Butch and his family are threatened, no one really seems to worry about what might happen. That said, though Butch may not know it, there’s really no escaping the bad guy so whatever they might do wouldn’t help in the long run.
If you’re looking for a solid and quick read for a holiday weekend and you’re a fan of courtroom procedurals, Infamy is a good choice. Though the twenty-eighth book in the series, Infamy easily stands alone.
Read an excerpt and buy Infamy (A Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi Thriller) by Robert K. Tanenbaum on