How is it possible that in a thriller involving Special Forces and ISIS, the most exciting scenes occur in the courtroom? Actually, that’s not surprising since Infamy’s author is Robert K. Tanenbaum, a successful prosecuting attorney who certainly knows his way around the law.
This time around Tanenbaum’s recurring character, New York District Attorney Roger “Butch” Karp, goes after one of the richest men in the world, Wellington Constantine, head of Well-Con Industries which operates oil refineries in Iraq. Constantine also has the president of the United States on his speed dial, having contributed huge sums to the commander-in-chief’s election campaigns. In other words, Butch has his work cut out for him.
Infamy is the 27th thriller in Tanenbaum’s series featuring Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi. Since this is the first one of Tanenbaum’s books I’ve read, I don’t have the back stories on all the characters, particularly on Marlene. Reading summaries of previous books, Marlene apparently is a wild card, but she is relatively subdued in this outing, allowing Karp’s talents to shine. After a massacre in Iraq and a shooting in New York’s Central Park, the focus is on the courtroom, Karp’s territory. And while the public sees what Karp does before judge and jury, he’s also brilliant at making important connections behind the scene. He’s aided by a journalist, Ariadne Syupenagel, and a Russian assassin, Nadya Malova.
Clare is Constantine’s third wife who has suffered his physical abuse through 18 years of marriage. Afraid to leave him, Clare finds love with Richie Bryers, a basketball coach that Constantine has hired to coach their son. When Bryers overhears some of Constantin’s conversations concerning a project codenamed Mirage, he tells Clare his suspicions. Clare seeks more information by going through Constantin’s journals and photographing one of the pages. When Constantine learns that she has been spying on him, he orders his henchman, Fitzsimmons, to kill her. Bryers doesn’t believe that Clare took alcohol and drugs and then drowned in the pool. He takes what he knows, including the photographed journal page, to his friend, Karp. The District Attorney now has another weapon in his arsenal. Will it be enough?
Karp – Tanenbaum – brilliantly builds his case one piece at a time. Not only is Constantine in the dark about what is about to happen, so is the reader. And while the plot is pure fiction, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility, a thought that might keep you up long after you’ve turned the last page. Infamy has impact and it has whet our appetite for those 26 other thrillers.
Robert K. Tanenbaum
Robert K. Tanenbaum’s photo by Blake Little
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