Robert K. Tanenbaum
Atria, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
Coney Island Four
were jailed for the brutal assault and rape of a young mother, who went for an early morning jog. Ten years later, a jailed killer, Enrique Villalobos, claims to have been the sole perpetrator. Sleazy lawyer Hugh Louis, who bribes a bent DA and a corrupt judge, initiates (for a percentage) a multimillion dollar lawsuit on behalf of the the freed rapists. Asked to take on the defense, Butch refuses until he sees how the effect this latest horror has had on the victim, whose life was already destroyed.
oung Igor Kaminsky, Villalobos' cellmate, learned too much in jail. When his twin brother ends up dead instead of him, he wants revenge - and Igor has ties to the Russian Mafia in NY. Marlene Ciampi, who is finally coming to terms with conflicted reactions to her own violence, is asked to take on a rape case, that of a Russian poet/professor - strong evidence implicates him in the rape of a student. College basketball players, Rashad and Khalif, admired by Karp twins Giancarlo and Zak, have appealed their conviction for rape. Both cases are being pursued over-zealously by Rachel Rachman, who works for Butch. And Rashad is falling fast for the honeyed rhetoric of a
at a NY mosque. He's busy recruiting for a big operation, but who is stalking and beheading his bodyguards?
n New Mexico, Lucy Karp has fallen for Ned, the
who saved her life. Both she and Taos Indian John Jojola have similar dreams - of tunnels and of Lucy's friend David Grale, the mad mystic they saw die in
. John's dream tells him that if he doesn't find Grale, all of his new friends will die. So Lucy, Ned and John head to the Big Apple. Karp is up for election and the NYPD are circling the wagons against him. Besides having a red hot affair (a most unusual coupling of opposites), Karp's assistant Murrow and Marlene's reporter friend Ariadne Stupenagel partner in investigation of a conspiracy between Louis and various members of law enforcement. And Marlene's beloved mother is losing her memories to Alzheimer's, while her father is both lost and angry about it.
s always, Tanenbaum masterfully pieces together his scattered plot shards into a dazzling whole. The story takes place over the holidays, leading to a New Year's crescendo of action. Lawyers who sup with the devil suffer the consequences, while Butch Karp gets close to his beloved wife again, and discovers his totem - as Jojola tells him, '
if someone is stupid enough to tangle with an angry bear, the bear usually wins.
' Series fans will devour
in one sitting - and if you're not a fan yet, start reading this series of brilliant, mystical, legal thrillers.
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