Sunday, June 24, 2007

Malice-Robert K. Tannenbaum

Robert K. Tanenbaum
Atria, Aug 2007, $26.95
ISBN 9780743271196

At Beth Israel Hospital, New York District Attorney Butch Karp recovers from a gun shot wound inflicted by rival prosecutor Rachel Rachman. His wife Marlene Ciampi saved his life when she killed the assassin.

While Karp heals, he has too much time to think. He is proud of his sundry family members who thwarted a plot by late mayoral candidate Andrew Kane and al Qaeda operatives (see COUNTERPLAY). He knows Kane is dead and that scheme stopped, but someone had to provide information to the terrorist. That person would have to be at the highest levels of American government physical security circle, but who betrayed his country remains just outside Karp’s radar scope. Once released he plans to continue his investigation into the leak while Ciampi is in Idaho doing her part to tie up loose ends with an apparent related disappearance of a college student.

COUNTERPLAY was way over the top, but MALICE is over Mt. Everest as plausibility vanishes on page one and never returns. Even Ciampi recognizes how far over the edge the story line soars commenting about killing cartel machines to hide secrets. Although best to read COUNTERPLAY first as references to that tale abound in this directly related sequel, series fans will enjoy the escapades of Karp, Ciampi and daughter Lucy as they complete the anti-terrorist sweep started in their previous adventure.

Harriet Klausner

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