Saturday, August 15, 2015

Trap - Robert Tanenbaum

Robert Tanenbaum
Gallery, Aug 11 2015, $27.00
ISBN: 9781476793160

In Manhattan, raging Nazi fanatic Lars Forsling holds thirteen year old Jewish-Italian twins Zak and Giancarlo Karp, and elderly Goldie Sobelman prisoners.  Deranged Forsling blames the siblings’ father New York District Attorney Butch Karp for the death of his mom, who burned to death while smoking in bed; and also rants about their dark-skinned mother Ciampi the cop.

At the same time a nasty argument over the value of charter schools rage; as supporters claim it gives opportunities to those who have none; while opponents insist it is a phony gimmick to provide further advantages for those who do not need them.  An explosion kills three supporters including NYS legislature Rose Dubitsky.  After NYPD Detective Marlene Ciampi and others investigate the assassinations; Karp takes to trial the prime suspect.

The twenty-seventh Karp-Ciampi novel (see Tragic and Fatal Conceit) is the best entry in years since both fast-paced subplots come across as electrifying yet personal (the boys’ discussions re Bar Mitzvahs and reaching third base are priceless) and the debate over charter schools discerning.  In spite of Forsling’s fanatic lunacy being over the top of the Freedom Tower and the storyline straighter than the Bonneville Salt Flats, Trap is a terrific taut thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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