Pocket, Aug 2002, 25.00, 368 pp.
Summer in the city means a lot more than just a loving spoonful of humidity so Butch Karp, his wife Marlene Ciampi, and their twin ten-year-old boys (Zik and Zak), cool off on their Long Island beach property. After completing the spring semester at Boston College, their "eaglette" daughter Lucy joins them on the North Shore. Their neighbor Rose Heeney tells Marlene about her hometown in McCullensburg, West Virginia where family feuds make the Hatfields and McCoys seem like Manhattan debutantes.
Not long afterward, Butch and Marlene learn that someone murdered Rose and her husband, Red, a union organizer. The West Virginia governor appoints Butch as a special prosecutor to investigate the Heeney deaths. Butch accompanied by Marlene between canine discussions and their three children travel to West Virginia. However, the quintet will soon find that Manhattan is a safer place than the small coal mining towns of West Virginia, as no family member will come out of this summer unscathed.
The latest Karp-Ciampi tale takes long time fans on quite a twist as the action occurs in West Virginia with the kids playing pivotal and dangerous roles and tragedy hitting home. Though humorous, the story line is much darker than the previous novels with the stunning misfortune striking one of them and with Marlene seemingly going crazier as her dogs hold conversations with her and not just letting her know what they want. Still Robert K. Tanenbaum provides a powerful thriller albeit that leaves readers satiated and the Karp-Ciampi crowd ready for their next adventure still filled with ABSOLUTE RAGE.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner