Atria, August 2004, 25.95, 496 pp.
Four black people including a well known West Coast gangsta-rapper are killed in New York City. The singer ML Rex was forming his own production company while leaving the record firm owned by Andrew Kane, the next mayor of the city. Kane owns the police, and the church's archbishop and his assistant. He uses bribes, blackmail, frames (as he did with the rapper murder) and fame to get what he wants. He forces I.A. to declare crooked cops innocent and persuades church members not to sue the priests who performed sexual acts on their parishioners.
The District Attorney of New York Butch Karp thinks of running for office but that doesn't prevent him from taking on the Church hierarchy, a politician who has ordered the deaths of those who get in his way, and the rank and file of the police. Butch's problems spill over to his wife Marlene and their daughter Lucy who are on a retreat in Taos. The Church has sent its problem priests to a medical facility there to rehabilitate them. Kane orders Marlene and Lucy's deaths, thinking her husband sent her there to investigate the medical unit. Both Karp and Marlene are not frightened off by attempted hits on their lives and they intend to bring the guilty parties to justice.
This is the sixteenth Butch Karp novel and it is every bit as original and exciting as the first novel in this thrilling series. Robert K. Tanenbaum writes a great crime thriller that humanizes the protagonist by allowing readers to see him as a family man. There is plenty of action in this novel but Mr. Tanenbaum also gives plenty of space for character development.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner