Enemy Within

#17 -- RKT cover -- ENEMY WITHIN


ENEMY WITHIN is the 13th book in the Butch Karp – Marlene Ciampi legal thrillers by Robert Tanenbaum.

When a black man is shot multiple times in the back on the streets of New York by an NYPD golden boy, chaos erupts throughout the city. And in an election year — a year of secret handshakes and politically motivated favors — no one feels the pressure more than the men and women who vow to protect and to serve. For Butch Karp, chief assistant district attorney for New York County, bullet holes aren’t the only holes in this volatile case, nor in a second shocking puzzle…

A slow-witted young man faces the death penalty for murdering a Jewish diamond merchant. Karp is quickly learning that politics mean a lot more than justice when it becomes apparent certain higher-ups would rather whitewash the truth than lose the Jewish vote. Add a serial killer who is murdering the homeless to Karp’s daily grind, and it’s clear he is surrounded by high-profile time bombs that are promising to blow the city to its core.

To make matters worse, Karp’s wife, Marlene Ciampi, has become independently wealthy thanks to the Internet stock boom and has decided to enjoy her newly acquired fortune through manic shopping sprees and free-flowing alcohol. Plus, his daughter, Lucy, is skipping school to feed the homeless not far from where the slasher stalks his prey. Desperate to stop the violence before it touches his family, Karp must wade through a system of corruption and conspiracy that threatens to silence his pursuit of the truth…forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Lawyer and law professor Tanenbaum brings back his husband-and-wife team of chief ADA Butch Karp and former gunslinger Marlene Ciampi to fight corruption while bringing up their “mutant offspring” in the whirlwind of IPO-era New York City. Opening with two shooting cases Karp suspects are being rammed through “the system” for purposes of political expediency (it being an election year for the DA), the bedraggled-but-upstanding Karp finds himself in a dire situation involving allegations of racism, police conspiracy and potentially misguided use of the newly reinstated death penalty.
His spitfire Italian wife, Marlene from Queens, having hung up her guns for a quiet job with a corporate security firm, is swept away on a tide of newfound paper wealth when her company issues a sky-high IPO following a suspiciously well-timed VIP rescue in Kosovo. Meanwhile, their eldest, wayward genius Lucy (who can absorb languages like a sponge), has gotten herself involved in a dicey situation through her charitable work with the homeless when a serial killer begins targeting her charges.
Tanenbaum weaves these three main plots (with several subplots attached to each) in a somewhat bewildering pattern of grotesque social inequalities and dirty city politics. While the problems of Karp and his daughter are clearly on a collision course, Marlene provides a form of comic relief via her demented trajectory of reckless spending and alcoholism. The overall story line is more than a bit far-fetched, but fans of Tanenbaum’s characters, sharp dialogue and grasp of the intricacies of New York’s legal system will not be disappointed.  Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Tanenbaum’s new Butch Karp/Marlene Ciampi novel opens with a bang. Two NYPD cops on a stakeout spot a snitch at the wheel of a stolen SUV. After a high-speed chase with bullets flying, the snitch is dead, and the hero cop who did the shooting insists it was self-defense: the snitch tried to ram the police car. It’s an election year, so everyone but Karp is inclined to accept that explanation.

Politics color other cases too: the trial of a young black street hustler for the murder of a Jewish diamond merchant, and the search for a murderer who’s stalking homeless people. Karp and Ciampi’s daughter, Lucy, is doing volunteer work with “the unhoused,” and Karp is afraid she’ll be caught at the wrong place at the wrong time. Meanwhile, Marlene is celebrating the money she’s made on technology stocks. She’s officially out of the security business until a plea for help from a female rock star drags her back. Vintage Tanenbaum, sure to appeal to fans and likely to increase their numbers. Mary Carroll  Copyright © American Library Association.


“Tanenbaum knows how to plot and pace, he writes dialogue that snaps, creates stories that need to be told.” – Jonathan Kellerman

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