Irresistible Impulse

#20 -- RKT -- Irresistible Impulse -- cover


IRRESISTIBLE IMPULSE is Book Nine of the bestselling Butch Karp legal thriller series.  In a series of  sharp turns, Karp goes up against a formidable defense attorney in a case that threatens to divide the city against itself.
Back as head of the district attorney’s homicide bureau, Butch Karp comes up against one of his most bizarre cases yet. A series of racially motivated murders in Harlem prove to be the work of a wealthy suburbanite out to relive a twisted episode from his childhood. The killer’s showboating defense attorney will stop at nothing to derail Karp’s prosecution—even if it means igniting a race war.
And, while Karp relentlessly pursues the guilty, his wife, Marlene, risks everything when standing up for victims of domestic abuse and crosses into vigilantism.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Legal eagles Butch Carp and Marlene Ciampi, fresh from their courtroom adventure in the best-selling Falsely Accused, here find their jobs and lives threatened. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A serial killer who preys on elderly black women is only the main course in this smorgasbord of homicides–some proposed, some already disposed –for Butch Karp and his wife Marlene Ciampi. Back in the D.A.’s office as chief of the Homicide Bureau after his stint as a defense attorney (Falsely Accused, 1996), Butch insists on trying confessed killer Jonathan Rohbling himself because of his past successes against the insanity plea that’s bound to be lodged by high-powered Lionel T. Waley–even though Butch knows his continuing administrative responsibilities, not to mention his newborn twins, will mean stretching himself perilously thin.
Nor is there any rest for equally workaholic Marlene, whose feminist security agency Bello & Ciampi (which specializes in protecting women menaced by stalkers) is growing faster than she can shout, “Drop the weapon!” In fact, the men stalking Bello & Ciampi’s latest clients–tennis pro Trude Speyr, cellist Edith Wooten, and Marlene’s returning client Carrie Lanin–are so persistent and so violent that neither Marlene nor her latest subordinates have time to shout out much of anything before the weapons come out on both sides.
…Fans hooked on Tanenbaum’s mastery of detail and his gripping way with every single plotline won’t care that this time his three-ring circus lacks a true headliner. Review

Robert K. Tanenbaum spent the first part of his career as an assistant district attorney in New York City’s homicide bureau, and he has been artfully recapturing that period in his terrific books about D.A. Butch Karp and his wife, private detective Marlene Ciampi. “He still had his hair at thirty-seven, and he kept it shorter than was fashionable then, at the start of the eighties,” Tanenbaum writes of Butch at the start of Irresistible Impulse. It is one of the few places in the book where the exact time is spelled out; otherwise, Tanenbaum relies on an ambiance of attitudes and characters to root the action in its period.
A tough Vietnamese immigrant who goes to work for Marlene’s new detective agency is a fascinating creation, and the two main stories–Karp’s difficulties with a high-profile case that could stir up racial strife, and Marlene’s attempts to protect a prominent musician from a stalker–are perfectly set and brilliantly executed.


“Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi are the most interesting pair of characters in the suspense genre today.” —Chicago Tribune
 “Continually engaging, gripping.”  —Kirkus Reviews