Archive for August 16th, 2017


Without Fear or Favor (Butch Karp – 29) by Robert K. Tanenbaum

In the twenty-ninth novel in the New York Times bestselling Karp-Ciampi series featuring the best fictional prosecuting attorney in literature (Mark Lane, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Butch Karp and his wife Marlene Ciampi must stop a radical organization of armed militants bent on the cold-blooded murder of uniformed on-duty police officers.

When a cop shoots down the son of a respected inner-city Baptist preacher, the community rises up in anger and demands to have the officer prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But there s something more than a call for justice at work here: a plot to bring down the city s police force through a conspiracy so vast and malicious only Butch Karp and his band of truth-seekers can untangle it.

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Author’s Bio

Robert K. Tanenbaum is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five legal thrillers and has an accomplished legal career of his own. Before his first book was published, Tanenbaum had already been the Bureau Chief of the Criminal Courts, had run the Homicide Bureau, and had been in charge of the training program for the legal staff for the New York County District Attorney’s Office. He also served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Congressional Committee investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. In his professional career, Tanenbaum has never lost a felony case. His courtroom experiences bring his books to life, especially in his bestselling series featuring prosecutor Roger “Butch” Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi.

Tanenbaum was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the University of California at Berkeley on a basketball scholarship, and remained at Cal, where he earned his law degree from the prestigious Boalt Hall School of Law. After graduating from Berkeley Law, Tanenbaum moved back to New York to work as an assistant district attorney under the legendary New York County DA Frank Hogan. Tanenbaum then served as Deputy Chief Counsel in charge of the Congressional investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The blockbuster novel Corruption of Blood (1994), is a fictionalized account of his experience in Washington, D.C.

Tanenbaum returned to the West Coast and began to serve in public office. He was elected to the Beverly Hills City Council in 1986 and twice served as the mayor of Beverly Hills. It was during this time that Tanenbaum began his career as a novelist, drawing from the many fascinating stories of his time as a New York ADA. His successful debut novel, No Lesser Plea (1987), introduces Butch Karp, an assistant district attorney who is battling for justice, and Marlene Ciampi, his associate and love interest. Tanenbaum’s subsequent twenty-two novels portrayed Karp and his crime fighting family and eclectic colleagues facing off against drug lords, corrupt politicians, international assassins, the mafia, and hard-core violent felons.

He has had published eight recent novels as part of the series, as well as two nonfiction titles: The Piano Teacher (1987), exploring his investigation and prosecution of a recidivist psychosexual killer, and Badge of the Assassin (1979), about his prosecution of cop killers, which was made into a movie starring James Woods as Tanenbaum.

Tanenbaum and his wife of forty-three years have three children. He currently resides in California where he has taught Advanced Criminal Procedure at the Boalt Hall School of Law and maintains a private law practice.

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My Review

5 stars

Police officer Tony Cippio takes community policing seriously. He plays basketball with the teens on his beat to show them that he is not the bad guy. He does care and wants to help. But he is gunned down. At the same time an unarmed black teenager is killed by a white police officer. These incidents look separate but attorney Butch Karp has discovered a link and now has to try and convince the jury that there is much more to these two cases than you first see.

In a story that could have been ripped out of today’s headlines, we follow along with several people. Those that want to start chaos by fanning the flames of racial tensions, those that stir the pot to increase their ratings, those that want to look like the hero, and then there is Butch Karp that wants justice.

This is my first Butch Karp story and I loved it. If you like police procedures and well written legal stories, look no further. I was quickly drawn into this story and held tight by the writing. I loved how you see all areas of this world. It is not just racist police officers or those that target police just because that is their job.

This is a great story and a great introduction to the Butch Karp series. I can’t wait to go back and read the story from the start.

I received Without Fear or Favor from FSB Associates for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Horror /contemporary dark fantasy
Date Published: April 15, 2017
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.
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Gus Stevens has the worst of both worlds. By night, he resides in the Dream World, a place steeped in magic and exotic dangers. By day, a giant snow-lizard stalks him in the Real World, looking to make Gus its next meal. In order to regain control of his life, young Gus must undergo a psychoanalytic exorcism. But this comes with a high price—he must break away from everything he has ever thought was real. Author Abbie Krupnick blends the magical and the mundane in this avant-garde dark fantasy where nothing is as it seems.
The high-pitched scream of a predatory bird echoed from the direction of the Valley. The eagle was approaching at break-neck speed, a maroon streak under the stars. Then it braked and circled lazily overhead a few times before alighting opposite Gus, talons gripping the edge. Gus heard the volcano groan, its anger filling him. The mountain shuddered, its sides growing warm. He slipped out of his cocoon of heat, felt naked without it in front of the bird.
“Hello,” the Magician said, examining him with green eyes. “Why don’t you come down and we’ll talk about things in the grove.”
Gus wondered how much he had overheard.
The mountain was heating up by the second. In a few minutes the smooth stone would scald his feet. A pale orange glow flashed briefly at the bottom of the vent, then colored to yellows and reds too fast, too soon.
“Whenever you’re ready,” Language whispered.
“Don’t listen to him, Gus,” the Magician said. So the Magician could hear, too. What an unsurprising comfort that was.
“Boy, in a few moments, I’m going to flood the whole World with molten rock. Make your choice quickly, because this is the only chance you’ll get.”
“Gus Stevens, you get down from the volcano this instant!” the Magician ordered sternly. Gus couldn’t help snickering at that.
“What are you going to choose, a lifetime of pain here, pretending you’re happy when you can’t even talk about your sham of happiness?”
“I’ll give you a nice, relaxed ride down to the grove. Your Mothers will make your favorite foods. I’ll even make Spear Mother take off her helmet for you.” The last offer disgusted him.
“Gus, he’s a monster.”
“This renegade spirit is crazy.”
“He’s whoring out Spear Mother.”
“I would do no such thing. I’m simply explaining to my son—”
“Boy, friend, vessel, host, house, my stronghold, listen to me: Which do you want? The misery this poor excuse for a Person offers you or freedom?”
I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know!
“Easy, Gus, easy,” the Magician murmured. Gus shot him a poisonous look, took several deep breaths while staring at the rising column of magma. A despairing question anchored him.
I’m going to suffer whether or not I’m free, right? he asked the rock illuminated like a burning mineshaft. The magma rose higher. The Dream World will go under and I’ll be the same?
The magma’s rise halted as Language stopped to think.
“Well,” it replied. “You’ll have me.”
What difference will that make?
“Do you promise not to be angry if I tell you?”
“The truth is, I don’t know,” it said, and the magma resumed its journey upwards. It had to be less than seventy feet away. Sixty-five. Sixty. It stopped again. “I don’t know what the Waking World is like except through what I’ve overheard you say.”
So how do you know you’re important there? You don’t even know if it exists.
“I don’t. But I trust Mathis. You do, too, don’t you?”
Dumbstruck, Gus replied, I guess.
“And he told you the mountain would explain everything?”
Yes. He didn’t tell me that the mountain was possessed by a crazy spirit calling itself Language incarnate.
“Exactly, Gus! Well done!” the Magician wheedled, “Don’t trust it. Trust ME. I’ll give you all the knowledge you’ve ever wanted from me if you return to the grove.”
The magma hadn’t started to rise again but its heat was baking his face.
Please, Language begged, now inside his head. Please.
You don’t care what happens to me. So what if I kill myself, right? You lose your chains. I’m still screwed.
I’ll be trapped in your soul again, but YOU will be free to use me. Which is how it should be.
Then you’re exchanging one prison for another.
If you were in my place, you’d be right, but the rules are different for me. Please, Gus. Let me go.
He had nothing to say to it.
Please, Gus. Please. PLEASE.
It was hysterical, its voice rising higher and higher with the magma. His ears were ringing again.
PLEASE. PLEASE. Let me go. Let me go. Let me go. LET ME GO.
Its hysteria was getting to him. He couldn’t stop his own tears from leaking.
Please, Gus. Please let me out. LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT!
It was screaming bloody murder. He covered his ears as though this would muffle the sound inside his head. He was ready to smash the sound out of his skull on the vent but Language stopped him with a whimpering, Please.
“Please please please please please!” the Magician mocked, voice muffled. He kept chanting “please please please” as he cleaned his feathers. Gus tuned him out, waited until the bird had finished so he could see the hate on Gus’s face. Long-hidden vows to repay the suffering his mentor had caused him boiled to the surface. He chewed them all into a simple order to Language.
About the Author

Abbie Krupnick lives in Summit, New Jersey. When she’s not writing, she trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu and makes explosive quantities of visual art.
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