I’ve read most of Robert Tanenbaum’s books featuring Manhattan District Attorney Butch Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi, so I was happy to receive an advance copy of Infamy from NetGalley and Gallery Books in exchange for my honest review. The story is basically this: a former Army veteran murders a colonel in New York, then claims that he was being manipulated as part of mind control experiments. A hotshot criminal defense lawyer (with ties to the White House), decides to defend the killer, and uses the veteran’s apparent post-traumatic stress from his tours in Afghanistan as his defense.
DA “Butch” Karp works with an old friend (frenemy?), investigative reporter Ariadne Stupenagel. She suspects that one of her victims in the shooting was a source she was using for a story on high-level government corruption, and argues that the shooting event was a hired killing, contracted by people at the highest levels of government, rather than some random violent event.
It’s a fast-paced thriller, and Karp feels that not only he, but also his family and friends are in danger if he goes ahead with the prosecution.
At times, it seems the story was created with a movie in mind, and for me it wasn’t up to the level of some earlier books in the series. Or perhaps my expectations were too high? Or perhaps disillusionment with government ethics following the election of 2016 affected my enjoyment of this thriller that was political as well as legal. I found Butch to be a bit too right of center for me to really love his actions. (“Really, Mr. Tanenbaum, it’s not you – it’s me!!”)
In any case, fans of Tannenbaum’s will enjoy it for sure. Four stars.