Enemy Within Mass Market Paperback – Jul 30 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Lawyer and law professor Tanenbaum (Reckless Endangerment) 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.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 colors 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. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't get me wrong, I'm still quite taken with the Karp daughter, Lucy, although the freedom she is granted to move about any and all dank corner of NYC, making friends of the homeless, is a little bit of a stretch. Some old friends from the series return, although their bits are far too small -- Hrcany, Guma, Newberry and one of Tanenbaum's best, Tran. Butch himself is
worrying his way through middle age, and is believable in his motivation and his frustration at the lack of normalcy in either his work or family life. (Oh, if only he realized that this is true of everyone in their 40's!)
The sour note is the author's decision to drive Marlene to drink. And spend. And drink. And spend. And drink. And, having tried to fit this zany, opinionated Italian lady into that mold, Tanenbaum does not do the reader any favors by asking us to believe that she can then shake herself out of it without professional help, simply because she is motivated to take down some bad guys and stop ignoring her daughter and help resolve the murders she is involved in.
Marlene takes the book from 4 stars to 3. Is it time for a change in the series? Perhaps so, the DA's office has been thoroughly dismembered in the series, perhaps Butch needs a judgeship. Perhaps Marlene needs to have at least one child learning disabled, so she can devote her considerable skills to something that matters.
Still, the series that best showcases all the slices of life that are NYC, continues to appeal, even when exploring the wildly rumored underground terrors that haunt the city and maintain the myth.
Perhaps best purchased used or borrowed from the library!
On the professional front, cases are being assigned priority in the DA's office based on their political appeal rather on their prosecutorial merits. A police cover-up is being rushed through the system, much to Butch's disgust. And a man faces the death penalty for a crime that he probably didn't commit.
The problems on the personal side are just as worrying for Butch. Lucy, his 17 year-old daughter is ditching school and choosing to hang out at the local soup kitchen, helping the homeless. Marlene has just become independently wealthy and uses this newfound wealth to go on outlandish buying sprees by day and drinking binges by night.
Quite a good deal of the book deals with the political aspects of Butch's position as Chief Assistant District Attorney. This doesn't exactly make for edge-of-the-seat thrill a minute drama. Between dwelling on the psychological problems faced by Butch, Marlene and Lucy, there is not a lot of time left to actually expand on the mystery side of the plot, that is, who is the bum-slasher. As a result, the bum-slasher was virtually revealed as an afterthought and just as quickly, dismissed.
This really is an update of the story so far of a day in the lives of Butch Karp and family. Consequently, I would recommend this for people who have read previous books by Tanenbaum and are aware of what has happened in the past.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is so boring, that I had to plow through it..I have enjoyed his previous books but not this one...it's like one big lecture, and no excitement.. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2002
This may not be the Butch and Marlene story that Tanenbaum has written, but mediocre Tanenbaum is better than the best of John Grisham. Read morePublished on Oct. 26 2001 by Roger Paulding
I sometimes wonder if people actually read the same book I did after glancing at some of the reviews on this site, but with this book I can't believe what I was reading with the... Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2001
At his worst, Robert K. Tanenbaum is a good read. At his best, he is a fabulous read. The Enemy Within is neither his worst nor his best. Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2001 by Renee V. Cox
This volume, and the last one, are not as good as prior volumes, though all are quite well written. I've read about Marlene and Butch since before they were married. Read morePublished on Aug. 24 2001 by David N. Smith
I am a die-hard Tanenbaum fan. I wait for my yearly Butch and Marlene fix like a heroin addict awaits that tiny sting of the needle. Read morePublished on Aug. 24 2001
"Enemy Within" is Robert Tanenbaum's thirteenth novel in the Butch Carp-Marlene Ciampi series. Butch is now the Chief Assistant District Attorney for Manhattan. Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2001 by E. Bukowsky