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Escape Hardcover – April 29, 2008

39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Tanenbaum's improbable 20th Butch Karp legal thriller (after Malice), Karp, the New York County District Attorney, is as usual juggling multiple challenges--including the prosecution of Jessica Campbell, a politician's wife who murdered their three children, allegedly in response to a divine command, and yet another Islamic terrorist plot aimed at the Big Apple. While the sheer horror of Campbell's crimes, along with a psychological defense based on post-partum depression, could have been the basis for a thoughtful legal debate, Tanenbaum stacks the deck by saddling the defense with hack expert witnesses and makes a heavy-handed effort to parallel the defense theory with the suicidal jihadists, who also claim to act in the name of their god. The ability of Karp's family members to wander into apocalyptic terror plots and emerge not only unscathed but with a quip on their lips will be off-putting to many readers.
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"Escape is yet another riveting crime story and courtroom drama by the inimitable Robert K. Tanenbaum. The former top Homicide Prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney Office shines a penetrating light on one of the most controversial topics in our justice system - the insanity defense. The result is a fast paced, provocative legal thriller that Tanenbaum almost has a copyright on." -- Vincent Bugliosi, former Los Angeles District Attorney and bestselling author of Helter Skelter

"Another chilling courtroom thriller by Robert K. Tanenbaum. Roger "Butch" Karp and his cast of characters are as exhilarating and compelling as ever. Brilliantly executed and entertaining thrill-a-minute action - Tanenbaum is a true pro and it shows." -- David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Scavenger

"It is a rare novel that both thrills and cuts you to the bone. Robert K. Tanenbaum's latest thriller, ESCAPE, slices even deeper, chilling down to the marrow with a story as topical and real as the pages in your hand. As challenging as it is riveting, here is a story that delves into the root of evil and leaves one questioning where morality ends and insanity begins. It will leave you breathless." -- James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Judas Strain

Tanenbaum is at his very best in ESCAPE -- a brilliantly complex thriller that races the reader from the courtroom to the killing fields -- with clever twists, smart dialogue, and a story that grabs you by the throat at the outset and keeps you turning pages till late into the night. Tanenbaum's tour de force -- a stunning read." -- Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Blood

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593154747
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593154745
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,535,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert K. Tanenbaum is one of the country's most successful trial lawyers -- he has never lost a felony case. He has been Bureau Chief of the New York Criminal Courts, ran the Homicide Bureau for the New York District Attorney's Office, and served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Congressional Committee investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He has taught Advanced Criminal Procedure at his alma mater, the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. His previous works include the novels Fatal Conceit, Bad Faith, Tragic, Outrage, Betrayed, Capture, and Escape; and three true-crime books, Echoes of My Soul, The Piano Teacher: The True Story of a Psychotic Killer, and Badge of the Assassin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Julia Walker VINE VOICE on June 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ok, this isn't wonderful, but it's certainly better than the last four (2004 Hoax, 2005 Fury, 2006 Counterplay, 2007 Malice.) The first 15 Karp/Ciampi novels - ghost-written by Michael Gruber - are among my favorite reads. If you haven't had the pleasure, run right out and start at the beginning. It was gruesome to see the series change when Tanenbaum got a new ghost. The errors alone were staggering - Butch forgot where his children were born; the dog changed breeds; Lucy became stupid.

This, as I said, is better. The plotting is much better (it had reached a subterranean nadir in Malice) and the settings are more carefully drawn. Here we get a lot of preaching, but the number of coincidences is down to a manageable level and Lucy is of average intellect. Sadly, everyone sounds the same, sort of mid-Atlantic bland. Gruber had a gift for languages that the new ghost has noted, but can't emulate. Butch says "Guck!" something Gruber's Butch would never have said; VT sounds the same as Guma except for vocab; and Father Jim is now being called by his last name. But there is some interesting play with Arabic and Swahili, and the stuff on Muslim saints is good. The minor characters once again have charm - Moishe and Goldie, especially, also Miriam.

But for all the book's bloated length, we don't get to dwell in people's lives; we just hear about them. We hear that Marlene cooks, but we don't see it. We hear that Lucy is spiritual, but it's like being told she's left-handed. I miss the immediacy and the detail of the early books, but at least these characters are on the same page.

So if you share my fantasy that Marlene and Butch and the kids are really out there somewhere, cut off from us by new narrators, this is a much less painful way to keep up with the dear folks. It's a good beach read.

Here's hoping for more next time.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By G. Ware Cornell Jr. VINE VOICE on June 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Tanenbaum has created the perfect summer thriller. A shadowy WASPish group, together with an even more shadowy Islamic terrorist cell conspire to change the world as we know it. Aided by former Harlem gangsters and a Chechen amazon warrior the plan cannot fail.

Of course on the othe rside we have the courageous District Attorney Butch Karp, and his private eye wife Marlene and their twins, his daughter Lucy, an undercover translator, his memory-impaired father-in-law and a baker who survived the Nazi death camps to produce the "finest cherry cheese coffee cake in the five boroughs." If that weren't enough they are aided by a couple of saints-one Christian and the other Muslim.

In spite of the fact it sounds a bit like Mom and Dad Save the World, and the outcome is never in doubt, it is cleverly plotted and thoroughly entertaining.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Kaye on May 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After reading all of Robert Tanenbaums books I was waiting for Escape in anticipation of another great story , however am very disappointed. Although the attempt was to write a book with up to date real world situations there was way too much time and importance wasted on the Islamic world and culture so the reader was lost in the suicidal "jihadi" followers. Not much of Butch and Marlene and family. The book was way too long and the story line hard to follow.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. J Bauer on May 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
First if you are fan of Butch and Marlene read the book. I have read all of the Butch Karp books, this is not the worst, not is it the best. It is more about Butch than Marlene and Marlene does seem to be coming out of her psychotic state, thank goodness. We also get some good insights into Butch's view of justice and it makes it interesting and educational. Interesting to read how Butch walks a fine line of his view of the law and some of the actions in this book.

It brings back many familiar characters but again, they are at best two dimensional. The characters and plot development are not strong. The extremists are not well fleshed out and many of the issues are too black and white. You come to know a couple and want to know more of them.

Perhaps it is time for Mr. Tanenbaum to come up with a new genre of villains, the Jihadi's are becoming too predictable. It is interesting that he has added more of the plutocrats as villains so perhaps he can continue in that vein?

There is some good news - while it is hard to get going it does eventually reward your patience and involve you and then races to a conclusion you will enjoy. It is set up for another novel in the series and that is good news. As for this one perhaps you can wait for it to come to the library or when it hits paperback?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By NJ on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I used to like this series. Like some other former fans, however, I find that the plots and particularly the characters have gotten more improbable and may I say ridiculous in the more recent books.
This one has to be near the top of the stupid scale, with two unrelated story lines, one a bunch of Muslim (of course) terorists and the other a mom who killed her kids.
I guess it's OK if you don't think about it much, but when you start considering the characters it gets downright silly - a guy that lives under the New York subway system with an army of disfigured outcasts and kills bad people but the New York DA is OK with it because the guy only kills bad people and after all, he is also a friend of the DA's daughter who speaks 60 languages and is also friends with a former Vietcong general who is part of the Vietnamese mob in New York but again the DA is OK with it. Not to mention the other loonies that show up and despite being generally insane are able to help solve the case and save the DA's often threatened family. Oh, yea, I almost forgot the Russian mob guy who is somebody's cousin or something, but that's OK with the New York DA, who otherwise can't stand criminals and only wants to bring them to justice. Only thing missing in this one is his wife who tends to kill people, but that also is OK with the New York DA. Save me from reading any more of these. Please........

Just to update, I finally finished it and the wife shows up in the last 50 pages or so to save New York - yet again. Ugh.
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