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Tragic Hardcover – August 13, 2013

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Tragic + Echoes of my Soul + Bad Faith (Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi, Book 24)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; First Edition edition (August 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451635559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451635553
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Simplify, simplify, simplify. After several books that came close to collapsing under their own unnecessary weight, Tanenbaum takes the Butch Karp/Marlene Ciampi series back to basics, completely (finally!) ditching the distracting terrorism-themed story lines in favor of a meaty murder investigation and courtroom drama. A well-liked union organizer is dead, his murder arranged by a ruthless union boss (this isn’t a spoiler: the author tells us whodunit right up front). District attorney Karp and his wife, Marlene, slowly build a case against the culprit, but does his corrupt reach extend into the halls of justice? Drawing inspiration from such diverse sources as the Elia Kazan film On the Waterfront and Macbeth (the killer as usurper of the throne; the three witches as a trio of homeless women), the novel is tightly plotted and, overall, feels very much like the early installments in the series, before the author started wandering off on thematic tangents. Series fans should be very happy. --David Pitt


"There are enough twists and turns here to satisfy lovers of suspense/thrillers and fans of this long-running series." (Bookreporter)

“One hell of a writer.”  (New York Post)

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 homicide bureau chief for the New York District Attorney's Office and deputy chief counsel to the congressional committee investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Most recently, he has taught Advanced Criminal Procedure atthe University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. His previous works include the novels Escape, Malice, Fury, Hoax, Resolved, Enemy Within, and Absolute Rage and two true-crime books, The Piano Teacher: The True Story of a Psychotic Killer and Badge of the Assassin.

Customer Reviews

Very good story well written.
Carole Eshenbaugh
I found too much "legalese" in the book, too much plot borrowing from Shakespeare.
It started out interesting and continued to be a page turner to the end!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on August 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Robert K. Tanenbaum continues his long-running crime series with its 25th installment, TRAGIC.

Butch Karp is a District Attorney in New York City who is married to fellow lawyer Marlene Ciampi, a private attorney. Together, they have helped put away a whole host of criminals and freed some innocent people. This time, they are up against a tough, cold-blooded union leader, Charlie Vitteli, who has just been "elected" to the post of the North American Brotherhood of Stevedores. He obtained the post after the union favorite, Vince Carlotta, was murdered in an apparent robbery gone bad. But things aren't always as they look, especially in this type of story.

Vitteli is with Carlotta on the night Carlotta is murdered. He tells the cops they were held up by armed robbers, leading to Carlotta getting shot. But when Ciampi investigates the scene of the crime, she notices things that others have missed --- an empty beer bottle, cigarette butts, and the presence of three bag ladies as potential witnesses. Gradually, the pieces of the puzzle come together, portraying a completely different picture from the police account.

The so-called armed robbers are tried and put in jail. During the trial, Vitteli is fingered as the man who ordered a "hit" on Carlotta and is arrested. But even when the prosecutors think they have everything figured out so they can nail Vitteli, proving their theories turns out to be a big job, as Vitteli does everything he can to cover up the truth.

Tanenbaum likens the story to Shakespeare's famous play, Macbeth, with all its drama, twists and turns. The novel opens with Karp attending the play with his family. Bits from scenes are recalled throughout the text as they match those that are playing out in the story.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mystery nut on September 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
this is a different Butch Karp book because butch, marlene, the twins, and all their quasi nefarious regulars aren't playing much of a part. with the courtroom scenes which are written perfectly (not too much but not too little)butch is present a bit more and marlene tangentially as she deals with the female angle but the rest concentrates on the bad guys. this was the perfect formula. concentrating on the 'baddies', seeing their emotions, acts, thinking brought a whole new dimension to the series. it is very well written and i had tired of this series but i couldn't put this one down.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Patrice Hoffman on August 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Tragic by Robert K. Tanenbaum is the 25th novel in the Butch Karp series. I have never read any other Butch Karp novels but I do have a few littered around my home that I've been meaning to read. Although this is the 25th, I don't feel like I was missing out on anything regarding Butch Karp. He actually isn't even the star in this book. Or at least I don't feel he is. Tanenbaum makes an effort to bring the people surrounding the tragedy the primary players as opposed to the District Attorney Karp.

Tragic opens with Karp attending a production of Macbeth. This reference to Macbeth is constant throughout the novel. The antagonist is as haunted by his actions as Macbeth. The novel even includes three women surrounding an oil barrel fire declaring the blood on our antagonists hands will never be clean and he must pay for his transgressions. This novel in many ways is a simply written modern-day Macbeth telling. Vitteli is so hell-bent on remaining in his position of power that he will do whatever needs to be done to remain there similar to Macbeth.

Cut to three young men Frankie DiMarzo, Bill Miller, and Alexi Bebnev idling patiently in a car waiting for their mark. They have been hired to kill Vince Carlotta. Carlotta is the only person who can bring down the union organizer president Charlie Vitteli. Vitteli is the quinessential dogmatic, violent, quick-tempered character type and is only interested in taking out Carlotta. Vitteli fears that if, or when, Carlotta takes over the reigns of the company, he will find evidence of monies being embezzeled from the union funds. Money taken from hardworking men.

Tanenbaum weaves an interesting story that readers will find very easy to follow. The bad guys and good guys are very obvious.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Col Claiborne on August 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Manhattan DA Butch Karp tries murder cases tied to corrupt stevedore union officials in this latest book featuring the continuing adventures of Karp, Chiampi & crew. Comparisons between Macbeth and the players in this current crop of murders occur throughout the book. Guilt, penitence and acceptance of responsibility displayed by the perps parallel Macbeth's angst. What a great way to class up the prose! Makes those of us without access to Shakespeare in the Park at Central Park want to unearth high school Cliff Notes and bone up on Shakespeare. As always, Tanenbaum does not disappoint; he writes a great story just detailed enough to make you want to like lawyers and admire Karp for believing in the legal process. I don't believe Tanenbaum gets the same attention that John Grisham receives for lawyer thrillers and don't know if it's because Tanenbaum likes it that way or he's too busy with his other endeavors but Tanenbaum certainly deserves the same attention. Tragic
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