cover image Corruption of Blood

Corruption of Blood

Robert K. Tanenbaum. Dutton Books, $22.95 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-525-93870-5

Tanenbaum's experience as chief counsel to the 1976 House Select Committee on the JFK assassination lends credibility to this involving new entry in his 1970s-set series featuring Manhattan A.D.A. Butch Karp (Material Witness). Like his creator, Karp is offered the position as the committee's chief investigator, taking along several series regulars to help him out. In D.C., Karp finds the reality of power politics nearly paralyzing, but he and his staff still manage to plough through the usual assassination suspects-the mob, Communists, anti-Castro Cubans, the CIA-rehashing the Zapruder film and other forensic evidence, making mincemeat of the Warren Commission report and connecting Oswald with more powerful forces leading to Capitol Hill. But try as they might, Karp's team can't keep up with the hit man who has been loosed to kill off key witnesses to the assassination. Meanwhile, Karp's wife and former colleague, Marlene, shattered by an attempted rape, broods at home until she hires on to research family archives for her husband's chief protector in the Senate. Marlene's digging winds up overlapping Karp's, even as the hit man sets sights on the unrelenting chief investigator and his family. In an author's note, Tanenbaum writes, ``what you are about to read is, merely and entirely, a work of fiction, based on a real event. Like the Warren Report....'' This isn't the first series novel to tackle the JFK killing. William Harrington's 1993 Columbo: The Grassy Knoll did the same; but, both convincing and exciting, Tanenbaum's is now the one to beat. (Nov.)