cover image Escape


Robert K. Tanenbaum. Vanguard Press, $25.95 (552pp) ISBN 978-1-59315-474-5

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.