Monday, August 19, 2013

Review: Tragic by Robert K. Tanenbaum

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. Although most can be described as obvious or flat, I didn't find that it mattered so much. Tragic is hooking from page one. The anticipation of a trial always peaks my interest. Everyone wants to see that justice is served for those deserving.

Tragic does not make a star out of Karp but his personality definitely shines enough so that I'm glad he's on the team of the good guys. He doesn't make deals with devils. In a world where pleas are the easy way out, Karp goes all in or nothing. This makes him even more of a hero in my book. 

Ultimately, Tragic is geared toward fans of courtroom drama. Readers of Grisham, Turow, or Margolin can appreciate the legal thriller. There were a few moments of suspense and thrills that were quite shocking. I will definitely be reading more by this author.  ***

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