I used to love this series of excellent suspense novels and bought the new book as soon as it came out. Robert K. Tannenbaum has published 25 novels, perhaps a dozen of which feature crime busting New York City DA Butch Karp, his quirky, feisty, Italian wife Marlene Ciampi, their savant daughter, and there twin sons. The best of them were a fast-moving combination of detective story and courtroom drama, and they were all New York City. Invariably, Karp drove the story, taking the lead against one nasty bunch of bad guys after another, with his family providing fire support. True, the novels got a bit bloated and under edited in recent years; but book after book they were great reads as long as Tannenbaum stuck to the basic formula of great characters, lots of action, a nasty crime, and enough twists and turns to serve as a plot. It isn’t that “Tragic” doesn’t have some of that, it just doesn’t have enough of it. The family seems to take an extended vacation. And for some reason he has decided that “On the Waterfront” meets “MacBeth” can pass for a plot. I don’t mind the “On the Waterfront” part nearly as much as I mind the inexplicable allusions to “MacBeth,” complete with three witches standing around a fire. All of the good suspense writers seem to go through dry patches, and we loyal readers will continue to stick with the brand, hoping the Golden touch returns in the next one ─ up to a point.
William F. Brown is the author of 5 suspense novels with over 300 Five-Star Reviews: The Undertaker, Amongst My Enemies, Thursday at Noon, Winner Take All, and now Aim True, My Brothers. They are all available on Kindle and now on Audible Audio Books. You read about them at billbrownwritesnovels.wordpress.com