Butch Karp has left the Manhattan D.A.'s office, but not the legal hot-seat, as this blistering novel of endless Big Apple corruption and coverups makes abundantly clear. Butch's client--a client he's taken on over the howls of his firm's colleagues, who prefer to hold their star litigator over the heads of their own handpicked enemies--is ex-Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Murray Selig, tossed out of office on trumped-up charges so risible that the Mayor and D.A. Sanford Bloom have to have something else in mind--something pretty dire. While Karp is gathering the ammunition to destroy the D.A.'s defense witnesses, his wife, Marlene Ciampi, also on the lam from the D.A.'s office, is fighting off her pushy friend, high-flying reporter Ariadne Stupenagel--busy working on a story on the shakedown of three New York cabbies who fortuitously died in police custody--long enough to set up her own agency serving women who need help enforcing protective legal orders against strangers or sadists or former lovers who are stalking them. Ciampi's highly effective vigilante tactics--heaven help the stalker she gets her teeth into--give Tanenbaum's tale a shot of welcome humor to counterbalance Ciampi's involvement with Isabella and Hector, a pair of wary refugee kids somebody has dumped at tough Mattie Duran's Women's Shelter. Amazingly, Tanenbaum manages to pull all four cases together--Selig's civil suit against the Mayor and the D.A., Stupenagel's investigation of the police shakedown, Ciampi's anti-stalking campaign, and the sorry tale of Isabella and Hector--and even finds a surprising new role for Karp and Ciampi's precocious seven-year-old daughter Lucy. After tossing Karp into the treacherous deeps of the Kennedy assassination (Corruption of Blood, 1995), Tanenbaum proves that his meticulous homework on questions of legal procedure and the best Chinese restaurant for an off-the-record conversation can turn the most preposterous conspiracy of his own into an electrifying page-turner.