IRRESISTIBLE IMPULSE by Robert K. Tanenbaum

IRRESISTIBLE IMPULSE

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A serial killer who preys on elderly black women is only the main course in this smorgasbord of homicides--some proposed, some already disposed --for Butch Karp and his wife Marlene Ciampi. Back in the D.A.'s office as chief of the Homicide Bureau after his stint as a defense attorney (Falsely Accused, 1996), Butch insists on trying confessed killer Jonathan Rohbling himself because of his past successes against the insanity plea that's bound to be lodged by high-powered Lionel T. Waley--even though Butch knows his continuing administrative responsibilities, not to mention his newborn twins, will mean stretching himself perilously thin. Nor is there any rest for equally workaholic Marlene, whose feminist security agency Bello & Ciampi (which specializes in protecting women menaced by stalkers) is growing faster than she can shout ``Drop the weapon!'' In fact, the men stalking Bello & Ciampi's latest clients--tennis pro Trude Speyr, cellist Edith Wooten, and Marlene's returning client Carrie Lanin (whose stalker, just released from prison for stalking, is back on the trail)--are so persistent and so violent that neither Marlene nor her latest subordinates (a rolling-stone security guard she hires through normal channels, a Vietnamese stone killer she takes on unofficially) have time to shout out much of anything before the weapons come out on both sides. If this feast of felonies sounds a little rich, it is: The Rohbling trial, though continually engaging, isn't a stout enough beanpole to hang the whole book on, and Butch and Marlene's growing suspicion that the same perp he likes for a sneaky drug homicide is her top candidate for the most elusive of her stalkers doesn't close the circle very convincingly either. Fans hooked on Tanenbaum's mastery of detail and his gripping way with every single plotline won't care that this time his three-ring circus lacks a true headliner. (Literary Guild/Mystery Guild main selections)

Pub Date: Nov. 3rd, 1997
ISBN: 0-525-94310-2
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1997




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