A Book Spy Review: ‘Without Fear or Favor’ by Robert K. Tanenbaum

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Butch Karp, Tanenbaum’s fan-favorite New York County District Attorney, is back for his twenty-ninth adventure to take on a case that feels ripped from the headlines.

Opening with an electrifying prologue, Butch Karp is standing outside Manhattan’s Criminal Courts building as the city holds their breath in anticipation of what comes next. The press conference, many believed, would deliver the fate of police officer Bryce Kim, who used lethal force against an African American teenager named Rocky Watts, who happened to be the son of a prominent and outspoken NYC pastor.

Instead, Karp tells the crowd that no decision has been made and that nothing will be announced until the situation has been thoroughly investigated. The scene outside Criminal Courts erupts in chaos as people express their outrage…

Going back in time to one month prior, readers are shown all the incidents that have led to the current hostility and social unrest. Before the Watts shooting, Tony Cippio, a white police officer, was shot and killed by a black man. That was one of many incidents that contributed to racial tensions rising to dangerous levels.

Back in the present day, Karp prepares for trial and personally delves into the investigation of Officer Kim, an Asian man, and whether or not his actions were justified. What he finds is surprising, as Tanenbaum pulls back the curtain on the war on cops, showing how the media often times helps incite violence by chasing ratings instead of doing their due diligence and gathering all the facts before they report.

In the end, things are more connected than he realized, and it’s up to Karp to connect the dots and expose the truth once and for all. 

Tanenbaum offers a realistic take on where things currently stand, mixing in a diverse cast of characters to tell his story. Fans of Law and Order and, especially in this case, the hit CBS show Blue Bloods, which has touched on many of these same issues over the years, will love this book.

While the investigative chapters are compelling, Tanenbaum, a former prosecutor, is lights-out when it comes to courtroom drama, which continues to be his calling card. Along with John Grisham, Tanenbaum is writing the best legal thrillers in print right now–and third place isn’t close. 

Still delivering some of the best courtroom scenes in the business, Tanenbaum’s latest proves that even at twenty-nine books, this series has a whole lot of life left.

Book Details

Author: Robert K. Tanenbaum
Series: Butch Karp #29
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1476793220
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 6.5/10
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