About The Book

The “rock-solid” (Kirkus Reviews) prosecutor Butch Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi, return to solve the suspicious murder of a US Army colonel and battle corruption at the highest levels of the United States government in this novel by New York Times bestselling author Robert K. Tanenbaum.

Intrigue, murder, corruption, and dramatic courtroom battles combine to make Infamy another must-read in Robert K. Tanenbaum’s “tightly-written” (Booklist) legal thrillers. When a former Army veteran suddenly murders a colonel in New York, he claims that he had to do it because he was being used in mind control experiments. Surprisingly, a top Wall Street criminal defense lawyer, one with ties to the White House, decides to defend the killer, arguing that his client suffered from post-traumatic stress from his tours in Afghanistan and that it’s his patriotic duty to assist him.

As New York District Attorney Roger “Butch” Karp prepares a murder case against the veteran, he meets with investigative reporter Ariadne Stupenagel, who suspects that one of her sources for a story on high-level government corruption was a victim in the shooting. This points not to a random act of violence, but a hired killing that goes to the top levels of our nation.

In this fast-paced thriller, Karp goes up against corruption so powerful that he, his family, and his friends are in danger if he intends to prosecute those responsible for the murder of an FBI whistle-blower. Filled with edge-of-your-seat action, stunning plot twists, and, “solid courtroom scenes” (Kirkus Reviews), Infamy will keep you guessing until the very end.




“OYEZ, OYEZ, OYEZ, ALL RISE. All those having business in Supreme Court Part 42, State of New York, New York County, draw near and ye shall be heard.”

Pausing his litany, Chief Administrative Court Clerk Duffy McIntyre glared balefully out at the packed courtroom as if daring those in attendance to show the slightest inclination toward unruliness. Having ensured their silence, he continued, “The Honorable Supreme Court Justice Vince Dermondy presiding.”

Short and somewhat pugnacious-looking, Judge Dermondy immediately entered through the door leading from the judge’s robing room and took his seat up on his dais before he, too, turned his attention to those in attendance. He glanced with his intense gray-blue eyes first at the defense table, then the prosecution, and finally beyond them to the gallery.

“Good afternoon,” he said. “It’s my understanding that we have a verdict, and I want to take a moment before the jury is brought in to warn each and every one of you that I will not tolerate any outbursts, demonstrations, or statements directed at anyone present. I understand full well the implications of this verdict whatever the jury has decided, but I expect—no, demand—that the decorum of this courtroom and these proceedings be respected. Am . . . I . . . clear?”

Under his glower, the audience nodded as one. Most had already seen this judge in action after a group of protesters managed to find seats in the courtroom on the first day of the trial and began hurling politically charged invectives when the People’s case was introduced. Then partway through the trial, Dermondy had a reporter for one of the Washington newspapers taken into custody after the journalist approached a juror for a quote, which the judge followed with the dismissal of another juror when it came to light that she had contacted a book publisher and offered to sell her story.

No one had taken any chances with the judge since. Dermondy nodded. “Good, you may be seated.” He turned to ­McIntyre. “Please inform the jurors that we’re ready for them.”

Of all the people in the courtroom, the only one not intimidated by the judge was Roger “Butch” Karp, who stood at his customary place behind the prosecution table. As the district attorney of New York County, he was a firm believer in the sanctity of court proceedings and appreciated a judge who felt the same way. He’d inherited that view from his first boss, the legendary DA Francis Garrahy.

As such, he didn’t see the proceedings as a game or contest between attorneys jockeying for unfair advantages and pulling out all stops to “win” a conviction. He believed that as a prosecutor, his job entailed a solemn, sacred search for the truth.

Truth. Karp thought about how little that word meant to the three men standing across the aisle from him behind the defense table. Two attorneys and the defendant, a man who was on trial not just for murder, but metaphorically for murdering the truth. In Karp’s book that was the same as committing treason.

Karp looked down at the omnipresent yellow legal pad on the table. On its lined sheets was his outline of the People’s case—witness by witness, evidence connected to more evidence—with notes in the margins as issues or thoughts arose so that he forgot nothing, missed no detail from his opening statement to his final summation.

As he moved through the trial, each page served its purpose and was then folded over and paper-clipped to the cardboard backing. All that was left now was the final page of his summation. Or rather, the last two notes he’d made to remind himself of what he’d wanted to end the case on.

At the top of the page was the word “infamy” and a series of other terms that to him defined the word as it applied to this case. It had come to him the evening before closing summations as he’d pondered how to get the jurors to understand the full implications of this crime, this criminal. “End result . . . ­unbridled ambition . . . weak character . . . duplicitous . . . their own enrichment politically and otherwise.”

The last line of the page, as well as of his summation, was a partial quote from Mark Twain. “A truth is not hard to kill . . . a lie well told is immortal.”

Karp looked over at the defense team and their client. They lived in a world of well-told lies. It was the whole reason they were all in the courtroom on a summer day in New York City waiting for a jury to render its verdict. The entire defense had been composed of more well-told lies. And the infamy of it was that these lies cut to the very heart of the nation’s security, all so that a few corrupt men and women could consolidate power, gain enormous wealth, and promote their worldview.

The defense attorney kept his eyes focused on the door leading from the jury deliberation room. He’d try to read the jurors as they entered for the telltale signs of which way the vote had gone. The defendant also was watching the door but felt Karp’s eyes and turned toward him.

Up to this moment, the defendant had acted as if the trial hardly mattered to him. It was at worst an inconvenience, an irritation; at best, a joke. Although he was polite to the judge and charming to the jurors, he laughed and joked with his attorney during the breaks, and smiled or even smirked during the People’s case. Then he’d been the picture of aggrieved and unjustly accused when he took the stand—at least until Karp had cross-examined him. But even though he’d been knocked up against the ropes, he’d remained arrogant and smug in his invincibility.

However, now as the jurors shuffled to their assigned seats, most with their heads down, the smirk had disappeared, leaving only a thin sheen of the arrogance. His face was pale, and he licked his thin lips as if suddenly parched. Something else was in his eyes, something different.

Doubt, Karp thought. But then the defendant’s dark eyes narrowed and filled with hate as he sneered and gave his attention back to the jurors.

Unperturbed, Karp half turned and glanced over his shoulder at the bench full of people immediately behind the prosecution table. It was quite the eclectic assembly of characters: his wife, Marlene; his daughter, Lucy; her fiancé, Ned Blanchett; as well as the Taos Indian tracker John Jojola; Vietnamese gangster Tran Van Do; federal antiterrorism agent Espey Jaxon; journalist Ariadne Stupenagel; Richie Bryers, his close high school friend and, as it turned out, a star prose­cution witness; and Detective Clay Fulton of the NYPD. They’d all come to witness the final act of an epic tragedy they’d unknowingly played a part in during the opening scenes nearly a year earlier.

Smiling slightly at his family and friends, Karp then looked out over the rest of the audience in the gallery. Most of the hard wooden benches were crammed with media types attracted to the high-profile case like hyenas to a lion kill and just as excited at the smell of blood in the air. A grim-faced collection of defense supporters, many of them well known in political and show business circles, stared up at the ceiling or glared at Karp from the benches behind the defense table.

He was just about to turn around to face the judge when his eyes fastened on a woman sitting in the second row from the back of the courtroom next to the aisle. She was wearing a short dark wig and sunglasses, but he recognized the oval-shaped face and, more than that, the way she carried herself. Like a supremely confident predator, he thought, as he had for many years whenever their paths had crossed. Something told him she’d been watching him, but she was now just looking straight ahead at the judge, the slightest smile on her face.

Karp frowned at the sudden dilemma her presence created. Sitting in the back of a New York County trial court was a woman who’d committed more felonies in and around Manhattan than there were taxicabs in Times Square at rush hour. She was a paid assassin and terrorist for hire. He was the top law enforcement official in New York City, sworn to uphold the law; she was “officially” on escaped status, but there she was in the flesh.

Still, he hesitated. He knew that he should alert Fulton and court security to apprehend her. And yet, he owed her. So did many people who would never know it. Nor would anyone be aware if he chose not to do anything.

“Please be seated,” Judge Dermondy commanded. He then faced the jury foreman, who sat closest to his dais. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?”

The jurors all nodded. “We have, Your Honor,” the foreman said, holding up the verdict forms.

“Mr. McIntyre, if you please,” Dermondy said, indicating that the chief clerk should retrieve the documents and hand them to him. The judge looked down at the documents and after a moment nodded. He turned and addressed the defense table. “Will the defendant rise.”

About The Author

Photo Credit:

Robert K. Tanenbaum is the author of thirty-two books—twenty-nine novels and three nonfiction books: Badge of the Assassin, the true account of his investigation and trials of self-proclaimed members of the Black Liberation Army who assassinated two NYPD police officers; The Piano Teacher: The True Story of a Psychotic Killer; and Echoes of My Soul, the true story of a shocking double murder that resulted in the DA exonerating an innocent man while searching for the real killer. The case was cited by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren in the famous Miranda decision. He is one of the most successful prosecuting attorneys, having never lost a felony trial and convicting hundreds of violent criminals. He was a special prosecution consultant on the Hillside strangler case in Los Angeles and defended Amy Grossberg in her sensationalized baby death case. He was Assistant District Attorney in New York County in the office of legendary District Attorney Frank Hogan, where he ran the Homicide Bureau, served as Chief of the Criminal Courts, and was in charge of the DA’s legal staff training program. He served as Deputy Chief counsel for the Congressional Committee investigation into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also served two terms as mayor of Beverly Hills and taught Advanced Criminal Procedure for four years at Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, and has conducted continuing legal education (CLE) seminars for practicing lawyers in California, New York, and Pennsylvania. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tanenbaum attended the University of California at Berkeley on a basketball scholarship, where he earned a B.A. He received his law degree (J.D.) from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Visit RobertKTanenbaumBooks.com.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (September 20, 2016)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476793191

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Raves and Reviews


"Infamy is Robert Tanenbaum at his absolute finest. A strong, blazing-fast plot,mind-bending conspiracy, and a dynamic courtroom showdown make this one of this year’s must-read legal thrillers. Buckle up, because this is one wicked-fast ride!”

– Book Spy


"This story has a lot to like...Karp is rock-solid as both prosecutor and as person...The pace is fast, the courtroom scenes make you feel like you're there, and the ending satisfies...This is an enjoyable tale of good vs. evil and the importance of knowing who you are."

– Kirkus

"This is one of the better recent Karp thrillers; it's tightly written and plotted, and the author seems to have rediscovered his passion for his characters...[Trap] signals a definite return to form."

– Booklist


“Butch [Karp] is doing his courtroom dance, making fools of the smug politicians he believes were behind the murder.  Tanenbaum shines in these positively balletic moments...[a] reliable thriller.”

– Booklist

"Those outraged by how the government handled the 2012 debacle in Benghazi will find a lot to like."

– Publishers Weekly

“Readers will find a well-constructed novel, including solid courtroom scenes. Prosecutor Butch Karp…is a talented and likable hero…conservatives will likely love the tone of [Fatal Conceit].”

– Kirkus


– New York Post

“Butch Karp is the best fictional prosecuting attorney in literature. . . . Tanenbaum is a phenomenal attorney and a remarkable storyteller: It is almost unfair to the rest of us. . . . Outrage grabs you at the outset and astonishes at each page . . . Riveting.”

– #1 New York Times bestselling author Mark Lane

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More books in this series: A Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi Thriller