In this “wild, exhilarating ride” from the New York Times–bestselling author, a prosecutor goes undercover—on the court—after a basketball player’s murder (Chicago Tribune).
Marion Simmons is big. He’s tough. And he takes a long time to die. Simmons survives the long ride through Queens, clinging to life until the car stops in an abandoned lot, and a hit man puts two bullets in his head. When the police arrive, they recognize the dead man instantly. Simmons is the most famous basketball player in New York City, and his murder—along with the fortune of cocaine found in the car—will turn the sport upside down.
When he was in college, Butch Karp dreamed of playing professional basketball. Instead, he became the toughest prosecutor in the District Attorney’s office. To get to the truth of Simmons’ murder, Karp goes undercover as a player—putting his life on the line to cleanse the sport of drug dealing, point shaving, and murder for hire.
From the former Manhattan assistant DA and bestselling author of Justice Denied, Material Witness is a standout legal thriller in the long-running Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi series.
Material Witness is the 5th book in the Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi series, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
“A winner . . . a master of the crime grime of Manhattan . . . for those who have stalked the criminal courts there’s tremendous authenticity.” —F. Lee Baily
“Extraordinary . . . sexy dialogue, rousing action, pungent observation on the New York criminal justice system.” —Chicago Tribune
Ex-New York DA Tanenbaum's gritty thrillers take full advantage of his own experience in the judicial system. Here he brings back NYC assistant DAs Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi, last seen in No Lesser Plea , for a fifth go-round. Now married, they are expecting their first child. While Marlene is on pregnancy leave, Butch gets into a hassle with his superior and resigns from the DA's office. Unofficially, then, they become embroiled in a murder case in Queens, the shooting of a pro basketball star in a car whose glove compartment contains a large package of high-grade cocaine. The tangled case brings them into contact with Mafia hitmen and loan sharks, and includes revelations of point-shaving, arson-for-hire and a political corruption scheme that involves numerous high-ranking New York pols. In order to break the case, Karp ends up as the 12th man on a pro basketball team, a return to the injury-shortened athletic dreams of his college days, while Marlene trundles off to see a Jamaican druglord in Brooklyn. Tanenbaum knows his criminal procedure cold and is briskly efficient in propelling his complicated plot. Though the novel is generally laced with a nervy, street-smart cynicism, there are some absurdities: the idea of a 30-something lawyer on a pro hoops team is nothing less than preposterous, and it takes an equally unlikely coincidence to bring Marlene into the mortal danger that Tanenbaum concocts for her. These cavils aside, this is a consistently entertaining thriller. Major ad/promo.