New York Times bestselling author Robert K. Tanenbaum delivers his grittiest, most ethically challenging thriller yet, as New York chief assistant district attorney Butch Karp fights for his family in the wilds of West Virginia's coal mining country.
While New York City sizzles beneath a blanket of early summer humidity, the Karp family is happily taking refuge in their renovated farmhouse on Long Island's north shore. Karp's battles against the City's corrupt politicians are never-ending. His wife, Marlene, is training guard dogs on their picturesque acreage; Lucy is enjoying her summer break from Boston College and playing the part of the dutiful daughter, assisting with the running of the business and tending to her rambunctious twin brothers.
The tide quickly changes, however, when Marlene befriends her beachside neighbor, Rose Wickham-Heeney, a northeastern aristocrat turned wife of West Virginia coal mine union leader Ralph 'Red' Heeney. Soon after the fun-filled weeks of family barbecues and lazy afternoons with the Heeneys, the Karps discover that Rose, Red, and their daughter, Lizzie, have been brutally murdered back home in McCullensburg. Irresistible force meets immovable object when the West Virginia governor appoints Karp as special prosecutor to bring justice to the corrupt town, its union chieftain, and his band of merry thugs. Marlene joins Karp as he searches for the killers and works to save his own family from an evil that runs as deep as the mines that fuel it.
Killing people is so easy that the iron laws of supply and demand make it hard to earn a decent living doing it. As a result, murder for hire is almost always a sideline, and the people who engage in it are by and large stupid losers, quickly caught, and quicker still to rat out the idiots who hired them. The very few real professionals in the business are careful never to meet their clients. Instead, they deal through people like Mr. Ballantine. Mr. Ballantine is sitting in the driver's seat of his Mercedes sedan at the corner of Gansevoort and Washington Streets at 7 P.M. on a Sunday evening, about the loneliest place you can be on the island of Manhattan. This is the old meatpacking district, deserted at this hour, except for the occasional street person. It's early summer, the sky is the dull color of galvanized metal and seems to reflect the heat of the day down upon the City. Although the river is close by, there is no breath of air. The bits of trash on the ...
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'Combines a brilliantly conceived plot, droll wit, often-outrageous characters, moody prose, and atmospheric descriptions of a gritty, post-September 11 New York. A winner on all fronts.'
"This is a page-turner of the highest quality, fueled by a well-constructed, suspenseful plot. Muller addresses the issue of domestic violence with sensitivity and insight, and, as always, her take on human relationships reflects complexity and feeling".
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