New York Times bestselling author Robert K. Tanenbaum has more than seven million copies of his finely crafted and morally complex novels in print. In True Justice, he reaches new heights with a compellingly authentic and penetrating story pulled right from today's most controversial headlines.
For Butch Karp, chief assistant district attorney for New York County, the nightmare begins when a shocking act of negligence results in homicide. Goaded by the media's sensational publicity, the public is screaming for blood, and Karp's boss, D.A. Jack Keegan, is listening. He has ordered the prosecution of a fifteen-year-old for murder, intent on making a very public example of the girl. A Hispanic from a poor neighborhood, she's an easy mark for big-city bureaucracy and bigotry. It is Butch Karp's unpleasant job to see that the prosecution gives the public what it wants: a quick and thorough administration of hard-line justice.
Complicating matters further is Butch's wife, Marlene Ciampi, a private investigator who has decided to return to practicing law. Her first case takes her a few hundred miles south to a small Delaware town, where an equally unspeakable tragedy has taken place. Marlene, however, has the unenviable task of taking on a politically ambitious local prosecutor who is pressing to charge a suburban teenager with capital murder.
With Butch and Marlene squaring off on opposite sides of an increasingly incendiary national debate, things couldn't get any more tense...until a shocking turn of events puts their daughter, Lucy, at the center of a horrifying crime. Suddenly, everything they believe in is challenged, and they are drawn into a maelstrom of big-city politics and small-town values, where justice is sacrificed to the twin gods of public perception and expediency -- and Karp must struggle to salvage his self-respect, his career, and his life.
A Salvadorean Chinese man wearing a red Hebrew National apron with a black-checked kefiya around his neck and a Yankees hat on his head -- in short, a typical New Yorker -- jaywalked across Tenth Avenue at Fifty-second Street, contemplating, like so many of his fellow citizens, a minor offense. He was a food vendor, the January dusk was closing in, and he wanted to dispose of the considerable trash that had collected on his cart after twelve hours of dispensing edible garbage. He was supposed to carry it back to the cart depot, but he was now about to deposit a fat plastic bag in one of the row of trash cans he knew was kept behind the pizza joint across the street. The commercial trash collectors of the city were still recovering from a week of snow and ice, though, and he discovered that the five cans in the alleyway off Fifty-second were full, with bulging black bags stacked around them. The man looked over his shoulder to see whether anyone was watching and lifted up...
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