Counterplay (A Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi Thriller)

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9781416505396: Counterplay (A Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi Thriller)

He's a political time bomb whose bid to become New York City's mayor was foiled by Butch Karp. Now Andrew Kane, awaiting trial for murder, escapes custody and stages a shocking and violent standoff in upstate New York. The manhunt is on for Kane before his plan for wide-scale destruction, targeting Karp and thousands of innocent lives, comes to pass. Karp's wife, Marlene Ciampi, is lured into an underworld of Russian gangsters whose ties to global terrorism pull her in over her head. For Butch and Marlene, survival depends on outwitting the world's most depraved criminal masterminds....

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About the Author:

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.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Prologue

February

Clay Fulton gripped the armrest of the big armored Lincoln like he used to cling to the safety bar on the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island when he was a kid. At six foot three and two hundred and fifty pounds, plus thirty-odd years on the New York Police Department, there wasn't a whole lot that frightened him. But zipping along a snow-patched country highway in upstate New York at sixty-five miles an hour made him nervous as a cat at the Westminster Dog Show.

You're just out of your element, he told himself. But something more than the drive had put him on edge. In fact, he hadn't felt quite right since waking up that morning.

What's the matter, Clay? his wife, Helen, had asked as he dressed for the day, sensing his disquiet.

Nothing, he'd lied. Just don't want to mess this up . . . got to make sure my t's are crossed and i's dotted.

Helen smiled and stretched languorously, making no move to prevent a breast from slipping out of the ancient nightshirt she wore. Come back to bed, she said, her voice suddenly husky -- with sex or tears he couldn't tell. Don't go today. Let one of your young guys and the feds handle it. I got a bad feeling, baby.

Fulton felt a chill run down his spine at his wife's words. He wasn't particularly superstitious, but he was also careful not to tempt fate by ignoring gut feelings and a woman's intuition. Still, there was nothing he could do about it except keep his eyes open. I've got to go, baby, he'd argued. You know I won't ask one of my guys to do something I wouldn't. Besides, I promised Butch I'd ride shotgun.

Oh to heck with Butch, she'd pouted. And to heck with your machismo. If you'd rather play cops and robbers than stir it up with your wife, then to heck with you, too.

Helen had, of course, popped out of bed before he left to make sure he knew she didn't mean any of it. But her unease combined with his own had filled him with a sense of foreboding that he still had not shaken eight hours and more than four hundred miles later.

The road wasn't even that bad. The fields and wooded areas on either side were snow covered, but the potentially slick spots on the asphalt were few and apparently of no concern to his driver -- a young, moonfaced FBI agent, who whistled tunelessly and looked back and forth at the countryside like a tourist on holiday.

Fulton wanted to ask the agent . . . his name is Haggerty . . . to slow down a bit, but he didn't want to come off as chickenshit. So he kept his eyes on the unmarked New York State Highway Patrol car on the road ahead of them and maintained a bored expression on his face.

Only normal to feel apprehensive, he thought. After all, a very dangerous individual was sitting in the backseat next to Special-Agent-in-Charge Michael Grover. If not the most dangerous man in America, the prisoner, Andrew Kane, certainly ranked right up there. He was the most cold-blooded criminal Fulton had ever met over a long and "I've seen everything" career, and rich too, which made him even more dangerous.

Fulton glanced up at the mirror in the visor. Kane, the glib, handsome, and fabulously wealthy head of a Fifth Avenue law firm, stared out the side window, his hands cuffed together and locked to a chain-link bellyband. Six months earlier, he'd appeared to be headed for a landslide victory to become the next mayor of New York City. But that was before he'd been exposed by Fulton's boss, New York District Attorney Roger "Butch" Karp, as a homicidal megalomaniac whose tentacles went deep into the NYPD, the city government, and even the Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

Although technically a detective with the NYPD, Fulton worked as the head of the squad of detectives assigned to the NYDAO. He'd taken the job at Karp's request. The two of them had known each other for most of their respective careers, meeting when Fulton was a rookie cop and Karp a still wet-behind-the-ears prosecutor working for legendary DA Frank Garrahy.

Fulton and Karp had not always worked together. Karp had even gone into private practice for a short stretch before returning to the DAO where he'd been working as the chief of the vaunted homicide bureau when the governor appointed him to fulfill the remaining two years on the term of then-district attorney Jack Keegan, who'd been appointed to the federal bench.

The term was nearly up and now Karp was running for the office in November's elections. It was a thought that made Fulton chuckle. His old friend took to politicking about as well as a cat to water; he hated it and few things put him in a sour mood as did the necessity of what he labeled kissing up to people you wouldn't spend two minutes with otherwise.

"Are we there yet?" The mocking voice interrupted Fulton's recollections and brought him back to the moment. He glanced up at the mirror and into the smirking eyes of Andrew Kane.

Looking at Kane, it was hard to imagine him as a monster. Despite being approximately the same age as Karp and Fulton, the blue-eyed, blond-haired, and boyish Andrew Kane looked more like a well-preserved former fraternity president than a vicious crime boss charged with capital murder and a host of other major felonies. Nevertheless, they were on their way to a private psychiatric hospital in upstate New York to have Kane evaluated by doctors selected by his defense team, who hoped to have him declared insane and therefore not responsible for the crimes he'd been accused of.

The state's psychiatrists had already examined Kane and declared him fit to stand trial. Fulton had read their reports. Kane, they said, had an antisocial and schizophrenic personality disorder with strong narcissistic tendencies. In other words, he didn't give a shit about anybody else but himself.

Still, the important thing from the legal vantage of the prosecution was that he "knew and appreciated the nature, quality, and consequences" of his acts and that those acts were wrong. If the prosecution could prove that Kane possessed such a state of mind, he would be held accountable for his crimes, and any attempt at an insanity defense would be defeated.

Naturally, however, Kane's dream team of lawyers -- the very best that money could buy -- insisted that he be tested by their own doctors. The state's psychiatrists were obviously prejudiced, they argued, and the judge in the case, Paul Hans Lussman III, had allowed it. Like most judges, he was inclined to bend over backward on defense motions in a death penalty case so as to give the defendant every benefit of the doubt. Besides, no jurist likes to be reversed, especially on capital cases, which have a way of making it to the U.S. Supreme Court for the entire world to watch.

So now Fulton was riding shotgun on the transport security team. The New York City Department of Corrections was nominally in charge of getting Kane to and from the hospital for his evaluation. But Karp had asked him to oversee the security measures, which to Fulton meant he had to be there every step of the way.

"We'll get there when we get there," Fulton replied to Kane.

"If we get there, Mr. Fulton . . . if we get there," Kane laughed.

Fulton glanced at Haggerty, the driver, who smiled and rolled his eyes upward. They both knew that every precaution had been taken.

In fact, Fulton had taken a page from the past by re-creating a security detail he'd been on back in the late sixties.

Essentially, he was creating a diversion. To transport Andrew Kane, a five-car motorcade had wheeled up the driveway from the city jail known as the Tombs, and proceeded to the Willis Avenue Bridge. Crossing the East River, the motorcade converged with the Major Deegan Expressway, heading north toward Albany.

Meanwhile, an hour after the motorcade left, a hooded Andrew Kane was rushed out of the DA's elevator and into the armored Lincoln with Fulton and the two federal agents. A single unmarked NYPD sedan had escorted them up the West Side Highway and over the George Washington Bridge, where the New York cops were relieved at the sight of two state patrol cars with four armed officers inside each, with one taking the lead while the other brought up the rear.

Not even Kane's defense lawyers had been told what day Kane was to be transported, nor was anyone informed that they would be avoiding the interstates and traveling north on small country highways and back roads. The biggest irritation for Fulton had been having to pass his plan through Special-Agent-in-Charge Grover, now blank-faced as he sat in the back next to Kane. The feds had insisted on participating -- Kane had broken several federal, as well as local, laws, and the word was that after "the locals" were through with him, they wanted to talk to Kane about some of his international dealings with suspected terrorist organizations. Thus, the presence of Agent Haggerty and Grover, who'd essentially rubber-stamped Fulton's plan.

"Yeah, well, if something goes wrong, it'll give me a chance to shoot your ass and save the taxpayers a lot of money," Fulton said and looked again in the mirror. The humor was gone from Kane's face, replaced by a mask of such malevolence that the detective was suddenly reminded of one of his mother's old sayings about letting sleeping dogs lie.

"I'll remember that, Mr. Fulton," Kane said, and turned his head to stare out the side window again as he clenched and unclenched his jaw.

Fifteen minutes later, Fulton was grabbing the "oh shit" handle above the door as Haggerty jumped on the brakes to avoid colliding with the car ahead of them. They'd come around a corner and found that the vehicle in front had suddenly slowed to five miles an hour as they approached some obstruction on the road ahead.

Fulton grabbed the radio microphone. "What's the problem, Alpha?" he asked, calling ahead to the lead car.

"Mr. Fulton, there's been an accident," was the reply. "Damn, looks like a school bus turned over on its side. There's ...

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