Book Review of Malice (Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi, Bk 19)

Malice (Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi, Bk 19)
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I started reading R K Tannenbaum with his first book and have followed the adventures of his protagonists through 19 book now. I have derived a lot less pleasure from his last 3 or 4 offerings than I did from the first 15 or so.

He's still a talented writer, but his plots have gotten so fantastic (not fantastic in a good way, but verging on fantasy) that I'm having trouble getting through his books now - they all run about 500 pages.

He keeps adding characters, and each is more unlikely than the last. He used to write stories about fighting crime in NYC, but now he usually has his hero dodging global conspiracies, each harder to swallow than the last. Butch Karp, the NYC DA, fights villans each more nefarious than the last, and he seldom eliminates any. As usual, in the end he avoids disaster with the help of a cast of allies who also become less believable in each new book.

This time, as usual, we had his wife Marlene, who kills people that need killing but feels guilty about it, his daughter Lucy, who can speak every language know to man and has visions of St Theresa who warns her when something bad is about to happen. She is hung up on religion, but not so hung up she can't roll around in the hay with Ned, a New Mexico cowboy who showed up several books ago along with the Taos Pueblo chief of police who is a shaman on the side as well a much decorated Vietnam war vet; he seems to have almost no problem working with Tran, a North Vietnamese terrorist from the war years who now runs an Asian crime syndicate in the US, but will always take time out to help Marlene and Lucy. This is only a sampling of the list of characters, which grows and grows - no one is ever eliminated. The bad guys usually fall in a river or something and their bodies are never found so the author can bring them back in a later book.

I used to give his books at least four stars, but lately my ranking has fallen to three, and this one finally gets a two star rating; I have one more of his books I haven't read yet, but doubt that I'll buy any more.