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No Lesser Plea    by Robert K. Tanenbaum order for
No Lesser Plea
by Robert K. Tanenbaum
Order:  USA  Can
Open Road Media, 2010 (1987)
Hardcover, Softcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I've long been a fan of Robert K. Tanenbaum's excellent legal thriller series starring Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi, but somehow missed the early books in the series. Just devoured the first 3 as ebooks - No Lesser Plea, Depraved Indifference and Immoral Certainty.

As well as the unusual and fascinating legal mysteries on offer, I enjoyed getting to know the young (and at times unsure) Butch (recently separated from his wife, who left for California) and the young (and always fiery) Marlene; learning how she lost her eye; and seeing their relationship - and their quirky mutual friends - develop.

In this first episode, Butch and Marlene barely know each other, but both work as ADA's in the New York District Attorney's office under the fabled (but aging) Garrahy. Butch gets the opportunity to move to the Homicide Bureau and is assigned a double homicide.

Sociopath Mandeville Louis robs liquor stores and has it down to a fine art. He uses others to do the dirty work and rakes in the cash. But this time all goes awry and he goes to jail. Louis has a plan for that too. He hires a renowned defense lawyer, acts crazy in court, and his lawyer moves to declare him unfit to stand trial.

Sure that it's a scam and that Louis has been killing for a very long time, Butch is determined to accept no lesser plea, but little does he know where that decision will lead, not only for him but also for the spirited and opinionated fellow attorney he is growing to love.

Rereading No Lesser Plea is highly recommended for series fans and it's a great place to start if you haven't found these fantastic legal thrillers yet.

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