Act of Revenge by Robert K. Tanenbaum

Act of RevengePublished: 1999

Genre: thriller

Length: 402 pages

Setting: NYC, 1990s

Interest: A random book off the library shelf. I haven’t read a thriller in a while and decided to try someone new.

Summary: The plot revolves around Lucy, a language prodigy who hangs around Chinatown, and her parents – Butch Karp, a straight arrow DA, and Marlene Ciampi who provides protection to women in abusive relationships. Lucy and her friends witness a hit by the rogue triad agent Leung who takes out the leadership of another triad. Leung tries to make it look like it was a Mob hit so his triad could take over the connections from the Mob family. Butch is involved in a case trying to pin down the murder of a Mob member (turns out Leung did that hit as well). Marlene gets involved when the Mob boss’ son’s wife runs to a women’s shelter and asks Marlene to look into the apparent suicide of her father, a Mob-connected lawyer. (Leung gave her new information about his death.) Leung tries to clean up loose ends by killing Lucy, but she’s protected by Tran, a Vietnamese illegal immigrant who was a high-ranking Viet Cong general in the 1960s. Eventually the family figures out Leung’s connections to all the disparate parts and builds a new case.

Final thoughts: I enjoyed this book. Very tight writing throughout. Lots of pieces to the puzzle that fit together quite well. Lucy as a protagonist was great, although I felt the story shifted away from her and to her parents in the second half of the book. I’d definitely be willing to read more by this author when I’m in the mood for a thriller.

Title comes from: I’m sure it refers to one of the many acts of violence done in retributions to a previous act of violence.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 66/100 in the Read-a-Latte Challenge


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