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The Anniversary Man [Paperback]

R.J. Ellory
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

15 April 2010

Twenty years ago John Costello's life, as he knew it, ended. He and his beautiful girlfriend, Nadia, were victims of the deranged 'Hammer of God' killer who terrorised New Jersey City throughout the summer of 1984. Nadia was killed instantly. John survived, but withdrew from society, emerging only to work as a crime researcher for a major newspaper. Damaged he may be, but no one in New Jersey knows more about serial killers than John Costello.

Then a new spate of murders starts - all seemingly random and unrelated - until John discovers a complex pattern that links them. But could this dark knowledge be about to threaten his life?


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (15 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752883100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752883106
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

RJ Ellory is the author of twelve novels, all published in the UK by Orion, and available in twenty-six additional languages. They are:
CANDLEMOTH (2003)
GHOSTHEART (2004)
A QUIET VENDETTA (2005)
CITY OF LIES (2006)
A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS (2007)
A SIMPLE ACT OF VIOLENCE (2008)
THE ANNIVERSARY MAN (2009)
SAINTS OF NEW YORK (2010)
BAD SIGNS (2011)
A DARK AND BROKEN HEART (2012)
THE DEVIL AND THE RIVER (2013)
CARNIVAL OF SHADOWS (2014)
'Candlemoth', his first-published, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Steel Dagger, as was his fourth, 'City of Lies', in 2006. His fifth novel, 'A Quiet Belief In Angels' was a Richard & Judy Book Club selection in 2007, and went on to win the Livre De Poche Award, The Strand Magazine Novel of The Year, The Mystery Booksellers of America Award, the USA National Indie Excellence Award for Best Mystery and the Inaugural Nouvel Observateur Prize. 'A Quiet Vendetta' won the Quebec Laureat, the Villeneuve Readers' Prize and the St. Maur Prize. 'A Simple Act of Violence', Ellory's sixth novel, won the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year 2010. He has been nominated for a further thirteen international awards including two Barrys, the Association 813 Trophy, and the Europeen Du Point. He has also written the screenplay of 'A Quiet Belief In Angels' for Oscar-winning director, Olivier Dahan, and has optioned 'A Dark and Broken Heart' for film. His novella 'Three Days in Chicagoland' is being released as a French graphic novel at the end of 2014, and he has published short stories in numerous British and American magazines. Ellory is also the guitar player in Zero Navigator, and is soon to record an album of songs co-written with Martin Smith of ELO in a project entitled The Whiskey Poets. He was born in Birmingham, U.K., and continues to make this his home with his long-suffering wife, idiosyncratic son and two troublesome cats.


Product Description

Review

'Quite simply one of the best cop thrillers you'll read this year. Or any year. It's an achievement that parks Ellory's wagon on the driveway of Michael Connelly, the finest American exponent of the genre, and no higher praise can I give.' EVENING TELEGRAPH 'The prose is daring and he is head and shoulders above his contemporaries.' CATHOLIC HERALD 'This thriller was so gripping it had me holding my breath as I turned the pages' ESSENTIALS 'a serial killer story unlike any other...it grips like a claw' EVENING TELEGRAPH 'This is one of those police-procedural gems that come along once in a blue moon.' -- Elliott Swanson BOOKLIST 'This man [Ellory] is incapable of writing a mediocre book. All are, without doubt, first class.' LOVEREADING.CO.UK 'This is one of Ellory's fastest reads, a real page-turner, gruesome, at times chilling, building to an edge-of-the-seat climax. Awesome.' LOVEREADING.CO.UK 'Ellory's gripping thriller should appeal to lovers of procedurals and may also draw readers of true crime, as it deals with many actual serial killings.' LIBRARY JOURNAL (USA)

Book Description

The serial killer to end all serial killers is out there and only one person in the whole city knows it...

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
By Hardeep
Format:Hardcover
For those accustomed to RJE's unique talent, a new novel brings very high expectations. With many authors such expectation is followed by inevitable disappointment. However, RJE is no mere "normal" talent, and fittingly he again meets and exceeds them.

"The Anniversary Man" is an unstinting feast of all that is engaging about good research, everything that is terrifying about the darker side to human nature and all that is artistically captivating about skilfully delivered prose.

Ray Irving and John Costello are the major protagonists who drive the story. A spate of killings quickly link into one another, and Detective Ray Irving, of New York's Finest, begins his trail of a serial killer who always seems so many steps ahead of him. Bewildered and frustrated, Irving enlists the help of the unusual Costello, a man emotionally marked by his experience of living beyond a serial killer attack. Costello's special skills and expertise add insight for Irving who brings him on board despite misgivings about Costello's involvement with the mysterious Winterbourne group.

Both Irving and Costello are wonderfully drawn characters, but then so are Karen Langley and Captain Faraday. Ellorys skill in characterisation seems to improve with each novel, and as others have already said the characters stay with you for a long time afterwards. Irving is so real, it's a wonder you can't actually hear him breathing through the book

Ellory also seems to have increased the pace in this novel, not that I complained in the past, his prose is the sort that you wish to savour rather than rush, but the pace suited on this occasion, making it a devour all, oh my goodness is that the time, sort of read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By still searching TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I did not like this book and resented the time I had to spend in order to finish it! I will try to explain why. As with most, if not all, contributions to the `serial killer' genre it complies with certain conventions; e.g. the world weary cop, the love interest who might `save him from himself', the seedy cast of minor low life characters and, of course, the `whacko' perpetrating the crimes.

It is also characterized by, obviously, painstaking research, much of which is a little too often too conspicuously on show. However, my main gripe is that it is neither that interesting nor that entertaining which are, after all, the main reasons most people begin to read a book in the first place. The prologue goes on forever and the whole thing, rather than building tension in the way that the best of the current exponents of the genre seem capable of doing, it seems to meander along interminably with meeting after meeting during which nothing much gets done or discussed and the same point is made time after time using the same banal dialogue.

I shan't read another of this author's unless there is definitely nothing else available. But, it's not all doom and gloom; thank God I have a couple of Michael Connelly's and James Lee Burke's waiting on the shelf!

And now we find (03/09/12), he has been lauding to the skies his own books as an Amazon reviewer, under the names of Jelly Bean and Nicodemus Jones, and who knows how many others, whilst slamming those of his rivals. Given the outlandishly hyperbolic nature of most of the early favourable reviews he may have a whole family of alter-egos. Why this hasn't been investigated more widely by Amazon goodness only knows but there is still a great deal of evidence left on various 'reviews'!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A huge disappointment 12 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed 'A quiet belief in Angels' I was looking forward to reading this new story. It started off reasonably well but detective Irving seems to have been lifted from so many other similar characters - mid life, lonely, no love life and disillusioned. The characters for me lacked originality and I could not empathise with any of them. It was a struggle to finish the book but as the well known phrase says 'I've started so I'll finish' however, the end, when it came was almost as if the author had no idea how to end the story and simply stopped. Sorry Mr Ellory, must do better!
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RJ Ellory's masterpiece 7 Sep 2009
Format:Paperback
This wonderful mystery simply took my breath away. Not a word wasted, from it's heartbreaking, breathless opening, to it's dark climax, this book proves why Ellory is fast becoming the best thriller writer working in this country.
The level of detail is sublime, from the stark, bedraggled belly of the city to the inner workings of the world's most notorious serial killers. With a plot to die for, and a cast of beautifully drawn characters, I doubt you'll read a finer thriller this year.
Book eight can't come soon enough.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Right up there among the best! 29 Sep 2009
By H123
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Anniversary man is another very well written book by RJ Ellory. It's all about finding a serial killer who is busy re-enacting famous murders from the past. With each murder the serial killer tends to become more aggresive to the point of taunting the investigators. No matter what the police do, our serial killer remains one step ahead. Who is the Anniversary man and does he get caught? Buy the book to find out.

Like other books from RJ Ellory, this one is also very fast paced and keeps you engaged throughout. Many readers would enjoy his writing style and this is definitely a good book to buy. My personal favourite from Ellory remains "A simple act of violence".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I enjoy all R. J. Ellory books. I would recommend this and all his books to readers who enjoy a good story line and the suspense as the story unravels.
Published 6 months ago by Linda Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally gripping, (as are most of his books). ...
Totally gripping, (as are most of his books). A real page turner, kept me up till the small hours. Read it!
Published 8 months ago by Alianore
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Another page turner - even reading it for a second time it keeps you guessing. Characters are superb and even though it's a story that "has been told before many times" it... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Lesley Short
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me - bad ending
I don't like crime novels but thought this would be different with an excellent twist since it's from R J Ellory but I am sorry to say I was so so disappointed. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Shoozy
5.0 out of 5 stars Serial Killer. Yes. But...
Many years ago, John Costello survived a horrific attack by the serial killer known as the "Hammer of God". Read more
Published 16 months ago by Liz Wilkins
1.0 out of 5 stars The Poorest Ellory Book I've Read
Having read A Quiet Belief in Angels, and Ghostheart which were very good, I was very disappointed with this effort. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Cheryl Sussex
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
A good story that almost deserves 5 stars except that it lacked that little something I can't quite put my finger on - sorry! Read more
Published 20 months ago by Graham Marsden
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I have just read this book, It was gripping and well written. I didn't feel the detective was a mirror image of others in the genre ( as other reviewers have stated) he was... Read more
Published 20 months ago by DH
3.0 out of 5 stars op out
An gripping fast paced book, with twists and turns that intrigue and enthral - until the end. Ellory breaks the golden rule of detective fiction writing by introducing a... Read more
Published 23 months ago by anniebygaslight
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly amazing
My parents kept telling me to read RJ Ellory's books so whilst on holiday I started reading The Anniversary Man. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Hannah Robinson
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