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The Rosary Girls: (Byrne & Balzano 1) Paperback – 16 Feb 2006

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The Rosary Girls: (Byrne & Balzano 1) + The Skin Gods: (Byrne & Balzano 2) + Broken Angels: (Byrne & Balzano 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (16 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099486881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099486886
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 3.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 171,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Montanari is the Top Ten Sunday Times bestselling author of Rosary Girls and Skin Gods, as well as the internationally acclaimed thrillers Kiss of Evil, Deviant Ways, The Violet Hour and The Devil's Garden. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Product Description


"A relentlessly suspenseful, soul-chilling thriller that hooks you instantly" (Tess Gerritsen)

"Readers of this terrifying page-turner are in the hands of a master storyteller. Be prepared to stay up all night" (James Ellroy)

"A specialist in serial killer tales . . . a wonderfully evocative writer" (Publishers Weekly)

"A no-holds-barred thriller that thrusts the reader into the black soul of the killer . . . those with a taste for Thomas Harris will look forward to the sure-to-follow sequel" (Library Journal)

"One of the most terrifyingly evil stories I have read. Yet, with all it's violence, it is balanced by much compassion and beauty. I just couldn't put it down. This could be the book of the year" (Norman Goldman, Barnes & Noble)

Book Description

Only a killer hears their prayers. The first thriller in Richard Montanari's Sunday Times bestselling

Byrne and Balzano series.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dr Evil TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback
'The Rosary Girls' begins when a young girl has been found murdered with her hands bolted together as well as other sickening mutilations and rosary beads between her fingers. Called to investigate are long-time homicide detective, Kevin Byrne and his new partner, Jessica Balzano. More girls, with the only connection to each other being that they attend catholic schools, are found in similar conditions every day leading up to Easter. With time running out and next to no clues on who and where the killer will strike next, Byrne and Balzano are in a race against time to stop one of Philidelphia's worst serial killers.

This is the first book that I've read by Richard Montanari (and the first of his that was released in the UK) and is definitely not the last as 'The Rosary Girls' is well up there with the likes of Thomas Harris' Silence of the Lambs and James Patterson's Kiss The Girls. I've now ordered the second Byrne and Balzano novel, The Skin Gods, and am really looking forward to giving it a read!

From the opening chapter I was completely gripped by the storyline. Montanari really knows how to write a good thriller - just when I thought I'd worked out who the killer was (on a number of occasions) he turns the story completely around, making me think it was someone completely different! The setting is dark and gritty, showing you the most violent and seedy sides of Philedelphia. The lead characters Byrne and Balzano are very likeable and believable (although some of the crime fiction detective stereotypes are still there) and are ones that I look forward to see how they develop in future novels.

Overall it is a very entertaining read and one of the best that I've read in a long time. If you're after a real whodunnit, with plenty of twists and suspense, as well as some really good characters, look no further than 'The Rosary Girls'. 10/10!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. Peters on 4 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after reading some of these reviews on Amazon and agree that it is a very good thriller.

The story is based in Philadelphia, a new detective partnership and their attempts to stop a crazed serial killer targeting young Catholic school girls. Veteran cop Kevin Byrne is your typical no nonsense hero and he is joined by Jessica Balzano, a young but determined recruit. The hunt is on for the madman inflicting sickening acts of violence against innocents.

What i liked about The Rosary Girls is that it keep's you guessing right to the end, there's plenty of suspects and no obvious culprit. Indeed i was surprised when the killer was revealed.

The charecters, plot and dialogue were very well written. Some of the crime scenes and description were a bit much for me at times but i understand that it was all part of the story and to be expected in a crime thriller.

Overall very good and i will certainly read the next installment, Skin Gods.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Williams on 15 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback
I honestly thought I had worked out who was responsible for the grisly murders of Catholic school girls in Philadelphia within the first 100 pages of this book. It is testament to how well Montanari writes that, even with several red herrings, I was adamant in my belief that I had discovered it. And he proved me wrong. The ending was as much as a surprise as I could have hoped. It was well worth the read.

The book is written in a clear, pithy and poignant style with fantastic pace and great characters. Byrne and Balzano quickly form a team which the author never sullies with artificial distrust or dislike that so many other newly partnered cops seem to suffer from. The most important thing was the case. And both of them focus on the case - however, as the days move forward, hidden parts of each detective's personality and life are revealed, giving them even more empathy and depth.

A fantastic book which is difficult to put down. The author captures the dark criminal side of Philadelphia beautifully. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I recently changed my own criteria regarding how many stars I give to a book in order that five stars would only be given to those that are truly outstanding and could make my top twenty. Therefore, I expected it to be some time before an award of five stars would be given again. How wrong I was. Rosary Girls is one of the best detective stories I have ever read - right up there with the outstanding works of Chris Carter

Rosary Girls tells the story of a serial-killer in Philadelphia who is targeting young Catholic girls for horrific deaths. The crimes are being investigated by the newly formed partnership team of Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano. Each character has his and her own past which is being slowly drip-fed to us and they find they work together extremely well from their first meeting. This is a refreshing change from the cliched strained relationships that authors often create where one partner replaces another. They both go about their work in a realistic way with a good team behind them. It is also refreshing that there isn't an uptight boss behind them with the intelligence of a goldfish and who is trying to take any glory for himself. In short, this is a very realistic story that leaves any sensationalism to the actions of the villain.

The theme of Christ's passion and the 'Five Sorrowful Mysteries also make for a truly powerful read and the methodology of the 'doer' is quite disturbing yet absorbing.

There are five more stories so far in this series and I cannot wait to read them.
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