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The Strangler Paperback – 14 Jan 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (14 Jan. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552149454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552149457
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 616,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Landay was an assistant district attorney before he turned to writing. He is the author of two previous novels, Mission Flats and The Strangler. He lives in Boston with his family.

Product Description

Review

"A gripping, grown-up tale, punctuated by shocks, that leads to a shattering conclusion." (Evening Standard)

"Landay's depiction of a turbulent period makes compulsive reading." (Seven, Sunday Telegraph)

"A dense and satisfying novel of crime and retribution." (Independent on Sunday)

"(A) marvellous novel ... a delicate portrayal of fatally compromised lives in a compromised city." (Telegraph)

"A meaty, ambitious book, made all the more powerful by an author unafraid to tackle the complexities of moral ambiguity." (The Guardian)

Book Description

The electrifying and epic story of one Irish-American family, a city under siege, and the long shadow cast by the most infamous killer of his day...

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Mar. 2007
Format: Hardcover
The early 1960s were tumultuous times in this country - our President was assassinated and the City of Boston, often thought of as a cultural and historic mecca, was riddled with fear. Eleven women had been murdered, some of them also raped by a man who earned the sobriquet Boston Strangler. Police were stymied, and citizens in an uproar.

There was a man, Albert DeSalvo, who confessed to the murders. He had able defense - F. Lee Bailey. Following a few rounds of legal maneuvering DeSalvo was given life for the rapes. Later, he would be killed in prison. There were and are many who do not believe he was the Boston Strangler.

These events are the launching pad for William Landay's mesmerizing second novel, The Strangler. We meet the Daleys, an Irish cop family if there ever was one. Daley the elder was a policeman killed in the line of duty. His three sons are a complex trio. Joe, the eldest, is a cop with problems - $20,000 worth of them. He's an inveterate gambler and soon finds himself so far in debt to the mob that there seems no way out.

Middle son Michael is a lawyer via Harvard who works for an attorney general with aspirations. Michael who is assigned to the Strangler case is described by his mother as " ....her most finely calibrated son, the quickest to take offense and the slowest to forgive". Youngest son Ricky? He's very accomplished........at stealing jewels. There you have them save for their widowed mother who is being courted by their late father's best friend.

At this point in time DeSalvo is imprisoned but there are still many questions about the case. Then another woman, a friend of the Daley's, is murdered in the Strangler manner.

Landay's novel has it all - steam roller suspense, compelling dialogue, and a plot propelled by actual events. It's a sure winner!

- Gail Cooke
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed Mission Flats immensely and was really looking forward to this and I am not disappointed. The story is extremely well told, and while this is definitely a thriller it is a shame that it might just be seen as a "crime" novel, when it also offers a portrait of American life at the time of the Kennedy Assasination and how easily hysteria can affect relationships - echoes of 9/11 anyone? Like much of the works produced by the likes of Coben, Crais, Connelly, Block, etc this book transcends the genre and deserves a wide readership.

My one caveat would be that perhaps Robert B Parker and latterly Denis Lehane have taken the forefront of Boston based crime novels, and in the latter case he obviously has a hot line to Hollywood, but I believe that if William Landay keeps this sort of standard up he may well transcend both.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Jackson on 25 July 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
William Landay's first novel was a quality genre contribution, and I have looked forward to his second. The title and theme (another serial killer, and a 60s period setting at that) nearly put me off - and how wrong I would have been. The background is Boston; the texture a particular period and set of killings; but the focus is the Daley family and the complex set of relationships and challenges they experience. The novel is as a much a moral journey as it is a crime procedural. It is crafted beautifully, written impeccably and easily transcends its ostensible subject matter. I recommend it very highly. In the league of Scott Turow for writing above the genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. M. Knight on 24 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
I don't normally go for crime novels but as someone had bought me this I thought I'd give it a go. I was so glad that I did. The writing is superb and Landay is excellent at providing the hooks to draw you in and keep on reading. It's not just a crime story and the title could be seen as misleading, as others have said. However, not having the constraints of being solely a crime story, Landay has allowed himself to explore much more with the relationships between the three brothers and the social aspects of the time. He has done this with great skill and technique. This is definitely not pulp. I haven't read `Mission Flats' yet, but now I certainly will.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 May 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When we first meet the Daley brothers, John F Kennedy has just been shot and Boston is in the grip of the Boston Strangler. There are three brothers: cop Joe, lawyer Michael and thief, Ricky. Despite their differences, they are, ultimately, loyal only to each other. Their father, Big Joe, was also a cop and was shot and killed by a kid in an alley. This storyline, along with that of the Strangler and the mob's influence in the 'rebuilding' of Boston, create different threads through the book. This is an unusual crime book, having far more depth in characters than many other of the genre.

Gradually, things begin to spiral out of control, as someone close to the family is killed by either the Strangler, or a copycat killer. And, if a copycat, then why? And why did nobody get caught for their fathers murder? The Daley brothers are under threat and, when the mob begin to lean on them, they are all under pressure. This is a very atmospheric book and I enjoyed the period setting and the way the author used the case of the Boston Strangler in the plot. There were quite a few different storylines running parallel and I think the book may have been brilliant if the author had perhaps concentrated on less. However, saying that, it was an extremely enjoyable novel and I recommend it highly. I read the kindle edition and it was well edited and typo free.
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