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4.3 out of 5 stars43
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 22 February 2007
Don't worry about this being the second in the set because the book it a very good standalone in its own right. This is a very good, complex, plot which has you second and third guessing and in my case at least, completely fooled by the red herrings. There are good insights into the key characters, adding to that already disclosed earlier,and a very good high tension pace in the plot.

I consider this book to be above the usual run of the mill crime books. far surperior in content, atmosphere and writing. Well worth buying. I intend to buy the next in the set when it's out in 2008.
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on 8 April 2016
The book was entertaining from start to finish, with many twists and turns. You don't get any of the relentless repetition found in many 2nd in a series, it explains the characters as they've grown. I would certainly recommend this to any thriller enthusiast.
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on 22 February 2007
A follow-up to The Rosary Girls, which I would advise to read first as it develops the lead characters of Kevin and Jessica which will add depth (and enjoyment) to the Skin Gods. This story is quite fresh in portaying copycat murders from famous movie scenes (Psycho, Fatal attraction, Scarface, etc.) and hence the hunt for "The Actor". As with Montanari's previous books, we are treated to a good dose of suspense at a nice pace- both classic ingredients for a good book. Thankfully the book doesn't go sleazy as it delves into seedy bars and adult films, which I have experienced other reputable authors doing unsuccessfully. The various threads of plot here are neatly woven together in the last few chapters to finish off an enjoyable if a bit grissly, read.
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on 28 March 2008
A serial killer is stalking the streets of Philadelphia. His modus operandi is to re-enact murder scenes from famous films, but for real, on his unsuspecting victims. He films the murders and inserts them into the relevant, rented video, where it will be discovered, by the next person who rents it out, from the video store.

I found this book a fairly interesting read, and the two main characters characters in the book, detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano, quite good. There was usually enough action going on to keep my interest, as the Philadelphia Police Department try to find their killer. However, there was nothing about the book that made it outstanding, in a crowded genre.
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on 31 March 2015
i am hard to please where books are concerned.the first few pages need to grasp....and this guy never lets go.gruesome but believable,deep,strong lead characters.twists and turns to keep you guessing.the best author ive found for years.
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on 8 April 2007
This is a really good book with heroes you can really feel coming out of the pages. Congratulations on that. The story is fairly riveting with quite a nasty villain, but this is all - for me - taken down by too many twists and turns in the last rush towards the end of the book. Really too much is too much, at some point you will wonder if the bad guy is not a dog (why not?), your mother-in-law, whatever ... As a result it started verging on the ridiculous and lost its edge for me. But this is mostly very good and I will try the "Rosary girls" - written before this one it seems, anyway. This author can keep you enthralled.
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2008
Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano return in the second book in the series written by Richard Montanari where a killer known as The Actor is re-creating famous murder scenes from movies such as Psycho, Scarface and Fatal Attraction and placing them in VHS copies of the originals for unlucky viewers to see.

I absolutely loved the first book in the series, The Rosary Girls, and this one is even better. Again Montanari writes such a gripping and well thought out thriller with so many twists and turns that kept me guessing who the killer was right up until they were revealed, and I was still wrong!

The killings are brutal and gory, the suspense is so high in places that I just had to keep reading to find out what happens next and the characters are a lot more developed here too, so if you have read the first book it is interesting to see them progress and find out more about them.

Overall this is an excellent book that should not be missed and I can't wait to read the rest of the series now.
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on 28 January 2013
I gave this a five star rating because i was gripped from the start so many twists and unexpected ending. Definitely cant wait to read the next book. Written fantastically would recommend to anyone who enjoys a great read of suspense on the edge crime.
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on 11 September 2013
Great book not quite as good as his first Balzano novel but I still enjoyed it thoroughly and will be purchasing the next book in the series. This is one of those books that you can't put down as you plough through the underbelly of Philadelphia taking in many curious characters. Highly recommended.
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on 21 November 2007
Being new to Montanari's books, I started with Rosary Girls, and was instantly impressed at his level of writing skill. He managed to keep me gripped from beginning to end.

I love the way he doesn't end his books with "and they walked away down the steps" His endings are full, and you feel you have been completely satisfied. Most crime writers should take a leaf out of Montanari's book, and learn to end their books better.

I would highly recommend reading this book, and his other works A+
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