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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 15 February 1999
When I read Richard Montanari's DEVIANT WAY, I thought it the best thriller I'd read in years. I literally could not put the book down until I'd read the very last page. With THE VIOLET HOUR he's once again written a thriller full of tension and chills.
We start off in the mind of a killer who has subtly plotted revenge for an event that occurred on Halloween night, 1978. From there we're taken through the methodical killings of all those involved in the event. Nicholas Stella, a freelance writer, thinks he's stumbled onto a story of the week, when one of those killed is a priest he knew personally. Little does he know how deeply he will become involved.
This book is a must read for anyone who enjoys thrillers. With the wonderful pacing and believable characters, the reader will be hooked from the moment they read the first page.
The only problem is...now I can hardly wait for the next Montanari thriller!
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on 11 March 2011
I have read nearly all of Richard Montanari's books and I would have great difficulty saying which one has been the best for me. I have to say though that The Violet Hour is an outstanding piece of work.

I dont know how he does it; how he manages to come up with amazing twists and turns that literally leave you with your mouth open. "Dark Curls" for example, a mysterious character in the book. I dont want to spoil it for readers so I wont elaborate on it, but his identity came as quite a shock.

The end of the book is quite horrific, even for a seasoned reader of psychological thrillers. And having a child of my own the same age as the child in the story, there were one or two paragraphs that I had to skip over, for obvious reasons.

It was all brilliantly written, not a tedious moment throughout. How on earth he is going to top this one, I dont know.

Only one question - I dont understand the title in relation to the book.
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on 15 February 1999
On Halloween night twenty years ago, a group of college students threw a party in which the alcohol and drugs led to tragedy. Now those people who attended that party are being killed and their bodies disfigured in monstrous ways. Nicholas Stella, a freelance writer, stumbles onto the connection to the killings. With a suburban housewife who is trying to write the great American novel, Nick tries to stop the killings and get a front page, by-line story out of the madness. Any book which can make me turn on all the lights and sit anxiously waiting for my companion to come home is definitely a realistic thriller. The surprise ending is guaranteed to send tears coursing down your cheeks. Montanari has crafted a story in the realm of The Red Dragon, which to me is far more terrifying than The Silence of the Lambs; read it in the daylight.
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on 30 December 2014
This was the first Richard Montanari book I had read so I did not know what to expect. I thought the plot was rather thin. It was pretty much summed up by the publisher's blurb so I won't be giving away any spoilers if I say it concerns a serial killer who is systematically bumping off a group of people because of their involvement in a 20 year-old incident. A small town journalist is hoping to boost his career by unmasking the killer. It was all rather predictable. I counted 4 possible candidates for the killer's identity and it turned out to be the most obvious one. The climax of the novel was also predictable and I did not find the two twists at the end particularly surprising. That said, I enjoyed the book due to the excellent characterisation. Nick, the journalist came across as a fully rounded, great guy. The vignettes of the victims were deftly drawn and there were plenty of glimpses into the mind of the killer. While I abhorred his brutal acts, I could at least, see where he was coming from. The writer has an engaging style and despite the somewhat hackneyed plot line, I found the book enjoyable. I felt it was definitely worth more than three stars, hence my four star rating although ideally I would have given it 3 1/2 stars. After reading this one, I will certainly give another of Montanari's books a tryout.
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on 22 July 2013
Early Montanari and for me,rather better than the the Montanari of 2013 in some ways.
The scenario is familiar, a revenge story (that's not a spoiler,it's evident very early on) the inventive killings are there,the denouement is good and makes sense.and there are a few 'didn't see that coming' surprises along the way which is good.
Our hero,Nicky is a character that I would like to have seen in another book as he has real potential to develop as a character over several novels but for some reason that never happened.
Our heroine...well she isn't really but she features heavily throughout the book is well written and clearly the blueprint for Balzano later...but I like this version of her better.
And Montanari actually tells the story in a straightforward fashion without jumping all over the place in the slightly (for me) off putting way he's adopted now.
Don't think that because it's early writing that it's not up to par....it certainly is,I've read it twice and thoroughly enjoyed it each time and wished there had been more.Give it a try.
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on 15 February 1999
THE VIOLET HOUR by Richard Montanari is a sparkling gem amidst this summer's beach-bound thriller/mystery releases. In the tradition of Ridley Pearson, Montanari delivers up character-driven suspense with equal parts tension and twist with a dash of humor.
Reporter Nicky Stella is a worn-down freelancer with more contacts than cash, looking for a story which will pay enough to get a loan shark off his back and catch up his bills for his grandfather's nursing care. An expose` on the death of a local priest seems just the ticket to get him back on his feet again, both financially and emotionally. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, not for Nicky, and certainly not for Amelia Saintsbury, who finds herself at the center of a tightening circle of death.
I bought THE VIOLET HOUR for the plot, but loved it for the voice and characters. Now I'm anxiously awaiting Montanari's next book!
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on 12 December 2015
The blurb drew me in as did the first chapter, when a priest is murdered by drug overdose during shenanigans with a prostitute and a chuck out of the window. It would seem the story had the makings for a must-read thriller one go. It had the ingredients after all: mystery serial killer, missing pieces, colourful characters and at times, the writing was OK, but I found myself not anticipating the next instalment for some reason. There was a lot of bantering going on. It seems we need to know about the close-ish relationship between cousins Nicky and Joe as well as the chatter between other characters with some verbal to-ing and fro-ing that simply slowed the plot.

And so the serial killer is stuck in Halloween 1988 when something traumatic has happened and the pieces do not add up until the end. I could see what was coming at times and the climax felt drawn out and I wanted it to end. It was an OK read and some might enjoy it, but the story lacked real tension and I wouldn’t call it a page-turner. There were some pretty gruesome acts in the story, which might make the story a more memorable read, but not necessarily for the right reasons.
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on 15 February 1999
After only a couple of paragraphs Mr. Montanari has set his hook in you, and after that it's a read every word thriller that's impossible to put down. I came to this book by accident, not having heard of the author before. I'm now on my way to reading his first book entitled "Deviant Way," and look forward as well to his next and all that come after. I don't know where he's been, but I guarantee he's going to be around for a long time. A MUST READ!!
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on 30 November 2009
As an avid Montanari fan, I must say this early book does not disappoint. its edgier than his newer works but just as good a read and still full of the normal twists and turns that stop you from putting the book down
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 October 2014
Something (what that was is not revealed) happened to Julia on Hallowe'en night 1987 and now, 20 years later someone else is avenging it by killing the perpetrators in horrific ways. Nicky Stella, an investigative journalist, gets wind of the killing spree, decides to investigate and finds the killer's attention on him. This is a tense, engrossing thriller which kept me reading until it was finished. I wouldn't say the characterisation is brilliant, more basic but sufficient as it is very much a plot driven book and there is no need for more. If you want to escape into another world for a while this is well worth a read.
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