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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 7 April 2001
Richard Montanari's third book (the second in the John Paris series) is a masterpiece of rhythm, style, substance and emotion. This time out, while a ritual killer is on the loose in Cleveland, detective Paris begins to uncover new clues to a dead cop's murder.
Kiss of Evil is one of those books that, just when you're certain you have it figured out, you have to rethink everything. It is a book of dark corridors, feverish sex and genuine fear. I read it in two sittings.
No one writing dark crime fiction today does this type of book better. The acclaim may go to names like Lehane, Connelly, Crais, Deaver and Klavan (and deservedly so).
Kiss of Evil proves, once and for all, that Richard Montanari belongs at their table. He may not put out a book every year, but every time I read a new one, I realize it was worth the wait.
I decided that Richard Montanari was a buy-in-hardcover author after discovering The Violet Hour a few years ago, and I'm glad I did. You will be hard pressed to read a better thriller than Kiss of Evil this year.
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on 7 July 2010
This is the first book by Richard Montanari that I have encountered. It is set in Cleveland Ohio and features Det. Jack Paris a middle aged divorcee with a teenage daughter and an enduring 'thing' for his ex wife. Someone, somewhere has decided to kill the residents of Cleveland and chop off various parts of their anatomy. Paris ends up on the case which takes him into the shady underworld of swingers and the ancient religion of Santeria.

Initially as I started this book I found it hard going, mainly because the short chapters jump between characters. Paris, an unidentified female, a seriously deranged and disturbed suspect and various others who make up the storyline. About half way through the book things finally start to converge and the story becomes compulsive as Paris gradually pieces his evidence together, solving what is a dark and at times stomach churning case. Initially I was going to toss the book away as I found the gore quite hard going, however I am glad I persisted, as the series of twists and turns of the plot, to an exciting ending, definately redeem the book.

I actually found Paris quite a likeable character, and the book enjoyable after my initial misgivings, so I will probably try other books by the same author.

Good if you like suspense, plenty of twists and have a strong stomach.
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on 26 September 2014
This one is a real roller coaster ride of twists and turns that will require a second read to actually understand. If your look for a complicated who did it, this one is for you. Recommended he'll yes but not a simple easy holiday read
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on 31 January 2010
This is the hardest book to rate that I've come across so far. Let's start with the positives. Firstly, it is exquisitely written. I can't think of a thriller writer who manages to be so visceral and so vivid with so few words - the sign of a truly accomplished author. Some of his prose is almost poetic; his imagery surprisingly beautiful at times. It took me a couple of chapters (they're very short) to get used to Montanari's voice, but thereafter it was a pleasure to read. Secondly, I raced through it, reading more and more each time I dipped into it. Again that's testament to the tension that Montanari ratchets up. The dialogue's great too, with just enough cop humour and jargon to make it all very authentic. BUT...At the end of the day, this is just another serial killer thriller, with your seen-one, seen-em-all detective. Yes, you guessed it, he's divorced. Yes, he's lost a partner or friend from the force. Yes, he's got a thing about coffee. It really is unbelievably formulaic. Which is a shame because, man, the guy can write. The killer's link to Santeria is never adequately explained, leaving you thinking that it's thrown in simply to justify the violence and gore. The plot becomes marginally over-complicated, a factor thas is compounded by the number of aliases and similar-sounding names among the cast of characters. (I found 'Paris' to be a very odd name for a hero. For me 'Paris' is a pretty-boy from Greek mythology not a hardboiled Cleveland cop). So, how many stars do you give a book that you really enjoyed but left you feeling frustrated? On the basis that there's no 3.5 option, I'm rounding down because I value originality and this plot was entirely generic. However, there's no doubt that I will read another because Montanari is an author with immense talent.
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on 5 February 2010
I bought this book as I have read all of Richard Montanari's previous ones. I really enjoyed this book, and think that he is one of my favourite authors.
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VINE VOICEon 23 December 2009
This is my first Montanari book and it was certainly a thrilling ride, if not for me definitely for Detective Jack Paris.

The author has created a myriad of characters, seemingly at first, unconnected but, as the chapters go by, little by little, they come together. Rather akin to spinning a real textile yarn, these individual threads make eventually for a strong and vibrant story which leaves Paris fighting for his life whilst pitted against a sadistic killer with manic vengeance on his mind.

Given that the story turns around the Christmas festivities, it is rather topical. But, any similarity to the supposed good cheer of the period soons disappears as mangled and tortured bodies pile up. Of course, each of the main players - both good and bad - have their own personal problems, be it a broken marriage, an abused childhood, a damaged child and all these play a part in the story.

It is because there are so many conduits in this novel that I found it difficult at times to concentrate on where the author was taking us. Bring in the ancient religion of Santeria and its gruesome sacrifices and the reader would be forgiven if the story is not as clear as it might perhaps have been. Having said that, it grips alright. The more so when Paris becomes the target and is seemingly caught in a trap from which there is no escape. Cleveland, Ohio is not a place which you'd want to visit if its inhabitants are representative of the people in this book. Fortunately, I know Ohio - well, Columbus, anyway - so I'll vouch for its citizens and suggest this is a book well worth picking up just to enjoy the ride. A good thriller, good enough to have me looking for a copy of the next book, 'The Devil's Garden'. Whether it will feature Jack Paris is up to the reader to discover and I'm sure whatever the outcome of this book, you won't be disappointed.
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on 31 August 2013
A compicated plot with possibley too many charcaters all who have nick names and alias'. I found I often had to re -read a page twice to get it and it took a while to get used to the fact it was writen in the present tense and from many perspectives. I did enjoy it though and read it cover to cover in one day
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on 27 June 2014
Always been a fan of fast pace and writing of this calibre Richard Montanari certainly delivers in this incredible book it gathers momentum at the start and has no brakes right to the very last page
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on 30 October 2014
I like Montanari and this book was good but I just did not believe in some of the characters-saying that I read it in two sittings on holiday so it must mean it is a page turner!
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on 6 August 2013
Richard Montanari writes the perfect suspense novel, lots of twists & turns, recommend this book for a nailbiting read!The book came within the estimated delivery date.
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