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on 28 October 2016
I've read most, if not all of the books featuring these characters, and found this one to be the least engaging - that's not to say it's a bad book, just that there are far better ones on the list to read. The story is quite fragmented and has a lot of characters to keep track of. There's also less personal development of the detectives in this one, which is one of the things I enjoy with this series.
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on 30 July 2017
Good author
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on 24 June 2017
Fabulous CRIME story. As with all books from the author I could not put THIS BOOK down. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ ANYTHING FROM THIS AUTHOR I SUGGEST YOU GET STARTED
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on 31 July 2013
Balzano and Byrne return to pick up on a cold case where most of the evidence went missing. Inexplicably it's linked to a new homicide where a man is found in the middle of a park with a railroad spike pounding through the back of his head. Luther is responsible for this and many other murders and the book takes us to his previous home of buildings and catacombs in a mental asylum that closed down five years ago. We get to read about the Dream Merchants and dream therapy that ultimately spawned a horrific killer.
This is a very well written psychological thriller and there are many subplots to try and keep track of besides Luther and our favourite police officers. As always, the bad guy is a total surprise and I found myself wizzing through the last 20 % of the book.
This is a very satisfying read, with well developed and believable characters and there are many gory parts for those that are that way inclined. The book also features that age old childhood fear of the boogeyman in the closet, both figuratively and in real life in the form of a scarecrow man with a big hat. So be prepared to keep an eye on your closet doors and hope you get a good night's rest.
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on 8 August 2017
I have read all Richard Montanari's novels and I usually give them 4 or 5 stars, alas with this one I am giving it one star!
There are far too many characters and the flipping back and forth in time left me frustrated. The whole story was confusing to say the least and I recommend anybody who is foolish enough to purchase this book on the strength of Mr. Montanari's other novels to keep a long list as to "who is whom!".......some have multiple characters. He has been known to re-release a previous novel under a different title, written when he was a younger man (Deviant Ways). I'm truly wondering if this was also written many years ago before he honed his art...just a thought.... it was that poor.

If this had been my first novel to read from Mr. Montanari, it would most probably have been my last. Because I always try to finish reading books that I have spent my well-earned money on I struggled through to the end.....and even now after finishing it I am wondering "just what was that story all about!"
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on 6 February 2014
I read a lot of books and over time I forget I ever read them, bot every once and while I read a classic which I'll NEVER forget.
This is a book I'll never forget, so go ahead and enjoy it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 February 2014
This is a difficult book to read for about the first 65% as it is told in small, seemingly unrelated snippets. It can be quite frustrating as you think you've got to grips with it and something else crops up but it certainly keeps your attention. To me it is a book you need to read in one or two sittings as it would be easy to lose track if you are dipping in and out. The last 35% is more straightforward with most events explained and an amazing twist. It's well worth a read and it will hold your attention as you try to keep all the disparate elements together.
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on 22 February 2014
Richard Montanari is one of my favourite authors and I enjoy the Byrne & Balzano series. However, I found this book a little confusing and hard to follow in places and the story didn't have me on the edge of my seat .... (although it was still worth reading). Let's hope the next book returns to Montanari at his best.
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on 2 September 2013
What happened? The Bryne and Balzano cases have been gripping since the first book, now this?
None of the usual flare or undertones in this book. I stuck with it in the hope that it would go somewhere, anywhere, but it brought me back to the start with a bump.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 October 2013
Thank you to the author, publisher and netgalley for the review copy.

Destroyed by fire years ago, the infamous Philadelphia State Hospital was a warehouse for the criminally insane.
But one man never left.
A bizarre killer is at work in darkest Philadelphia and Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano must stop him. But first they must find him ....

Now I have been in from the start of the Balzano and Byrne stories so I was looking forward to this one and was very excited to get a copy. As usual I was in no way disappointed. Richard Montanari has a very distinct voice in the writing world and has become over the years a master of the craft - this particular instalment has become one of my favourites (my absolute still being "The Skin Gods" - Book 2 of the series) due to the complex and very intense storyline.

Jessica is investigating a cold case which very quickly becomes a hot potato - with Kevin on board they find themselves chasing a very dangerous man...and will have to unravel a mystery with its roots in the past.

I loved the flow of this one - snapshots of age old events give clues to what is happening in the present and the plot twists and turns in typical Montanari style until you are not sure if you are coming or going...and the ultimate resolution was one of the best so far.

Ok, I can see why some readers who are also mental health professionals have been a bit down on this one - some of the visuals if you like on asylums and what goes on in them (at least in this fictional world) are often disturbing. However the key word here is "fictional". This is a story, dramatic license is allowed and indeed required to make a compelling tale - it is in no way implied that any of this is fact.

It is disconcerting and frightening crime fiction. If you want rainbows and kittens this is not the book for you, however if you love crime fiction with bite and have not yet delved into this world then I would recommend them - The Rosary Girls would be where to start.

Happy Reading Folks!
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