Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano investigate a killing spree that may be the handiwork of a former mental patient living in the catacombs beneath Philadelphia. - (Baker & Taylor)
Two detectives investigate a killing spree that may be the handiwork of a former mental patient living in the catacombs beneath Philadelphia in this new novel from the internationally best-selling author of The Echo Man. 20,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)
A man's body is found in a public park in Philadelphia. The victim was pushing 60 years of age and had no family. Investigators Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne discover, in the dead man's house, a large sum of money (with no explanation of its provenance) and some old, vaguely pornographic photographs (on which are found fingerprints leading to four men, criminals who died many years ago). The latest Balzano and Byrne mystery is full of surprises and dark shadows—literal dark shadows, as part of the story concerns a long-shuttered mental asylum and a former inmate who uses it to explore the catacombs beneath the city. Fans of this tightly written series will definitely enjoy this one, and the Balzano and Byrne books work pretty nicely as stand-alones, too, so familiarity with the earlier books is not necessary. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Library Journal Reviews
The seventh entry in the Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne crime series has the Philadelphia detectives scrambling to find a connection in a chain of gruesome murders. When the investigation leads the detectives to Cold River, a once thriving hospital for the criminally insane destroyed by a fire years ago and now abandoned, we soon learn that Luther, a former patient, prowls the catacombs beneath the streets of the city. This is where the quintessential estranged serial killer novel culminates; Montanari then introduces an innovative concept to the story line, exploring the origins of mental illness. The story introduces the history of the hospital's Dr. Kirsch, who conducted novel yet dubious experiments on the patients, including the implantation of serial killer Eduard Olev Cross's memories. VERDICT Plot-driven and compelling with hints of horror and parapsychology, this thriller is less of a whodunit and more of an exploration of character and motive. Readers needn't have read the first six novels in the series to appreciate this one; adventurous crime fiction and thriller readers and fans of Keith Ablow, John Katzenbach, and Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter novels should enjoy.—Carolann Curry, Mercer Univ. Lib., Macon, GA
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