A devious serial killer lays siege to the city of Philadelphia, brutally sacrificing pretty young Catholic girls on the altar of insanity. As the body count rises, an exceptional investigating partnership struggles to stop him. Detective Jessica Balzano, Philly's Homicide Unit's newest rookie, is teamed up with veteran cop Kevin Byrne, respected for his solve rate and known for his unorthodox methods. The pair, willing to do anything it takes to stop the bloody rampage, leads a chase for a twisted, demonical killer fueled by a sacrilegious fury.
"The Rosary Girls is a well-written, fast-moving thriller with twists and turns galore that will keep you guessing until the end." (Phillip Margolin) "A relentlessly suspenseful, soul-chilling thriller that hooks you instantly." (Tess Gerritsen)
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This is perhaps my favorite audiobook so far. It has a complex plot, likeable characters, and offers great insight into the mind of a serial killer. The last two hours are unequaled in suspense. It's been a long time since I've been frightened by a book; this one does the job in aces. Also, once again, Scott Brick rules! It's as if he is living the book as he reads it. The Rosary Girls couldn't be better.
I am now on book #4 in this series, and I tend to be stingy with stars. First off, let's take care of the category. Some reviewers cry "not believable". Sure, but these books are not about solving crimes with dogged police work. Again...these are not police procedurals. Yes, they have crimes at their core, but only to hang the many characters, the twisted plot, the parallel story lines, and the suspense on. Think Charlie Huston meets David Koontz (some clues even come to our heroes psychically through Byrne's battered brain). Few of us would complain about the lack of "believability" in many of the movies we see; it's a movie--pure fantasy.
Yes, there are the cliches of Jessica Balzano, tough female detective who boxes, and her tough but much damaged (natch) older male partner Kevin Byrne, both of whose main vulnerabilies are their children, and their good hearts. In each book so far, Balzano and Byrne, regularly find themselves (or their friends and loved ones) at great physical risk, and in very tight life-threatening spots which require miraculously well-timed rescues. And yes, as a number of reviewers have pointed out, Montanari's writing seems to be of the school of "Why use two or three words when an entire paragraph, or better yet, a long interior monologue will do--we can just suspend the intense action for a few minutes". But hey, for those of us who can enjoy highly fictionalized crime thrillers replete with melodrama, Montanari does it quite well, and with a more than reasonable command of the English language, which is not always the case at this level of literature. All of the above add up to why it was brilliant to use Scott Brick to narrate these books (so far). As one reviewer remarked, he could make the phone book sound dramatic. Montanari's and Brick's styles are a pitch perfect match.
There is some violence, and the crimes are gory even though we are not usually present when they are committed. The language is medium; what you'd expect in an adult cop story. The unfortunate part of this series is that if you get hooked, and if you get to numbers 5 and 6, not only are they not available on Audible, they are also not available as ebooks on either B&N or Amazon. And, in fact I can only find hard copies of them in two places in US; most are from UK. The last(?) two, 7 and 8, are here at Audible. Go figure.