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The Rosary Girls (2005)

by Richard Montanari

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5841435,990 (3.94)18
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 the 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.… (more)
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English (9)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book, loved the twist and turns, and it was a book that I couldnt put down. ( )
  linda3011 | Apr 19, 2020 |
Richard Rohr
  jmail | Mar 21, 2016 |
A suspenseful thriller that hooks you instantly.

Back Cover Blurb:
In the most brutal killing crusade Philadelphia has seen in years, a series of young Catholic women are found dead, their bodies mutilated and their hands bolted together. Each clutches a rosary in her lifeless hands.
Veteran cop Kevin Byrne and his rookie partner Jessica Balzano set out to hunt down the elusive killer, who leads them deeper and deeper into the abyss of a madman's depravity. Suspects appear before them like bad dreams - and vanish just as quickly. While the body count rises, Easter is fast approaching: the day of resurrection and of the last rosary to be counted..... ( )
1 vote mazda502001 | Jul 14, 2012 |
This is my first foray into Richard Montanari; no idea if he’s published before this or not, though it’s a first-in-a-series novel, introducing Detective Byrne and his rookie partner Jessica. In this, their first dual case, someone is murdering and mutilating young Catholic schoolgirls. A brutal crime with a religious/blasphemous edge isn’t exactly a new idea in the genre, and I wasn’t expecting much, but I was surprised and pleased to find a solid, clever story behind door number one, and a dénouement that didn’t disappoint.

So, Montanari, it turns out, writes with the sort of heart that Ed McBain brought to crime fiction, which goes a long way to absolving him of any minor writing sins; sometimes telling rather than showing, and a tendency to focus on description like a creative-writing student on his first assignment (okay, I may be overstating a little, but there’s a lot of lingering on the landscape of Philadelphia and the weather that could have been pared back, to perhaps even greater effect). His characters (grizzled older cop, young female rookie) should be stereotypes, but he’s brought such fresh vigour to their direction that you forget that’s been done before. His crime scenarios are disturbing enough, without overstretching for effect, and the plot has got legs that just won’t quit (it’ll walk you all around the block before getting you home).

I was a little put off by Byrne’s slightly psychic ability – partly because I was worried about Deus ex machina syndrome taking over the ending and, paradoxically, because it was so played down straight away and then took a long, long seat on the back burner, that I got the impression that that author didn’t know whether to poo or get off the pot with it. In the end, it was nicely balanced with deductive reasoning, helping the partners but not solving the case.

I liked The Rosary Girls enough to read the next one, and some things about it I liked a lot. This has stayed with me (is a sentimental sap): ***Spoiler Warning*** Just as Byrne realises he’s about to take a bullet, he arranges his hand into the deaf sign for ‘I love you’ – he has a deaf daughter, and this was just adorable. Of course, he didn’t do this on any of the other occasions that he almost died, but this (better late than never) was the point at which I was convinced of Byrne’s separation from the grey, impersonal crowd of stereotypical ‘gritty’ fictional detectives. ( )
1 vote eleanor_eader | Aug 28, 2011 |
Wow, what a fantastic read! I took a chance on the book, and boy, am I glad I did. This is a fantastic read that will hold the reader till the very last page, and make them run out and get the second book in the series. I know I did.

The book is set in Philly. It seems there's a serial killer out there, but doesn't kill just anyone. Oh no, that would be far to simple. This killer preys on Catholic School girls. When he kills them, he positions them in a certain way. Alls, I'll say is that he does something special with their hands. That plays an important part in what he does. He also does something else, but I'll leave that for you to find out. Now, this killer has a twisted agenda. Not any Catholic School girl will do. They have to meet his "special needs". What are those needs? Well, you'll have to read it to find out.

If you like books that has great characters, then this is a must read for you. Jessica Belazano, is partnered up with Long time dect. Kevin Byrine. Bryne has his own issues that he must over come to catch this killer. It seems that his life is falling apart around him and this case could drag him down to the depths in which he can't come out of. Belazano has her own issues to deal with. This book has so many fantastic characters, far to many to name. All of the characters are important, and seem life like which helps the plot to move along at a fantastic pace. I also liked the killers motive. Again, if you want to find out, then you need to read it.

The author has a fantastic writing style. The dailouge is quick, and very realistic. The reader isn't bogged down my useless details that really don't do anything for the plot. Montanari is a wonderful writer. What is in The Rosary Girls is needed, and nothing is put in, just to make it a big book. He has the ability to keep the reader hooked on every page. Also, I can promise you that you'll be so hooked, you'll lose sleep over reading thing. You just have to know what happens next. I kept on telling myself, "Just one more chapter, just one more chapter....." You will be hooked.

If you start this series, I can promise you that you won't be sorry. I know I wasn't, and I can't wait to start the next one. ( )
1 vote Reacherfan | Feb 9, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Cuor forte rompe cattiva sorte.
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There is a wintry sadness about this one, a deep-rooted melancholy that belies her seventeen years, a laugh that never fully engages any sort of inner joy.
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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 the 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.

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