The Violet Hour: A Novel of Suspense

Richard Montanari, Author Avon Books $15.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-380-97592-1
A serial killer takes long-delayed revenge on the friends whom he blames for his girlfriend's heroin overdose in this consistently surprising if somewhat implausible novel of suspense. When Cleveland freelance reporter Nicky Stella hears from his cousin, Father Joseph LaCazio, of the messy heroin-related deaths of Father John Angelino and a young prostitute, Nicky smells a story that could get a loan shark off his back. Clued by brand marks on the drug wrapper, he calls in markers from black undercover narc Willie T. in order to get an interview with the dealer. Soon Nicky's legwork links more Cleveland murders to Fr. Angelino's, and a T.S. Eliot poem e-mailed to the priest's laptop provides a list of future victims. Nicky's underworld contacts lead him down a slime trail to the killer's lair, while the killer himself stalks the wife and daughter of his next intended victim. The likable, bumbling hero, the competent female characters and the distinct voices of a diverse, if cartoonish, cast distract from certain nagging questions about the premise. (Why, for example, does the killer wait 20 years to take his revenge?) Montanari (Deviant Way) keeps the reader deliciously off balance throughout, letting the novel accrue horrors and deft misdirections right until its gory end. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-380-79532-1
Paperback - 322 pages - 978-0-09-952482-3
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4070-5954-9
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