cover image The Killer Within: In the Company of Monsters

The Killer Within: In the Company of Monsters

Philip Carlo, read by Kent Bateman. Blackstone Audio, unabridged, nine CDs, 10 hrs., $76 ISBN 978-1-4417-7856-7

Carlo, who died last November, was the author of several bestselling biographies of such murderers and criminals as L.A.'s "Night Stalker," Richard Ramirez; Mafia Boss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso; and contract killer Richard Kuklinski, aka "The Ice Man." Here he discusses the writing of these books, along with intriguing reminiscences from his own colorful history, using those memories to counterpoint the autobiography's main story%E2%80%94his grueling struggle with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, a crippling infirmity that is killing him as he rushes to finish the book. The result is a profoundly intimate first-person account of the author's final years. Kent Bateman not only finds the perfect voice to match the hard-boiled attitude of the Bensonhurst-born Carlo, he captures his love of life, his pride in his accomplishments, and his frustration with the failure of his once athletic body. The overall effect is so naturalistic and conversational it's easy to forget that the narrator isn't Carlo himself. An Overlook hardcover. (Feb.)