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Merciless: A Novel of Suspense | [Richard Montanari]

Merciless: A Novel of Suspense

On a frigid December night, Karen sits at the edge of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, dressed in a flowing gown, like a visitor from the distant past. A beautiful and shining young woman, she gazes up at a bone-white winter moon like a fairytale princess. At first glance, one might not even notice that she is dead, coated in a patina of ice. Homicide cops Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano take the lead on the case, uncovering a plethora of eerie clues, each more warped and spine-chilling than the last.
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Publisher's Summary

On a frigid December night, Karen sits at the edge of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River, dressed in a flowing gown, like a visitor from the distant past. A beautiful and shining young woman, she gazes up at a bone-white winter moon like a fairytale princess frozen in time. At first glance, one might not even notice that she is dead, coated in a glistening patina of ice.

Homicide cops Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano take the lead on the case, uncovering a plethora of eerie clues, each more warped and spine-chilling than the last. Yet the identity of Karen's pitiless killer remains a mystery. Then the next victim is found upriver at an abandoned waterworks, posed with an unlikely object in her clasped hands. Struggling to link the victims and make sense of the madman's agenda, Byrne and Balzano follow his twisted trail, which stretches into a past of dark crimes forgotten by all but a few. Sifting through suspects and clues, they unearth a shocking secret history: a legacy of malevolence and cold-blooded retribution dating back 20 years.

This razor sharp and jolting thriller from acclaimed author Richard Montanari coils back in time to deliver a fiendish mystery, a shattering revelation, and one hell of a wild ride. Lock your doors and turn up the lights. Montanari's terrifying bedtime story will keep you up all night.

©2007 Richard Montanari; (P)2007 Books on Tape

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (165 )
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4.0 (28 )
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4.2 (31 )
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  •  
    Penni Huntingdon Valley, PA, USA 10-15-07
    Penni Huntingdon Valley, PA, USA 10-15-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    10
    4
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    "Great Book"

    I absolutely love the narrator Scott Brick because he brings the story to life. I love the characters in this book-you actually meet them in previous books. In Merciless, there is suspense, drama, action, comedy, dry humor and a feeling of knowing the characters. I am definately looking forward to his future books and hope that Scott Brick will be the narrator of them too.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary ventura, CA, USA 08-13-08
    Mary ventura, CA, USA 08-13-08 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    125
    6
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    "WASTE OF 2 CREDITS"

    I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHY THIS BOOK COST ME TWO CREDITS. IT WAS NOT EVEN WORTH ONE. IT WAS REALLY THAT BAD. I HAD TO FAST FORWARD TOWARD THE END. THE FIRST BOOK OF THE SERIES, THE ROSARY GIRLS, WAS GREAT. GOOD STORY,INTERESTING CHARACTERS. THIS BOOK WAS PREDICTABLE AND THE CHARACTERS WERE CHEESEY. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy New Mexico 09-19-07
    Kathy New Mexico 09-19-07 Member Since 2007

    Kathy

    HELPFUL VOTES
    174
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    63
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    Overall
    "Interesting twists"

    This was a suspenseful listen and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were several plots/subplots going on and I kept guessing who the serial killer of the central plot was going to turn out to be. I was wrong a bunch! I like Scott Brick as a narrator and he delivered a solid performance. You can always differentiate between his characters by his accent. It was nice to have Pennsylvanian city/countryside/river described--it was very believable and certainly reminded me of visits to the area.
    I would like to read more about the detectives in the story. I think you will be happy with this novel.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David East Lindfield, Australia 09-03-07
    David East Lindfield, Australia 09-03-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    51
    11
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    "worth a listen"

    This novel lives up to its title as a suspense novel. The bad guy is a bad guy, there are a number of intertwined plots that are mostly brought together well at the end and nearly all of the loose ends are tied up. Character development is only fair. That is the characters are strong with complex personalities but don't for the most part develop much further through the novel than at the beginning. Overall a most enjoyable suspense novel to listen to.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Mangiaracina New York, New York 03-08-08
    Peter Mangiaracina New York, New York 03-08-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    154
    4
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    "Simply the worst book I've listened to"

    I forced myself to listen to this. The prose is overwritten to the point of being just plain hoaky. "She was the light of my life!" and "She was a woman now and that's why she was no longer a child." (or something equally ridiculous). Or how about a veteran police officer who weeps because a girl has been murdered? Sorry. I know veteran cops. They don't weep. Maybe they shake their heads or click their tongues, but weeping? I don't think so. Perhaps that one was ready for retirement.

    The whole book is like that. I choked back a few laughs at everyone's self righteous indignation. The narrator didn't help, either. He seemed to play into every melodramatic turn of phrase like an afternoon soap actress. And his woman's voice needs work. I had a few silent guffaws over that one, too.

    Don't waste your money.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne Columbia, SC, United States 11-17-07
    Lynne Columbia, SC, United States 11-17-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    6
    3
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    "Great Suspense!"

    This was a twisty turning and all together a great book to listen to. Suspensful plot and great narrator. I actually sat in my car in my driveway so I could hear the ending.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shadrach Smith Kansas City, Missouri USA 03-23-08
    Shadrach Smith Kansas City, Missouri USA 03-23-08 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    299
    8
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    "Fast paced"

    This is the best of the series. Scott Brock does an excellent job as the reader, adding to the listening experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica signal mountain, TN, United States 01-26-08
    Monica signal mountain, TN, United States 01-26-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "merciless"

    good, but not as good as the Rosari girls. Similar story and style.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Venice, CA, United States 12-05-09
    Donna Venice, CA, United States 12-05-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "hated it"

    Worst book I've downloaded makes me appreciate all the others.
    I've been a member since '05 and it was the first time I couldn't finish it was so poorly written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth DunedinNew Zealand 11-27-07
    Ruth DunedinNew Zealand 11-27-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    Overall
    "Not the best"

    This detective/suspense story has some interesting characters in the partners who lead the investigation for a serial killer (Moon) who poses his victims in doll like situations near a watercourse.
    While initially intriguing, especially the sections of the book in which Moon is the first peron narrator,the underlying mystery and its resolution rely on coincidences that stretch the imagination beyond belief and will leave you dissatisfied with the writer's plot line by the end.
    The other disappointing aspect is the narrator's voice. He lacks a sense of the plot as he reads and so reads many of the lines with no sense of their meaning ie an overly dramatic tone for material that is simply boring plot update. His attempts at a female voice make the female characters sound like deflating barbie dolls - a real irriation. He might be easier to listen to if you speak North American accented English but I recommend that you listen to him first before you buy to see if you can tolerate him.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
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