Detectives Byrne and Balzano return to the streets of Philadelphia to put an end to a macabre succession of murdered children.
A quiet Philadelphia suburb. A woman cycles past a train depot with her young daughter. There she finds a murdered girl posed on a newly painted bench. Beside her is a formal invitation to a tea dance in a week's time.
Seven days later two more young victims are discovered in an abandoned house, posed on painted swings. At the scene is an identical invitation. This time, though, there is something extra waiting for Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano: a delicate porcelain doll.
It's a message. And a threat. With the killers at large, Detectives Byrne and Balzano have just seven more days to find the link between the murders before another innocent child is snatched from the streets.
©2015 Richard Montanari (P)2015 Hachette Audio
There are times I have nothing new to listen to and if that were the case, then yes, this is one, I could easily repeat.
Scott Brick has made narration into an art! He is one of my favorites. His performance as always was perfect as was his interpretation of the characters.
SPOILER ALERT: I did feel very sad after the first murder of a young girl when her father was told. After finding out the father committed suicide. Other then that, a rapid pulse while the crimes were being committed and the hope that "that one" would get away.
This book was excellent. Fast paced and full of nail biting suspense right from the first paragraph. I have enjoyed all of Richard Montanari's books, but this one more then the last since he has returned to Scott Brick as the narrator. This story is so twisted with familial relationships gone wrong but so very believable. I like the turn the Byrne/Balzano books seem to be taking. At the end we find out that Jessica Balzano will be going to work for the DA while her partner will remain a detective. Can't wait for the next installment. Very Highly Recommended. If this review was helpful please indicate so. I base many of my own purchases on reviews and always leave feedback and let the reviewer know their time writing it is valued. Thank You.
amazing story. truly intruiging. but no pedophile element at all! I was both completely interested in the story and able to enjoy it without being subjected to the typical author's ploy of inserting sexual abuse where it is unnecessary to the story.
the story itself is complex with well drawn characters and distinct voices for each point of view. loved it.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
I love mystery/crime novels where the plot unfolds at a steady pace. What the characters know, the reader knows. This book has way to many "how could they know that moments." . Routinely, I was rewinding book to see if I missed something. There is one scene where the major evil character knows the police will be arriving soon at a house he as at. There is nothing in the story that would let him know that fact. The authors has all these mysterious things going on with no explanation of why they occur. The evil doers are out for revenge for something in the past, so they kill people. The last person they target has nothing to do with anything. The author never explains why. You will be left shaking your head saying, "that's not fair."
Scott Brick as usual is excellent narrator.
This one grabbed me from the beginning. A unique storyline with several sub-plots running concurrently, you have to really pay attention to get all the clues.
These well dressed, polite and charming killers are completely different from what I have come across in other books of this type. He calls her Annabelle and she calls him Mr. Marseille. They have a love of tea parties and beautiful porcelain dolls.
The two detectives assigned to the case have worked together a long time. While Detective Jessica Balzano and Detective Kevin Byrne relentlessly hunt down the killers in the tea party case, Kevin is also following up on a case he had years ago. A woman was convicted of killing a child and will be put to death in less than two days. Kevin is convinced that she killed other children who went missing at the same time, and he wants her to confess to give the families some closure.
There are some bizarre twists to these stories, and I had to go back a few times to re-listen. However, it was due to the complexity of the story, and did not interrupt the flow.
Toward the very end there is some information about the last intended victim. I found myself shaking my head at trying to figure out what this person had to do with anything and how there was a connection to the others. It took awhile, but when it finally hit me I was so impressed with the author--he didn't feel the need to spell it out for us or point us directly at the connection--but gives the reader enough credit to figure it out. Very clever.
I also thought Scott Brick did a very nice job on this one. He didn't overrun the narration with his emotions, and the different characters stood out. Recommended for anyone who likes a good murder mystery.
Speaker, Coach, Author - in Reno, NV (A GREAT place!) I've been an avid Audible fan for several years. Listen on my iPhone many hours each week.
My goodness! I don't know what I expected but this wasn't it. Scott Brick, of course, is fabulous and did a great job with this book. I liked so many of the characters in this book (not the bad guys) and am commenting because sometimes, books are good but even the "good guys" aren't too appealing. Not true here. Overall, intricate and glad I listened over about 3 days because it would be possible to lose the train of thought on some of the pieces if too much time elapsed between listening. Went back and bought the first in this series (didn't realize it was a series until I went back and looked up the author).
This was an excellent storyline and characters. Every time I thought I had it figured out, the author surprised me with another surprising twist. Narrator was excellent. He made a great book even greater. This author never disappoints.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I easily could have listened to this in a day. I was so caught up in the suspense, the time just flew by. The author maintains a tension throughout that's just impossible to put down. Scott Brick's narration is perfect.
I don't necessarily love thrillers because they often have more gore than I can stand. With this book, I appreciated the writer's ability to stay away from gory descriptions while still maintaining the creepiness. It's tough to do and he pulled it off.
If you like thrillers once in a while and you have a long drive or a boring task - mine was painting - this is the perfect book to keep you company while you work.
Overall this was a good murder mystery, not your usual cookie-cutter type story. She's Annabelle and he's Mr. Marseille, who are they really? And, their guardian... who is she? Their tea party invitations are code words for murder. Actually, there were a few code words or symbols in the story which help to make a murder mystery good... I liked the story but there were times in the story that common sense was not in play at all.... in particular, how is it possible to hide/conceal (but not underground) a couple of extra rooms in a regular 2 or 3 bedroom size house? Okay, there were drugs used to incapacitate one (or two) characters, so maybe the drugs was supposed to dull the reader's common sense?...Even so, I really enjoyed the story. I couldn't wait to get back to listening.
Narrator Scott Brick did a good job, not too emotional...
Readers never go to bed alone
Scott Brick as the narrator was amazing! He sounded creepy and really gave life to the characters. The storyline is good but predictable a little too much. Overall, I liked it. Some interesting twists.
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