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The Skin Gods | [Richard Montanari]

The Skin Gods

It is the steaming heart of summer in the City of Brotherly Love. Back on the force after taking a bullet during the arrest of a sadistic murderer, Detective Kevin Byrne warily returns to police headquarters. He cannot shake the memory of the Rosary Killer's innocent victims or his growing sense that the evil has not been vanquished. And when he and his partner, Detective Jessica Balzano, are called in on a bizarre case, Byrne's gravest suspicions are confirmed.
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Publisher's Summary

It is the steaming heart of summer in the City of Brotherly Love. Back on the force after taking a bullet during the arrest of a sadistic murderer, Detective Kevin Byrne warily returns to police headquarters. He cannot shake the memory of the Rosary Killer's innocent victims or his growing sense that the evil has not been vanquished. And when he and his partner, Detective Jessica Balzano, are called in on a bizarre case, Byrne's gravest suspicions are confirmed.

A madman, dubbed The Actor by the homicide unit, is meticulously recreating Hollywood's most famous, and most gruesome, death scenes. The first murder is caught on film, spliced into a rented VHS edition of the Hitchcock black-and-white masterpiece Psycho. But in place of Janet Leigh is a real-life woman, and this time, the blood is red and the knife is real. Soon, more thrilling classics are turned into terrifying snuff films and placed on video store shelves for an unsuspecting public to find.

The key to this horrific puzzle could lie with any of The Skin Gods' supporting cast: the A-list Hollywood director; the ruthless executive assistant; the convicted mass murderer; or perhaps someone else who has made a sinister art of gruesome violence.

Hot on the psychopath's trail, Balzano and Byrne descend into the mouth of madness and beyond, deep into the depraved underworld of S&M clubs and the porn industry, where the worship of flesh leads to malevolent evil. Before the final credits roll, the investigators will discover that none of The Actor's victims are as innocent as they appear to be, and that the clue the police need to prevent future murders might be found in Detective Byrne's own dark past.

©2006 Richard Montanari; (P)2006 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"A grisly, atmospheric thriller." (Publishers Weekly)
"The Skin Gods is perfect for anyone who enjoys a well-crafted thriller." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (154 )
5 star
 (47)
4 star
 (58)
3 star
 (34)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.2 (32 )
5 star
 (16)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.3 (32 )
5 star
 (18)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Marius Irene, South Africa 05-28-07
    Marius Irene, South Africa 05-28-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    487
    ratings
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    186
    115
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    Overall
    "Niks sdog"

    A serial killer and a disillusioned cop. This could have dropped into a predictable formula, but the author injects some complexity with a liberal sprinkling of red herrings. Perhaps the author tries a little too hard, as the storyline got a little confusing at times, and a few loose ends remained unresolved. Scott Brick does his usual first-class narrative. Not only would he turn a phone book into a thriller, but he'd make you rush out to buy the next edition!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathleen upper darby, PA, United States 06-15-06
    Cathleen upper darby, PA, United States 06-15-06 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    223
    ratings
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    9
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    FOLLOWING
    5
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    Overall
    "Ok...he got me!"

    In reading the reviews, I was hesitant to buy this book as I was afraid I would be disappointed, but I decided to buy this book for three reasons.
    1.) I liked the characters from the first book and I just wanted to spend some time with them again.
    2.) Living in and around the Philly area for my whole life, I love this city, and I really like how the author makes the city another character in this book.
    3.) Most important! It is read by Scott Brick and his interpretation (at least for me)could turn the phone book into a thriller! :)

    Anyway, the point of all this, is that I did enjoy it. The outcome is somewhat predictable if you listen to a lot of thrillers, but not totally.
    I hate to admit this to all my fellow audible readers, because my "Sherlock Skills" are generally accurate, but I think, because I wasn't expecting too much, I fell right into the trap he laid! I couldn't believe he got me!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 08-15-06
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 08-15-06 Member Since 2005

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    361
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    569
    166
    FOLLOWERS
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    48
    3
    Overall
    "Love Scott Brick"

    I agree with the reviewer that said that Scott Brick could turn a phone book into a thriller. He is an amazing narrator. I did like this book. It was a good thriller, a bit predictable at times, but still a great book.It was fast paced and kept me wanting more.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey Rae 05-22-06
    Joey Rae 05-22-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    113
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    718
    51
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Lukewarm"

    Having read the previous book, by this author, I was looking forward to another "can't stop listening" experience. Didn't happen. Way to many "unbelievable" events. It became tiresome and predictable which took the excitement out of the book and the ending.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Marie Atlanta, GA, USA 04-10-06
    Ann Marie Atlanta, GA, USA 04-10-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    12
    2
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    "Great Book!"

    This is the second book that I have listened to by this author and it will keep you guessing until the very end. The narrator is wonderful and the story draws you in. You will never want to turn it off.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BookReader Chicago, IL, United States 08-27-14
    BookReader Chicago, IL, United States 08-27-14 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    150
    99
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    2
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Skin Gods"
    Any additional comments?

    Read by Scott Brick, The Skin Gods is just over thirteen hours of listening. A crime drama, the evil doer re-creates murder scenes from dark movies, the first of several being the shower scene from Psycho - the old Alfred Hitchcock classic with a young Janet Leigh. He replaces the original scene with his snuff work and returns the VHS to the local video rental store (remember those?). Thus begins The Skin Gods.

    Frankly, I had a bit of trouble with this novel, maybe it’s the horrific murder recreation. It’s pretty gruesome, ergo, I would squirm, then fast-forward a few times. The cops are desperate, the killer relentless. No character is the type-a macho dude or dude-ette to root for, neither a cop nor the bad guy. Just one frustrating situation after another. Not a bad story, by any means, but not my “cup ‘o tea”.

    Scott Brick, as usual , is terrific. So, there’s that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Menlo Park, CA, United States 05-16-07
    Anne Menlo Park, CA, United States 05-16-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
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    130
    25
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    1
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    Overall
    "Excellent Listen"

    This is the second Montanari book that I've downloaded through Audible. Both have been gripping with great characters. The book keeps moving and doesn't get bogged down or linger. I like forward motion. I highly recommend this title. I can't wait for more from this author.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vegas Pani 10-02-06
    Vegas Pani 10-02-06 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    7
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    0
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    Overall
    "Brick is a wonderful narrator..."

    Like another person said, Scott Brick could make a phonebook interesting! He's just a very talented narrator and I try to listen to books he's done.
    The story overall was good. And I liked the characters from The Rosary Girls.... this was a natural choice...... good characters.... great narrator!
    Enjoy this book..... both by Montanari are worth it.....
    Try Kill the Messenger by Tami Hoag... you won't regret it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kandy san francisco, CA, USA 04-28-06
    Kandy san francisco, CA, USA 04-28-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    46
    1
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    "not good"

    this book is pretty lame. it has more than your average number of super cringe-worthy lines and totally unbelievable characters. the worst part is that even though the author is clearly trying to write about heroic and dedicated police officers, the dialog and actions of these characters are more reminiscent of the jerk-face cop with a chip on his shoulder power tripping on busting up a party or writing you up a jay walking ticket. i've enjoyed my fair share of cheesy mysteries, but this one is so bad it's bad.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica signal mountain, TN, United States 03-22-08
    Monica signal mountain, TN, United States 03-22-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
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    30
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    Overall
    "skin gods"

    not very good. I have liked the other books by this author, but this one is not good

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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