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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Penni
  • Huntingdon Valley, PA, USA
  • 10-15-07

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • East Lindfield, Australia
  • 09-03-07

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.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • 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

  • Overall
  • Lynne
  • Columbia, SC, United States
  • 11-17-07

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Moorep2
  • Ocean springs, ms
  • 10-28-17

Montanari doesn't disappoint

And Scott Brick is - hands down - the BEST narrator out there! I love his style, his intonation, his sarcasm, his everything! Thanks to both Montanari and Brick for 13 hours of enjoyment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

merciless

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mary
  • ventura, CA, USA
  • 08-13-08

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.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Three mysteries in one story.



Richard Montanari is honing his craft! This story is dynamite!

Hans Christian Anderson tales related to murdered women.
A vigilante going after pedophiles.
A retired cop is murdered. Burnt alive.

Each and every book so far in the Byrne and Balzano series is on the edge of your seat listening. Twists and turns around every corner. Then you have all this to the third power and it is difficult to shut Mr. Brick down for the evening and get some shut eye.

Of course the narrator can take a could be dry biography, such as Washington: A life, and make it a wonderfully entertaining listen. Cut Scott Brick loose on a mystery and hang on to your hat. Perhaps even him reading the telephone directory would be a good listen.

How can all the above mysteries be connected? Sorry. No spoilers here. Listen to the book. You will never regret it!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Awesome

This book kept me up all night. You will not be able to put it down.