Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Catching up: THE ROSARY GIRLS by Richard Montanari

The Rosary Girls (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne, #1)
From the back of the book:
Someone is killing devout young women, bolting their hands together in prayer, and committing an abomination upon their otherwise perfect bodies. Byrne and Balzano spearhead the hunt for the serial killer, who leads them on a methodically planned journey. Suspects appear before them like bad dreams–and vanish just as quickly. And while Byrne’s sins begin to catch up with him, and Balzano tries to solve the blood-splattered puzzle, the body count rises. Meanwhile, the calendar is approaching Easter and the day of the resurrection. When the last rosary is counted, a madman’s methods will be revealed, and the final crime will be the one that hurts the most.

My Review:
THE ROSARY GIRLS is a solid conventional police procedural that pits its protagonists against a heinous spate of crimes that surprisingly spans a short period of time. Throughout the course of a week, new homicide detective Jessica Balzano and her seasoned partner Kevin Byrne are haunted by the ghosts of the Rosary Killers victims; searching for answers in holy places to solve unholy acts of horror.

As the first book in the Balzano and Byrne series, THE ROSARY GIRLS reads rather deep. Byrne is a vet with baggage; murder on his conscious and a personal life devoid of human contact outside of the job. While Balzano isn't your typical rookie cop on the beat. She's a boxer with who packs a punch in the ring just as well as she handles the murder book.

Despite the page count clocking in at 500 (for the mass market paperback) THE ROSARY GIRLS is actually a quick read. I managed to knock it off in three sittings. This is both a sign of a good writer and an engaging plot. 

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