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Merciless (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne, #3)
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Merciless (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne #3)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  1,006 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Homicide detectives Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne track a twisted killer inspired by the horrors of childhood bedtime stories, in this gripping thriller by the bestselling author of The Rosary Girls.
Paperback, 408 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,755)
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Wayne Simmons
Sometimes a book just grabs you from page one and never lets go.

Bit of a cliche, that, but it's pretty much what happened with BROKEN ANGELS, my first dip of the toe with Richard Montanri's Balanzo & Byrne series, yet the third book to star the enigmatic detectives. It's a police procedural, two cops on the tail of a theatrical serial killer known simply as Moon. Nothing eye-catching about that - there are a million cop vs serial killer books out there - but this book is awesome. Pure and s
I have to tell you something, I like New England clam chowder. Now as far as canned chowder goes Progresso brand makes a decent chowder. One year, many moons ago, my wife and I were taking some time off of work in Long Beach California. We happened to stop in for dinner one evening at this restaurant, the name lost to the ravages of time that tear at our memories, and I had a bowl of chowder that, no matter how much time passes, I shall always remember. I am sure that the atmosphere and company ...more
Normally, I don't read this type of mystery novel, but it was recommended to me by someone at a garage sale and I thought I'd give it a try. I can say it was good, but not a favorite. It's harder than the cozy mysteries I tend to read, which is to be expected, but I think it contributed to why I wasn't in love with it. I really enjoyed the fairy tale angle and would like to see that theme more often. I recently ordered a Grimm's Fairy Tale book because they are amazing to read as an adult, espec ...more
Another brilliant Montanari thriller, the plot twists keep you guessing right until the very end and the characters are well written with their own back stories occasionally coming through making them all the more real. The use of the Anderson fairy tales makes this book even more chilling as it takes something from your more innocent childhood days and twists it into something hideous and terrifying. A brilliant fast paced page turner of a thriller
"Merciless" by Richard Montanari roars out of the gate from page one as a taunt, and chilling Mystery/ thriller. This is the third outing for the Philadelphia detective team of Kevin Byrne, and Jessica Balzano. Byrne the grizzled long time cop has several demons to overcome chasing him within this terrific mystery/ thriller. Balzano ,still somewhat new to being an investigator really progresses her skills in becoming a top flight detective. It's the Schuylkil River that becomes a killing field f ...more
Joanne Nock
It took me ages to get over the last book I read by this author as the level of violence was so gruesome, but yes, I went back for more. Another in the Kevin Byrne / Jessica Balzano partnership where a serial killer recreates fairy tales. I thought I had this figured out quite early on, but was delighted to discover that there were twists in store and my initial theories were rubbish.
This is practically a perfect suspense novel, with intriguing murders, three-dimensional characters, brilliant writing, and twists that even I didn't see coming (and that's not easy to do!).
Brian Krause
Well, the debut (The Rosary Girls)was excellent, The Skin Gods not quite as good and this one......meh.

The characters I'd grown to like seemed baffled and had no idea how to track down the raving lunatic psycho killer. While serial killers in this genre are NEVER easy to figure out, as in what motivates them to do what they do, the snippets we were provided by the author as "insights" into what he was doing/saying/thinking were so obscure as to be worthless.

The last straw was revealing the ident
The third in the Kevin Byrne / Jessica Balzano series; by now I know to expect plenty of hard police work shoring up plot-twists and digressions, and I wasn’t disappointed. In this instalment, people are dying according to some psychopath’s inner need to recreate scenes from fairy tales and fables. This recreation of tableaux is a recurring theme with Montanari, who artfully makes it fresh and distractingly gruesome every time.

Although most of the book (particularly the partnership between Byrne
Alyssia Cooke
It is rare that I pick up a murder mystery book of my own choosing; I usually stick with fantasy, sci-fi or biographies. I'm not a big fan of gore and blood so will do my utmost best to avoid genre's which are likely to hand it to me on a plate; unfortunately many murder mysteries do as authors abandon detailed and interesting plot times in favour of overwhelming the reader with gruesome accounts of the death and corpses of the victims of the novel. So this was an odd one for me to pick out, and ...more
This is actually the third book in this series featuring Philly detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano. Typically, I have a hard time overcoming my obsession with reading books in order, but this book came to my attention because of the serial killer and the link to Hans Christian Andersen. Risking disappointment, I chose to start the series in the middle. And actually, the author does a better job than many series authors in acquainting new readers with his recurring characters without leav ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Merciless, by Richard Montanari, B-plus, narrated by Scott Brick, produced by Books on Tape, downloaded from

This is the second one in the Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano police procedural series set in Philadelphia. In this one, the homicide squad has several crimes going on at the same time but find, as time goes on, that they all seem connected. Young girls disappear and then turn up dead posed in bizarre ways. Then there are two men making it a point to pick up and kill pedophile
First off, kudos to Richard for publishing a read-till-dawn novel. He has created, in my opinion, a true thriller. If I didn't have a baby, I would have stayed up until all hours reading. The characters are so relatable, though a little predictable - but aren't we all?

I personally found his book interesting and fast paced, which keeps the reader interested. He flicks from character to character in a way which doesn't confuse the story line. One thing I found fantastic was the villian - a crazy
Dee Haddrill
This is the third in a series involving detectives, Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne, and was given to me to read by a friend. I'm usually a huge stickler for reading books in order but I'll be honest and say I only started this book so I could give it back to my friend. I haven't read many crime thrillers for a while and didn't expect to think too much of this one, but boy was I wrong! What an awesome book! The story was fantastic, the crimes not so gruesomely described that it creeped me out, a ...more
This author makes me so mad! He has this great pair of Philly homicide cops Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano - compelling, real, interesting partnership - but his cases are so absurd their laughable. I thought the case in THE SKIN GODS was bad - this one is ridiculous. Montanari's killers always have bizarre obsessions and create ridiculous tableaus with the victims. It's kind like watching villains from the 60s television version of Batman - did Mr. Freeze really have to attempt to freeze our he ...more
Julie Haigh
Jan 04, 2014 Julie Haigh rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of crime and thrillers
Recommended to Julie by: Read many of Richard Montanari's books
Excellent but same book as Broken Angels retitled for American market so don't buy if you already read that!

Excellent, fast paced thriller. I have read all of Richard Montanari's novels and this one does not disappoint. This is the American version of 'Broken Angels' retitled for the American market. Whichever one you read you'll be eager to devour the next Richard Montanari book-I couldn't put it down.
I picked this book to listen to on Books on Tape because it takes place in Philly. However, I got so much more. This is a Murder Mystery involving a serial killer who props us his victims as characters in one of several Hans Christian Anderson stories. the writing is crisp and it keeps you guessing up until the end. In addition to the main plot, there is the personal anguish of Det. Kevin Byrne who is haunted by his failure to protect an innocent woman from another killer. Altogether it is a gre ...more
Laurent Thevenod
Dans la droite lignée des romans de Montanari : ambiance sombre, tueur en série passionné des contes, personnages complexes et tourmentés (avec un petit nouveau pour épauler le duo Byrne/Balzano), scénario travaillé et rythme haletant.
Un bon roman qui nous tient en éveil jusqu'au dénouement : le minimum que l'on peut attendre d'un thriller... Le petit plus provient des différentes enquêtes qui s'entremêlent et dont les liens ne se dévoilent que tardivement...
Marco Madness
My first Montanari, wanna read more!
Jacki York
I am addicted to this series!
This was a good, absorbing crime novel. All the characters were complex and well described. Richard Montanari switched between the police and the killer, so you got both points of view. However, he'd structured it carefully, so you didn't know who the killer was, you had to work it out, like the police. This plot device ceratinly kept my interest. I really liked this and will definitely read more of his books.
Rachel Mavin
I couldn't put this book down. it was simply gripping in every paragraph.
Melanie Drummond-McEwan
Mr. Montanari's books just keep getting better and better. Kept me on the edge of my seat right up until the end.
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Had the potential of being really great, but it was just okay for me. I like books were the author lets the killer play a psychological part in the story, where one follows the thoughts and feelings as he or she carries out the acts (sounds a bit morbid saying that out loud, I know), but Montanari did not succeed in making it credible. Unfortunately.
Julie Haigh
Jan 04, 2014 Julie Haigh rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime/thriller fans
Recommended to Julie by: My sister gave me a copy of 'The Rosary Girls'-Richard Montanari's first novel and this was so good I had to read more
Excellent, fast paced thriller. I have read all of Richard Montanari's last three novels and this one does not disappoint. This is the same book as 'Merciless' by the same author-it was retitled for the American market but is exactly the same. Whichever one you read you'll be eager to devour the next Richard Montanari book-couldn't put it down.
Jun 15, 2008 Vivienne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of dark crim fiction
Shelves: crime

Another 'can't put down' crime thriller from this writer and again he managed to keep me in the dark as to the serial killer until the final revelation.

A fascinating premise of a murderer using the darker aspects of fairy tales to stage his murders.

I shall be looking forward to further in this series. Well I hope there will be more!

Morgan Plant
This is my second Montanari, the first being Badlands. I enjoy the Philadelphia setting and the frequent references to other parts of Pennsylvania and occasional references to PA politics. The two detective characters seem real and I found the fairy tale theme in this one very interesting.
Really good mystery and characters. I liked this book a lot and had no idea who the killer was. There's a main serial killer problem and a secondary mystery, so there's a lot of details in the book. The fairy tale aspect of the mystery was great. Will read more from this author.
wasn't as good as the others, but I enjoyed the inventive plot. Being very intrigued in fairy tales, their histories and their meaning, I really liked that part of the story and will definitely be checking out Bruno Bettelheim's "The Uses of Enchantment" as mentioned in the book.
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Richard Montanari is the Top Ten Sunday Times bestselling author of The Rosary Girls, The Killing Room, The Stolen Ones and the upcoming thriller, The Doll Maker.

* Jack Paris
* Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne
More about Richard Montanari...
The Rosary Girls (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne, #1) The Skin Gods (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne, #2) The Echo Man (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne, #5) Badlands (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne, #4) The Killing Room (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne, #6)

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