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The Anniversary Man

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,014 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
The serial killer to end all serial killers is out there and only one person in the whole city knows it...
Paperback, 389 pages
Published 2009 by Orion
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(showing 1-30 of 1,637)
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Dec 28, 2010 Maddy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010-reads
PROTAGONIST: Ray Irving, homicide detective
SERIES: Standalone

As depressing as it may be, success often leads to a rash of imitators which leads to a reduction in quality which ultimately results in failure as the market suffers from fatigue of an overdone concept. Do you feel like you never want to hear about another vampire? Do you want twenty more forensic cop shows on TV? Many crime fiction fans have given up on serial killer books, as they’ve become very derivati
Anne Raftery
Oct 07, 2012 Anne Raftery rated it it was ok
I am normally a huge RJ Ellory fan. I absolutely loved A Quiet Belief in Angels, and have read it 3 times, so I had great hopes for this book.

It started off interestingly enough, and had the usual characters that one would expect in a detective novel, world weary and lonely middle aged cop, sassy lady who comes to his rescue after a shaky beginning to their relationship, odd ball boffin type, etc etc etc. Plenty of well researched CSI type of stuff there too.

We were well and truly cheated in the
I can't be arsed to write a review for a book that turned out so disappointing for me so just read stevedutch's review. It echoes my sentiments.

To be fair, the choice of Stefan Rudnicki as the narrator contributed significantly. The storytelling was already bad enough (actually one of the worst I've experienced) but Rudnicki's accent exacerbated all the negatives. Since I ordinarily love Rudnicki's voice, he is not at all suitable for fiction that require a typical American accent. He is best le
Oct 13, 2015 Cécile rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Le problème avec les polars, ce n'est pas que je n'aime pas en lire, c'est que je les oublie aussitôt refermés.
Celui-ci fait exception mais malheureusement pas pour les bonnes raisons.

Le prologue très long aurait du me mettre la puce à l'oreille.
J'ai trouvé le style très froid et factuel.
Les meurtres sont cités et décrits tellement froidement qu'on ne ressent aucun frisson, l'inspecteur n'est pas du tout attachant car là aussi, trop factuel. Et surtout, il ne sert à rien pendant tout le livre !
Brigitte Alouqua
Nov 07, 2015 Brigitte Alouqua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Une succession de meurtres étrangement ressemblant aux plus grandes scènes de crime va avoir lieu.

Ray Irving va hériter de cette enquête et sera aider par John Costello qui est lui-même un rescapé d'un serial killer, mais cela remonte à sa jeunesse.

Vous pensez bien que ce sac de noeud ne va pas être simple à dénouer, surtout lorsqu'ils vont se rendre compte que les meurtres actuels sont en fait perpétrés à la date anniversaire d'un autre meurtre ayant eu lieu dans le passé.

Par moment, j'ai eu l'
Ian Mapp
Jan 13, 2011 Ian Mapp rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
This is another book where the intensive and obvious research has got in the way of the story telling.

Only in America could you begin to imagine that a "surviving serial killer" support group could exist. If you can get over this hurdle, you can appreciate the life of John Costello - a man who 20 years ago was left for dead by the "hammer of the gods" killer. He now works as a researcher for a newspaper - lives a life alone and is an expert on serial killers.

Is this a doppleganger for ellory, wh
Liz Barnsley
Mar 26, 2013 Liz Barnsley rated it it was amazing
Many years ago, John Costello survived a horrific attack by the serial killer known as the "Hammer of God". Fast forward to present day New York, and John is working as a researcher for a newspaper. Ray Irving is a New York cop, a bit of a loner, who has suffered the loss of a loved one. He is called out to a murder scene. This sets the stage for a tale of two men, not dissimilar, more in common than not, and their hunt for a killer some think don't exist. Mr Ellory's novels are a joy to read - ...more
Aug 29, 2009 Anne rated it it was amazing

It was with much anticipation and a little apprehension that I picked up RJ Ellory’s latest offering; ‘The Anniversary Man’ and started to read. The anticipation of a brand new novel from a favourite author and the apprehension of wondering would it be as good as his earlier books.

There is a quote from Clive Cussler on the front of the book saying that RJ Ellory is an author that keeps you reading throughout the night hours – that is the perfect quote for this book, but don’t expect an undisturb
Oct 29, 2010 Rose rated it it was amazing
Shelves: serial-killers
R.J. Ellory once again captivates my attention well into the long hours of the night with this extremely engaging read. Serial killer genre is one of my favorite, but they have to been over-the-top good for me to warrent them a 5 star rating. If it scares me at all, then it's more than good. This one did just that.

In 1984, 16 year old, John Costello meets 17 year old Nadia and young love blooms along with the sexual awakenings of young teens in the heart of New York city. To some innocent, but t
Oct 18, 2010 Vivienne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime

With this novel Ellory established himself as one of my favourite crime writers. I had loved 'A Quiet Belief in Angels' though wondered if his others could live up to that standard. I shouldn't have been concerned because this does and also is very different in style.

It is a serial killer novel but one that is quite fresh in the way the killer operates. Fascinating and compelling.

It combines page-turning suspense with quite a literary quality.
Near the opening is a recollection of a crime by i
Oct 29, 2015 Cinemali rated it liked it
Not very original story nor really interesting for me. I found the story covered very familiar grounds thematically, especially if you've seen the movie Capote by Bennett Miller. The pace of the story is extremely slow, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing on its own. The problem is that I found it to be slow for the sake of being slow. There's no narrator commenting or venturing on philosophical grounds, we just follow a case with Ray Irving, who encounters John Costello and Karen Langley, bu ...more
The Cannibal
Oct 24, 2015 The Cannibal rated it really liked it
Avec R.J Ellory, c’est une grande histoire d’amour à sens unique : dès qu’un de ses romans sort, je l’achète, tandis que lui ne donnerait pas un kopeck pour mes bafouilles. Mdr

En voyant le résumé du roman, je m’étais dit « Chouette, une histoire de serial-killer » tout en me demandant ce qu’on pouvait raconter de neuf sur les céréales killer…

Que ceux qui ne l’ont pas acheté parce qu’ils ont soupiré sur le fait que ça parlait encore de serial killer, aillent de suite réparer cette injustice car s
Maggie Kiely
Nov 25, 2015 Maggie Kiely rated it liked it
This case follows a serial killer in New York copying real life notorious serial killers and killing innocent people in the same way and anniversary of original killing. The killer is totally organised and a perfectionist in the way he plans and executes his kills. The prologue to the book describes serial killings that occurred in 1984 with one male survivor John Costello. John Costello is now a crime researcher for a newspaper. The lead homicide detective is Ray Irving who tries to gain clues ...more
Apr 05, 2010 Anne rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely fantastic book, if I could give it more than five stars I would! Totally unputdownable, I've been reading solidly for over four hours because I just had to finish it. The tension grips your entrails and twists, and I feel like I've been on a very enjoyable roller coaster. Magnificent writing, real characters you care about, a driving pace, twists and turns... if this isn't in contention for my book of the year I'll be amazed.
Sep 16, 2015 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must Read !!!!

* Review Sooon soon soon*
Jul 06, 2015 RJ rated it it was ok
I read this book after coming across a recommendation on some 'crime novels you should read' list. It started off intriguingly. There's a serial killer who is recreating murders on their anniversaries, and Irving has been tasked with catching this sinister copycat. Along the way, he meets John Costello, a crime survivor turned crime researcher. Surely, these characters have been written very well! You end up wanting Irving to catch the killer, you want Costello to find some poetic justice. But t ...more
James Perkins
May 28, 2015 James Perkins rated it really liked it
John Costello is the survivor of a serial killer who murdered his girlfriend and several other people in the summer of 1984. Fast forward 20 years and Costello is a reclusive crime researcher working on a major New York newspaper. Together with his colleague, reporter Karen Langley, and jaded police detective Ray Irving, he must help piece together who is responsible for the latest spate of killings in the Big Apple. But when Irving starts to suspect Costello himself, things get difficult...

I li
Dec 02, 2015 Kahlan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On se retrouve aujourd’hui avec la chronique d’un ouvrage que j’ai eu l’immense chance de découvrir grâce aux matchs de la rentrée littéraire de Price Minister et aux éditions Sonatine : Les assassins, de R.J. Ellory. C’était ma toute première excursion dans l’univers de cet auteur, et elle m’a donné plus qu’envie de le découvrir plus avant. Au travers d’une histoire addictive au possible, l’auteur nous entraîne sur les traces de serial killers tristement célèbres, mais aussi dans les coulisses ...more
Jul 17, 2010 Maggie rated it it was amazing
This book covers all the REAL serial killers and their methods set in a fictional setting of a new serial killer who kills on the anniversary date of other serial killers.
Mar 17, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it
couldn't put it down. one of those books where i go i'll just read a few more pages and then i'll put the light out but i'm still reading it two hours later.
Mar 10, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it
There's something about the characters of an R.J. Ellory book that I just..get. A certain angst that seems very real and relate-able.

Yeah, the body count in The Anniversary Man might be a little high for some, and yeah it's sort-of a psycho-serial-killer type deal, but in spite of that, there's real value here. (Besides, what do you want with a police procedural thriller...parking tickets?)

Value #1: This John Costello character. Interesting. I liked how his role in the story morphs from the begi
Dermott Ferry
Feb 11, 2016 Dermott Ferry rated it liked it
My first introduction to RJ Ellory was 'A Quiet Belief in Angels'- a book that I thoroughly enjoyed despite its bleak (very bleak) storyline. I always intended to return to Ellory's work, and did so with 'The Anniversary Man', which I finished earlier today.

It tells the story of John Costello, a childhood survivor of an attack by a sadistic serial killer known as 'The Hammer of God', an attack that took the life of his girlfriend Nadia, and Detective Ray Irving. The main story begins many years
Michael Davies
Feb 01, 2015 Michael Davies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with previous R J Ellory novels the plot line is an excellent one - a serial killer is copying the date and method of the murders of infamous killers of the past (all of whom are actually real life murderers such as Arthur Shawcross and the Zodiac killer) and is being pursued by the usual hard bitten, cynical New York detective with no discernible social life and a serial killer survivor who now works as a crime researcher on a newspaper and is the only one to see that a series of apparently ...more
Big Bertha
Jul 08, 2009 Big Bertha rated it it was amazing
A favourite author always has a lot to live up to. I needn't have worried; the latest from RJ Ellory had me frantically turning the pages as I got more and more engrossed in the plot and the characters, unable to put it down until finished.

John Costello is a survivor, a victim of the 'Hammer of God' serial killer who lived to tell the tale, now working as a crime researcher for a newspaper there are few people who have the knowledge and insight of serial killers that he has.

Following the discove
Kate Millin
Mar 11, 2012 Kate Millin rated it it was amazing
Another gripping story which I kept finding difficult to put down, even though the descriptions of the murders were a bit gruesome. The interplay of the characters was excellent. The concept of a self help group of people who are the sole survivors of serial killers was very believable - do they really exist?

Twenty years ago, John Costello's life as he knew it ended. He and his beautiful girlfriend, Nadia, became victims of the deranged "Hammer of God" killer who terrorised Jersey City throughou
James Keenley
Mar 21, 2013 James Keenley rated it really liked it
This is the second crime novel by R.J. Ellory that I've read, and this one represents a huge leap forward from his first novel, "A Quiet Belief in Angels."

R.J. Ellory can flat out write. There were several times that I found myself re-reading descriptive passages, just to savor the beauty of his prose.

I found the plotting in "A Quiet Belief in Angels" to be a bit pedestrian, but in "The Anniversary Man" he much more fully succeeds. He takes what has become a rather clichéd crime novel situation
Oct 10, 2010 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
My first encounter with Ellory - his latest publication to date - was not exactly pleasant, but it was rewarding. Heroes, few and far between, are scarred by life, tragedy and violence. The villains, on the other hand, seem to get away with murder - in the most grotesque forms.
The Anniversary killer sets out to replicate the sick and twisted history of US serial killers by re-enacting, with as much detail as possible, the crimes for which most of them were caught. The only way the cop on his tra
Oct 21, 2010 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ellory, R. J. THE ANNIVERSARY MAN. (2010). ****. It’s unfortunate, but I tend to rate books by given authors based on their best works. Although this is a terrific thriller that is well-written and well-plotted, there are holes that you won’t find in the author’s previous work, “A Quiet Belief in Angels.” For any other writer, this would rate a five-star, the highest, rating. The story starts off with a burgeoning relationship between John Costello, sixteen-years old, and Nadia McGowan, seventee ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-books, crime
Sometimes, not very often granted, a blurb on the front of a book nails it for me. In the case of THE ANNIVERSARY MAN the blurb from Clive Cussler is "The perfect author to read late into the night". I'd definitely advise that you catch up on your sleep before you pick up a book by R.J. Ellory. This is the second of his that I've read now and both of them have kept me up way too late, or found me sneaking out to hide in the chook sheds and grab a little time with the book when I really should ha ...more
Sep 17, 2011 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Marcia, Head of Reference and Adult Services at the Library suggested that I might like R.J. Ellory's books. This one was on the shelf. What a great story! Even 15-20 pages from the end I could not figure out the Anniversary Man's identity or how the book would end.

The book begins with the murder of Nadia and the attempted murder of her boyfriend John Costello in 1984 by a serial killer known as "The Hammer of God" - so named for his brutal method of dispatching his victims. John should have die
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Roger began his first novel on November 4th, 1987 and did not stop, except for three days when he was going through a divorce from his first wife, until July of 1993. During this time he completed twenty-two novels, most of them in longhand, and accumulated several hundred polite and complimentary rejection letters from many different and varied publishers.

He stopped writing out of sheer frustrat
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