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The Anniversary Man

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  766 ratings  ·  105 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,184)
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Maddy
PROTAGONIST: Ray Irving, homicide detective
SETTING: New York
SERIES: Standalone
RATING: 4.5

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
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Anne Raftery
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
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Ian Mapp
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
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Anne


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
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Rose
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
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Vivienne

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
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Annie
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.
Maggie
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.
Karen
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.
Big Bertha
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
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Kate Millin
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
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James Keenley
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
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Nick
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
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Tony
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
Karen
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
Lynn
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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Ali
Even though these books are a lot more "gritty" than I generally read, there is something I do really enjoy about RJ Ellory's novels. The subject matter is not what I usually want from my reading, I don't find killing entertainment - but it is compelling, the writing is good and the characterisation superb. The sense of place is remarkably good - as Ellory is afer all English - but he must be a New Yorker in his soul. The story is of a serial killer stalking New York City, re-creating infamous m ...more
Liz Wilkins
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
Stevedutch
I did not like this book and resented the time I had to spend in order to finish it! I will try to explain why. As with most, if not all, contributions to the `serial killer' genre it complies with certain conventions; e.g. the world weary cop, the love interest who might `save him from himself', the seedy cast of minor low life characters and, of course, the `whacko' perpetrating the crimes.

It is also characterized by, obviously, painstaking research, much of which is a little too often too con
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Jaime
For a long time John Costello tried to forget what happened.
Perhaps pretended that it had not.
The devil came in the form of a man, around him the smell of dogs.


I didn’t find this to be as lyrically beautiful as A Quiet Belief in Angels was, but it was still quite good. Ellory doesn’t write crime novels like you expect them to be written. The book is really more about the people involved than it is about the crime. In this case, you have a triumverate of main characters: Detective Ray Irving, jou
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BookScout
Noone gets five stars for ALL their books from me, 'cept this guy.
Tough and uncompromising as ever, R.J.Ellory has produced a hard-boiled crime thriller of the highest quality, again.
Believable central characters, real life tensions and a plot that has been researched as thoroughly as a crime scene itself.
The Anniversary Man is humane and tragic, tender yet pragmatic. This is less of a whodunnit and more about the lives and minds of the investigators involved. What a journey it is.
Leaves you fe
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Ella
weer een mooi geschreven thriller van Ellory. Het gaat over een seriemoordenaar en over overlevenden van een seriemoordenaar. De moorden waar het nu over gaat zijn replica's van moorden die jaren terug zijn gepleegd en allemaal door daders die of overleden of in de gevangenis zitten dus zij hebben het in ieder geval niet gedaan.
De rechercheur die op de zaak gezet wordt is erg sympathiek en betrokken.
Catherine
I read this just before the sock-puppet scandal which led to an awful lot of people falling out with this author. I think some other former fans have been a little over-the-top in their condemnation, almost as if they have taken his actions as a personal betrayal, and others have used it as an opportunity to admit they'd never liked him. However, I'm trying not to let any of that cloud my judgement.
It's difficult to say much abut this book without giving things away. It is very gory, with many o
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Yolanda
A great story about a New York detective tracking down a serial killer. There is just enough minor characters to keep it interesting. I was anxious to get to the end and find out if I had figured it out. I did not. Give it try if you enjoy these story lines.
Lee
This is the first R.J. Ellroy book that I have read. I loved his writing style it was very fluent. He wrote about New York and the NYPD as if he was native to the city. The book has an excellent story giving us another insight into the world of serial killers, the victims (both dead and surviving) and the cops who's job it is to catch the perpetrators of such crimes.

The amount of research that has gone into this novel needs applauding. Although the ending does not bear testament to work that ha
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Rachel
This was a scary, suspenseful read. The Anniversary Man is a serial killer who is repeating famous killings on the anniversary of when they occured. But since he's using multiple famous murders, it's impossible to know which killer and murder he's going to duplicate next. Adding to the suspense is John Costello, a rare survivor of a murder attempt who has made following murders somewhat of a hobby and works for a newspaper as a researcher. The head of the police task force asks John for his help ...more
Robert
My second book that I have read by this author and both ranked at five stars. I have added a new author to my favorites list, any guesses as too who that would be? This one is centered in New York with a detective as the main character, and a chase to capture a serial killer that is replicating past serial killers deeds. Far above the average mystery novel Ellory writes about the sheer frustrations of a Police Department attempting to deal with a sick bastard operating on thier turf. The storyte ...more
Vivian
Roger Ellory's work was suggested by a forum member on an Amazon thread that I follow. I started with this book which is a winner. A very intelligent read that is very well written and researched. An absolute page turner, I could not put it down. Most books about serial killers all start to sound the same after a while. Not this one. It had plenty of twists and turns and characters that you care about. Set in New Jersey and Manhattan, you would never guess that the author is British, he got it s ...more
Mes
I decided to pick up this book because I heard the author give a talk on his life and career as an author (he'd written over 22 books before he got a publisher! Sheer determination got him where he is now as a successful author...and, of course the ability to write well). After his talk I simply thought 'he's so interesting and captivating in real life that his books must be just as good'. And I have to say, I wasn't disappointed.

I don't usually read crime fiction. But I could definitely see my
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Charisse
4 1/2 stars... A crime thriller where serial murders are recreated on the anniversary of that event. Strong characters - Detective Irving, Karen Langley,newspaper reporter , and serial murder survivor, John Costello are all strong characters in this novel. Ellory does a nice job of letting us get to know Irving, tough yet vulnerable. There is a tremendous amount of research that was done as we move from one serial murderer to another (all true - Gacy, the Hillside Strangler, etc..) This is a tru ...more
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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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More about R.J. Ellory...
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