Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Doll Maker: A Byrne and Balzano Mystery by Richard Montanari

There are magic mushrooms involved in this story and, as you read it, you begin to wonder if you've taken some, too.  Prepare yourself for an odd journey through a psychological minefield.

Mulholland Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It's going to be published April 28th.

This is the first one I've read in this series.  The two cops are great detectives that listen to their instincts in cases.  It's what has kept them alive.  In this case, it becomes a matter of life and death.

It all starts when a young girl is murdered.  Her throat is cut and her skull has number embroidered on it.  It's horrific and frightening and there are no clues except an envelope that invites them to another tea party on a future date.

The death reminds Byrne of the missing children he's searched for in the past.  He never found them, but he knows who took them.  The woman is on death row and he tries to get permission to speak to her.  Maybe now that she knows she's dying, she'll tell him where they are.  

There is more than one dysfunctional family in this story.  What's scary is how dangerous they are.  They feel no guilt, they are "fixing" them.

This is a complex story with lots of details tying together the tale of love, hurt, heartache, and a bit of insanity.  Many things could have turned out differently depending on how they responded to their crises.  Unfortunately, everyone made the wrong choices.

This is a fight until the end.  I was almost holding my breath by the time we got to the end of the story.  Mr. Montanari's characters have depth even if they don't have sanity.  I'll be watching for more of his work.

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