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Liz Loves Books.Com.

Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere.  All views my own. Mostly.

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The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari - Review.

The Doll Maker - Richard Montanari

Publication Date 14th August from Little Brown.


Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy via netgalley.


Mr Marseille is polite, elegant, and erudite. He would do anything for his genteel true love Anabelle. And he is a psychopath.
A quiet Philadelphia suburb. A woman cycles past a train depot with her young daughter. And there she finds a murdered girl posed on a newly painted bench. Strangled. Beside her is a formal invite to a tea dance in a week’s time.
Seven days later, two more young victims are discovered in a disused house, posed on painted swings. At the scene is an identical invite. This time, though, there is something extra waiting for Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano.
A delicate porcelain doll. It’s a message. And a threat.With Marseille and Anabelle stalking the city, Detectives Byrne and Balzano have just seven days to find the link between the murders before another innocent child is snatched from its streets.


So another outing for one of my favourite detective duo’s Byrne and Balzano, and another terrifically chilling journey into the heart of darkness.


I love these books even though, frankly, Mr Montanari’s “bad guys” tend to scare the bejeezus out of me and usually stalk me around my dreams during the reading experience, often lingering for quite a while afterwards. Hey we all like to be scared occasionally and for me, the scariest moments come not from monsters under the bed but the monsters hidden in plain sight – and this is what this author pulls off so well every single time.


The series has grown in stature with every book since its beginnings in “The Rosary Girls”, one of the best things about it being the main character progression – both Jessica and Kevin have come a long way since we first met them way back when, and meeting them again is always a joy. In this instalment they are facing true horror as the city’s children are in danger and it is a race against time to prevent another loss – but this may come a little closer to home than either of them expect.


I’m always addicted once I start – the plotting is intelligent and keeps you on the edge of your seat, but there is also a lot of emotional depth to all the people and a really really good sense of place which keeps you immersed in the story throughout. The villains get as much attention as our good guys – the reason why I get so freaked out by them is because the psychological depth is always extremely well drawn, the backstory clever and the feel for them real. They could be you. They could be me. Its ok…its not me!


Overall a brilliant addition to an already brilliant series and one I would highly recommend for any Crime Fiction fan.


Happy Reading Folks!