Friday, October 2, 2015

The Rosary Girls

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM

Age: Adult
Category: Mystery & Crime
Rating: 4 stars

Helen Thinks: “The Rosary Girls” by Richard Montanari sees a new partnership is formed in rookie detective, Jessica Balzano, and veteran detective, Kevin Byrne, due to his previous partner being laid up in hospital post heart attack. Instead of being slowly eased into her new role as a homicide detective, Balzano's first body is that of a catholic schoolgirl whose hands have been bolted together in a gesture of prayer and she's clutching onto a set of rosary beads. Byrne is unsure if Balzano, the daughter of a famous philadelphia cop, will approve of his approach but together they must work together to catch the serial killer preying on Philadelphia's catholic schoolgirls...

This particular crime formula of a veteran detective that lives on the edge while breaking rules and making enemies along the way being partnered with a fresh faced rookie detective is a cliché that has been done a hundredfold. However, Montanari's shows us how it should be written in “The Rosary Girls” due to giving it a new lease of life and really bringing his characters to life with background stories including journalists out for blood, their family lives and just their every day interactions with each other. Byrne hints towards having a 'psychic' ability where he can sense what happened at a crime scene if he gets a good look at it. If handled incorrectly, this could have caused the book to crash due to readers not seeing it as completely realistic but Montanari handles it like a professional and I found myself curious as to what Byrne could see also.

When it comes to religious murders, sometimes you can be treading into risky territories but Montanari did his research and managed to write a perfect case as well as completely surprise the reader at the end when the killer and motive was revealed. The research in to police procedure was flawless and his writing makes you feel like a third detective on this new crime solving team.

With a gritty, fast-paced and intricate storylines, “The Rosary Girls” was a novel that had me hooked from the first word to the very last and I can't wait to join Byrne and Balzano on their next case.


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