The Doll Maker
Mr Marseille is polite, elegant, and erudite. He would do anything for his genteel true love Anabelle.
And he is a psychopath.
On a cold November morning, in 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.
“Don’t start reading The Doll Maker just before your bedtime. If you do, you will want to finish it…It seems to be nearly impossible to put down. It has everything that suspense/thriller fans could possibly want: compelling mysteries, very capable and dangerous antagonists, vulnerable victims, and a couple of ticking clocks. You couldn’t reasonably ask for anything more…Once you read the book, you will chisel Montanari’s name onto your must-read list.” - Bookreporter.com
“The Doll Maker by Richard Montanari is a crime novel that reminded me how fun it is to be scared of my own reflection at 3 a.m. The plot is dense, blood-soaked and thrilling." - New York Daily News
"The eighth installment in the popular Byrne and Balzano series sees the detectives investigating a string of gruesome murders. Your pulse will race as they try to solve the case before another life is lost.” - Entertainment Weekly
“Mr. Marseille and Anabelle are young, good looking, beautifully dressed, and exceedingly polite murderers. Longtime fans of the series will not be disappointed, nor will readers who favor thrillers with a high creepiness quotient.” - Booklist
"Montanari creates a large cast of believable, moving characters, men and women with families, needs, and histories. The workings of the Philadelphia PD are as detailed and convincing as those of Isola in an Ed McBain novel, in which the city itself becomes a virtual character." - Publishers Weekly
"It's definitely a book that you won't want to put down until the very end. As far as twists and turns go this book is bursting with them. Plenty of shocks along the way." - Book Addict Shaun
"Another terrifically chilling journey into the heart of darkness." - BookLikes.Com
"Montanari is fast becoming the master of murder macabre. . . terrifying, complex, compelling psychopaths who knock other fictional killers into a hangman’s hat." - Lancashire Post
"Walking an emotional high-wire, negotiating the Machiavellian plot twists and desperately trying to identify the killers is all part of the rollercoaster journey, but those with faint hearts might need breathing stops along the way." - Burnley Express
"Trademark intelligent plotting, powerful psychology and knife-edge suspense." - Guardian
"Montanari has his finger firmly on the dying pulse of murder most horrible." - Blackpook Gazette
"Richard Montanari is a master storyteller who, at the same time as delivering up horrific scenes of murder and mayhem, somehow manages to give the reader feelings of empathy for the perpetrators. Even at the very end of the novel, love shines through the blackness of the horror." - BestSellingThrillers.com
"Byrne and Balzano are two of the best creations in U.S. hardboiled crime. Brilliantly gripping." - The Look
"Full of twists and turns and heart-stopping action, The Doll Maker is one to read for those who want to be spooked enough to sleep with the light on. Readers who enjoyed James Patterson’s The Postcard Killers, fans of a series like Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay and those who enjoy the show Criminal Minds will want to dive into the entire Balzano/Byrne series, starting with the first book, The Rosary Girls." - Between the Covers
"Montanari is a master of suspense and The Doll Maker is a fiendishly haunting thriller." - Chris Ewan, bestselling author of Safe House