#9 Byrne and Balzano
Billy is an excellent killer: strategic, methodical, ritualistic. If only he knew what his victims looked like.
Plagued with a rare disease that prevents him from recognizing faces, Billy carries a photograph in his pocket that is his only way of identifying his next target. Killing is in Billy’s bloodline, as a member of Philadelphia’s dangerous Farren crime family.
While Billy stalks Philadelphia, Detective Kevin Byrne is assigned to a series of bizarre home-invasion cases and is joined by his former partner–turned–assistant district attorney, Jessica Balzano. Their investigations circle Byrne’s childhood neighborhood of Devil’s Pocket, and they find themselves revisiting a crime from Byrne’s past that has haunted him for decades. What Byrne witnessed as a child in Devil’s Pocket jeopardizes the Farren family—which makes him the next target on Billy’s hit list.
A multigenerational story of hardship, guilt, and redemption, Shutter Man is Byrne and Balzano’s most tense and personal case to d
Richard Montanari writes with confidence and ease. The plot is complex, his characters are interesting and I love the blending of multigenerational stories/crimes and history. Philadelphia 1940’s is an alien world for me – I loved being transported into this timeline, meeting the people, hearing their stories of migration and community (even the stories surrounding the fledgling criminal community is interesting). Add to this mix a little bit of folk lore, an extraordinary medical condition, a moral dilemma or two, a nice twist in the tail and the great relationship between Byrne and Balzano ( more books with these two working together please Mr Montanari) and you have a thoroughly engaging read.