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Extended Audio Sample Merciless: A Novel of Suspense Audiobook, by Richard Montanari Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (466 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Montanari Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Kevin Byrne / Jessica Balzano Series Release Date: August 2007 ISBN: 9781415941720
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On a frigid December night, Karen sits at the edge of Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River, dressed in a flowing gown, like a visitor from the distant past. A beautiful and shining young woman, she gazes up at a bone-white winter moon like a fairy-tale princess frozen in time. At first glance, one might not even notice that she is dead, coated in a glistening patina of ice. 

Homicide cops Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano take the lead on the case, uncovering a plethora of eerie clues–each more warped and spine-chilling than the last. Yet the identity of Karen’s pitiless killer remains a mystery. Then the next victim is found upriver at an abandoned waterworks, posed with an unlikely object in her clasped hands. Struggling to link the victims and make sense of the madman’s agenda, Byrne and Balzano follow his twisted trail, which stretches into a past of dark crimes forgotten by all but a few. Siftting through suspects and clues, they unearth a shocking secret history: a legacy of malevolence and cold-blooded retribution dating back twenty years. 

This razor sharp and jolting thriller from acclaimed author Richard Montanari coils back in time to deliver a fiendish mystery, a shattering revelation, and one hell of a wild ride. Lock your doors and turn up the lights. Montanari’s terrifying bedtime story will keep you up all night. - See more at: http://www.randomhouse.com/audio/catalog/display.php?isbn=9781415941720#sthash.PGxKtws3.dpuf

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Morgan Plant | 2/19/2014

    " This is my second Montanari, the first being Badlands. I enjoy the Philadelphia setting and the frequent references to other parts of Pennsylvania and occasional references to PA politics. The two detective characters seem real and I found the fairy tale theme in this one very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rose | 1/31/2014

    " With "Merciless" the third in the Byrne/Balzano detective series, Richard Montanari just keeps getting better. Gritty, smart, and a real page turner, I recommend the series to anyone who is a fan of detective novels. ("Rosary Girls" "The Skin Gods") "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaylol | 1/27/2014

    " The first couple of chapters were great, the rest were fun to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leeankh | 1/23/2014

    " Normally, I don't read this type of mystery novel, but it was recommended to me by someone at a garage sale and I thought I'd give it a try. I can say it was good, but not a favorite. It's harder than the cozy mysteries I tend to read, which is to be expected, but I think it contributed to why I wasn't in love with it. I really enjoyed the fairy tale angle and would like to see that theme more often. I recently ordered a Grimm's Fairy Tale book because they are amazing to read as an adult, especially in a more pure form than say Disney would allow. The descriptions of the area were really good and I thought the plot was strong. I think if I venture into harder mysteries in the future, I will look this author up and see what else he has to offer. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Dannatt | 1/22/2014

    " Read this as Broken Angels "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 1/18/2014

    " A suspense novel, murder mystery thing. Haven't read one of these in a while. It was a quick read, nothing deep or meaty. I would probably try another one of this author's book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bren | 12/29/2013

    " Really enjoyed this book, had no idea who the killer was until the end. Never read anything by this author before but will certainly look out for the rest of his books. Interesting read, kept me hooked all the way through. 5 stars from me :D :D "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thasc | 11/24/2013

    " Another gripping read. One little niggle however is that when it's revealed who the murderer was masquerading as I'd forgotten who the character was and had to go back a few chapters to refresh my memory. Other then that it certainly keeps you guessing whodunnit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucy | 11/20/2013

    " This is the latest chapter in the Byrne/Balzano crime series, and as always, I couldn't put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 11/17/2013

    " This is practically a perfect suspense novel, with intriguing murders, three-dimensional characters, brilliant writing, and twists that even I didn't see coming (and that's not easy to do!). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharron | 7/1/2013

    " Another good one in the series although not quite as gruesome as the last couple, can't wait to read the next one though and would reccommend Richard to anyone who likes Deaver and that ilk "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonia | 4/18/2013

    " As far as cop dramas and murder mysteries go, I thought this was a good book. The writing was much better than I anticipated and there were enough suspicious characters that I wasn't able to figure out in advance who the culprit was. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 3/5/2013

    " Very good, suspenseful book. Kept me reading late. Haven't read one of his books in a couple of years but remembered I really liked them...was not disappointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg Fisher | 7/23/2012

    " The third in the Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano Thriller series by Cleveland Heights author Richard Montanari. It hit #5 in London's bestselling list earlier this year and hopefully it will be a breakout novel here in the states. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 6/29/2012

    " Great suspense, per usual from R. Montanari. Quick paced. Another great turnout from this author. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 2/19/2012

    " This one was kinda boring and the killer was a disappointment "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Therese | 9/14/2011

    " Good read with new twists. I really enjoyed this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace P. | 2/23/2011

    " Character - Moon. Starting to forget what this book was about. Badlands was the first one I read by Montanari. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 1/5/2011

    " "Here are maidens, young and fair/Dancing in the summer air/Like two spinning wheels at play/Pretty maidens dance away" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tia | 8/20/2010

    " This author keeps getting better. It carries on the story of the characters Byrne and Jessica but you don't have to have read previous books. It challenges the mind which is the best part of these books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Philip | 6/1/2010

    " Another page turner from Mr. Montanari. The story is absolutely thrilling and the twists and turns keep you guessing. He is a most talented mystery writer. keep them coming!!!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louise | 5/2/2010

    " Brilliant. The fairy tale related murders were really inventive and the twists and turns in the plot kept you guessing almost to the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Morgan | 2/7/2010

    " This is my second Montanari, the first being Badlands. I enjoy the Philadelphia setting and the frequent references to other parts of Pennsylvania and occasional references to PA politics. The two detective characters seem real and I found the fairy tale theme in this one very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rose | 1/1/2010

    " With "Merciless" the third in the Byrne/Balzano detective series, Richard Montanari just keeps getting better. Gritty, smart, and a real page turner, I recommend the series to anyone who is a fan of detective novels. ("Rosary Girls" "The Skin Gods") "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonia | 10/6/2009

    " As far as cop dramas and murder mysteries go, I thought this was a good book. The writing was much better than I anticipated and there were enough suspicious characters that I wasn't able to figure out in advance who the culprit was.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 7/16/2009

    " i was actually trying to add the book broken angels and it keeps coming up with this...so i actually read broken angels not this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louise | 3/16/2009

    " Brilliant. The fairy tale related murders were really inventive and the twists and turns in the plot kept you guessing almost to the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tia | 3/13/2009

    " This author keeps getting better. It carries on the story of the characters Byrne and Jessica but you don't have to have read previous books. It challenges the mind which is the best part of these books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace | 2/20/2009

    " Character - Moon. Starting to forget what this book was about. Badlands was the first one I read by Montanari. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 1/13/2009

    " This one was kinda boring and the killer was a disappointment "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Therese | 11/13/2008

    " Good read with new twists. I really enjoyed this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mysterious | 11/7/2008

    " I've liked the 3 other books by this author and have no idea if it was just my mood or what, that seemed to make this 3rd book in the series just drag.

    I am glad I read it, but felt it was just an average read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Philip | 8/15/2008

    " Another page turner from Mr. Montanari. The story is absolutely thrilling and the twists and turns keep you guessing. He is a most talented mystery writer. keep them coming!!!!!! "

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About the Author
Richard Montanari is a novelist, screenwriter, and essayist. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and scores of other national and regional publications. He is the OLMA-winning author of the internationally acclaimed thrillers Kiss of Evil, Deviant Way, and The Violet Hour–all published in more than twenty countries. Visit the author’s website at www.richardmontanari.com.
About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.