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August 1969. A serial killer is operating in and around Holloman, a Connecticut college town, killing people in an especially slow and gruesome manner. Carmine Delmonico, the homicide cop who's featured in a handful of excellent crime thrillers (beginning with 2006's On, Off), is stymied. Suspects begin to emerge, but just as Carmine thinks he might be getting somewhere, something happens that takes him right back to square one. Of its many virtues (strong characters, realistic dialogue, smartly constructed stories), the Delmonico series' foremost selling point is its time and place: a small Connecticut town in the 1960s, well before modern-day, high-tech forensic investigative techniques existed. The book offers readers the chance to observe a murder investigation done the old-school way, without all the modern technological bells and whistles. Reading the book from our modern-day perspective, we think that if only Carmine could do this, or if only he had access to that, and that juxtaposition of contemporary crime-solving methods against the techniques of an earlier era proves to be a brilliant way of involving the reader in the story. A fine mystery.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist
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McCullough's fifth Capt. Carmine Delmonico novel (after 2012's The Prodigal Son) will be welcomed by readers who just love that creepy feeling. It starts with a man being starved to death as well as castrated-and he's not the only victim. Finding a psychopathic killer is a tough job for the police force of small-town Holloman, Conn., so the smart, if quirky, Delmonico returns early from vacation to lead his investigators, including Lt. Abe Goldberg and Sgt. Delia Carstairs. The story is set in 1969, though disappointingly, there's no real connection to that year's upheavals. However, fans should enjoy the precomputer, pre-cell phone police work. Rather than high-tech equipment, the investigation's crucial element proves to be Delia's friendship with two local women: one, the manager of a hip family-owned clothing business; the other, director of the local institution for the criminally insane. (And there's plenty of criminal insanity to go round.) Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Summertime in a college town should be lazy, but 1969 is the exception in McCullough's Connecticut-set procedural series. It's bad enough contending with one serial killer, but Carmine fears a second murderer lurks. The fifth case for the police captain (after The Prodigal Son). [See Prepub Alert, 5/13/13.] (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.