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The Stolen Ones (Byrne and Balzano Book 7) by [Montanari, Richard]
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The Stolen Ones (Byrne and Balzano Book 7) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A man’s body is found in a public park in Philadelphia. The victim was pushing 60 years of age and had no family. Investigators Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne discover, in the dead man’s house, a large sum of money (with no explanation of its provenance) and some old, vaguely pornographic photographs (on which are found fingerprints leading to four men, criminals who died many years ago). The latest Balzano and Byrne mystery is full of surprises and dark shadows—literal dark shadows, as part of the story concerns a long-shuttered mental asylum and a former inmate who uses it to explore the catacombs beneath the city. Fans of this tightly written series will definitely enjoy this one, and the Balzano and Byrne books work pretty nicely as stand-alones, too, so familiarity with the earlier books is not necessary. --David Pitt


You'll be holding your breath as the nerve-shredding nightmare escalates Evening Telegraph The pace of the writing is crisp and sharp ... a good read Gulf News Blood, gore, sickos, scares, twists... what's not to like? Daily Sport

Product Details

  • File Size: 1968 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316244708
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books (February 25, 2014)
  • Publication Date: February 25, 2014
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,050 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Denise Crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
It is a rainy and stormy season in Philadelphia. A man is found with a railroad spike driven into his head in Priory Park, close to the old shut down Delaware Valley State Hospital at Cold River which used to hold many insane and homeless patients. It closed its doors forever more than twenty years ago but a man who was perhaps a patient there, Luther Wade, never left, and roams the catacombs, sewer and storm drainage tunnels beneath the city, and now commits horrific crimes. He seems to be targeting people who once were associated with that old hospital. Why them? Why now? And is there a connection to a toddler found in the middle of the street one night? Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano, long time partners with the PDD, are assigned to the case.

This book was creepy and quite hard to follow at times with the jumps back and forth in time and the characters and their relationships to each other both past and present. I found it confusing but the excellent writing kept me glued to the pages trying to see what would happen next. To tell you the truth, I am still not quite sure I understand completely who did what and all that went on from the asylum to the current murders. The last couple of chapters helped tie it up a bit, but the end of the investigation still didn't completely explain everything to my satisfaction -- or maybe I need to reread with the ending still fresh in my mind.

I found the description of Cold River and the practice of psychiatric "care" there quite unnerving and mostly unbelievable, even for fiction.
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Format: Hardcover
“When the governor of Pennsylvania ordered the hospital closed, and the main buildings were torn down, a lot of the patients were simply released onto the streets of Philadelphia. Some were sent to group homes, some to other long-term institutions. Most were given fifty dollars and a bus schedule.”

Then there was a resident of that hospital by the name of Luther Wade. He escaped into the underground, living for decades in the tunnels beneath the city. Born while his mother was being held at the Cold River institution, he soon found ways to blend in. He knew how to stay in the shadows and travel the routes that would almost guarantee his invisibility. It might have stayed that way if doctors at the asylum hadn’t tried the experiments. Of course, these weren’t sanctioned experiments, and many patients died when they went wrong. It mattered little, for there was rarely anyone around to care. Now, though, with the danger of discovery looming all these years later, something triggers in Luther. And people begin to die.

Jessica Balzano is trying to juggle her role as wife, mother, law student and Philadelphia police detective. Her partner, Kevin Byrne, tries to help her as much as possible, but it will take more than the two of them to solve the murders that have begun to plague their city. Balzano is assigned to the open/unsolved squad, a position that normally carries the lightest work load. But when she arrives at work one morning, she can tell from her sergeant’s face that is about to change.

About a month ago, the body of a man named Robert Freitag was found in Priory Park, an obvious victim of homicide. The detective who caught the case himself died a few days into the investigation. His notes were sparse, to say the least. The tumor in his brain had seen to that.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Thank you to the author, publisher and netgalley for the review copy.

Destroyed by fire years ago, the infamous Philadelphia State Hospital was a warehouse for the criminally insane.
But one man never left.
A bizarre killer is at work in darkest Philadelphia and Detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano must stop him. But first they must find him ....

Now I have been in from the start of the Balzano and Byrne stories so I was looking forward to this one and was very excited to get a copy. As usual I was in no way disappointed. Richard Montanari has a very distinct voice in the writing world and has become over the years a master of the craft - this particular instalment has become one of my favourites (my absolute still being "The Skin Gods" - Book 2 of the series) due to the complex and very intense storyline.

Jessica is investigating a cold case which very quickly becomes a hot potato - with Kevin on board they find themselves chasing a very dangerous man...and will have to unravel a mystery with its roots in the past.

I loved the flow of this one - snapshots of age old events give clues to what is happening in the present and the plot twists and turns in typical Montanari style until you are not sure if you are coming or going...and the ultimate resolution was one of the best so far.

Ok, I can see why some readers who are also mental health professionals have been a bit down on this one - some of the visuals if you like on asylums and what goes on in them (at least in this fictional world) are often disturbing. However the key word here is "fictional". This is a story, dramatic license is allowed and indeed required to make a compelling tale - it is in no way implied that any of this is fact.
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