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The Strangler: A Novel Paperback – June 12, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Landay movingly explores the bonds of family and basic questions of honesty and loyalty.... The emphasis remains on such themes as crime and punishment, love and honor, truth and justice.”—Publishers Weekly
“Complex.... This character-driven novel ...[unfolds] against the backdrop of the oppressive atmosphere of 1963 Boston. People are reeling from the assassination of JFK and the still-on-the-loose Boston Strangler.”—USA Today
“Landay has a marvelous ear for dialogue and for relationship complexities, smartly emphasizing the impact of crime instead of on the crimes in particular.”—Baltimore Sun
“Mr. Landay combines a fictional investigation of the Strangler's killings with a chronicle of three brothers.... The result is a gripping, atmospheric saga in which the official version of many matters (both criminal and civil) bears little resemblance to the truth.”–Wall Street Journal
Top Customer Reviews
Though a work of fiction, THE STRANGLER is set in the real world of 1963. The nation is reeling from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; for Boston, it is a devastating blow, as the city is already traumatized by a series of rapes and murders committed by a fiend whom the press has dubbed "The Boston Strangler." Landay's novel, however, does not concern itself primarily with those horrific crimes. Rather, the story belongs to the Daley brothers, three different siblings who will touch and be touched by the investigation directly and indirectly.
Michael is an assistant with the Attorney General's office --- content with handling eminent domain cases that are beneath him intellectually --- when he is assigned to a special task force investigating the killings. Joe, following in the footsteps of his late father, is a policeman, but his corruption is such that he cannot appreciate fully the irony of the situation into which he is inexorably sliding. Ricky is an unapologetic burglar, yet it is he who is perhaps the most honest, caring and consistently upright of the brothers.
Surprisingly, it is Ricky who holds the key not only to their father's mysterious death in the line of duty but also to the identity of the Boston Strangler. Yet it is Joe, ethically and morally compromised as the result of his own actions, who is closest to the corruption within Boston and to the crime that haunts the brothers most deeply.Read more ›
Some reviewers have complained about the lack of twists, or that the bad guy was revealed early on. This is not a "mystery" book where the object is to keep guessing until the end. This is a crime novel that is as much about the human condition as it is about the crimes, much in the vein of Mystic River, and is guaranteed to move you and make you think about your own life and family.
It's a dark tale, bleak and brutal. But if you want more from your thrillers than a puzzle, if a literate story with depth is what you seek, you will be delighted - sometimes horrified, but thoroughly delighted - with this exemplary novel. It truly represents the best in crime fiction.
Publishers Weekly wrote that "the emphasis remains on such themes as crime and punishment, love and honor, truth and justice" and while I didn't quite see the novel in that light, frankly if that's really what this book is about, then I had more fun reading "The Brothers Karamazov". The parts about the Boston strangler provided some interest, and some much needed relief from the Daley brothers, and I learned a great deal about the Boston strangler's crimes in general. Otherwise, for my part and in my humble opinion, a forgettable experience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great story involving a family of brothers, the mob and Boston! The pac e of the book is great as it leads the reader through the events.Published 8 hours ago by Tksharp1
I wish William Landay would write more often. All of the books have great plots and a storyline that moves along. Read morePublished 26 days ago by john hammack
After reading Defending Jacob I ordered this book. It is nothing special.Published 1 month ago by Suzanne1945
It was a disappointment after reading "Defending Jacob". It took a long time for me to get into it at all. The end was good with an unexpected turn of events.Published 2 months ago by Phyllis C. Sickmond
Mystery in the context of persuasively evoked Boston power politics. Convincing characters and family dynamics. A satisfying read.Published 4 months ago by JLarkin