Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Skin Gods


I finished the follow-up to The Rosary Girls:  The Skin Gods by Richard Montanari.  I read this novel because I was mad at the previous novel for inserting a totally ridiculous twist at the end of the novel.  I wanted to see if Montanari redeemed himself by making that the focus of the follow-up.  He did not redeem himself.

Byrne, our bad cop, still has visions.  But, they are randomly placed throughout the novel, and not very helpful to the overall plot.  The plot of this novel had the potential to be amazing.  However, Montanari violates the trust of his readers and that makes the plot tank.

Early in this novel we meet an FBI agent who is assisting with the case.  He appears periodically, says cryptic things, and then wanders off.  He seems to never be around when he would be useful to the case.  He manages to get himself shot (a graze to the shoulder) with no witnesses, supposedly by the perp.  There's nothing obviously wrong with him, but just enough hints to make you think that he is involved in the crimes.  He didn't do it.

Who did?  Another cop introduced somewhere around page 20 (in the story for all of 2 paragraphs) who is never referred to again in the novel.  Until the last few pages when it is explained that he is the killer. 

Part of the appeal of suspense novels is trying to figure out who dun it.  I don't feel like I ever had a chance of figuring it out in this novel.  Montanari dropped lots of clues, but not a single one of them pointed to the killer.  Some clues he discussed at great length, making them seem super important in solving the case.  Many of these clues were never resolved, he never let us in on how they connected to anything else.  I was disappointed. 

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