In the next installment in the “compelling, passionate, and gritty” (Daily Mail, UK) suspense series, police Captain Carmine Delmonico is on the trail of not one but two killers.
“Some men and women, she reflected, fell into their proper profession, the only one they were eminently crafted to do. And this man was one such. Highly intelligent without the spark of genius, well educated without being entrapped by his learning, nigh infinitely patient, rational to the core yet subtle, empathetic when it suited him, and endowed with an analytical brain. A policeman by nature who might successfully have done a dozen other things for a living, but had lit upon the one he was made for.”
It’s August 1969, and police Captain Carmine Delmonico is away on a family vacation. Back at home, in the sleepy college town of Holloman, Connecticut, first one, then two anonymous male corpses turn up—emaciated and emasculated. After connecting the victims to four other bodies, Sergeant Delia Carstairs and Lieutenant Abe Goldberg realize that Holloman has a psychopathic killer on the loose. Luckily, Carmine’s beloved wife Desdemona sends him home from vacation early.
Carmine’s team begins to circle a trio of eccentrics, who share family ties, painful memories, and a dark past. They readily admit to knowing all the victims, but their stories keep changing. It’s awkward that one of them is a new friend of Delia’s, a woman she recently befriended along with the respected and innovative head of the mental hospital, who has been rehabilitating one very difficult patient to be her trusted assistant. When another vicious murder rocks Holloman, Carmine realizes that two killers are at large with completely different modus operandi. Like Delia, he finds this case too close to home when he barely escapes being next on the body count. Suddenly the summer isn’t so sleepy anymore.
Colleen McCullough’s riveting Carmine Delmonico books take you back to a time when detectives relied mainly on logic, intelligence, and instinct—and a good home-cooked meal or breakfast at Malvolio’s with colleagues. Sins of the Flesh is her finest mystery yet, pitting her beloved hero against every cop’s nightmare scenario in a plot that turns on the science that McCullough herself knows so well.
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Colleen McCullough, a native of Australia, established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher at Yale Medical School for ten years. She is the bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Thorn Birds, and lives with her husband on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific.From Booklist:
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. --David Pitt
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