Sins of the Flesh (Carmine Delmonico Series #5)

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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.

It’s August 1969 in the sleepy college town of Holloman, Connecticut, and police Captain Carmine Delmonico is away on vacation. Back at home, first one, then two anonymous male corpses turn up—emaciated and emasculated. After connecting the victims to four other bodies, Sergeant Delia Carstairs and ...

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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.

It’s August 1969 in the sleepy college town of Holloman, Connecticut, and police Captain Carmine Delmonico is away on vacation. Back at home, 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 decides to come back from vacation early.

Carmine’s team begins to circle a trio of eccentrics, who readily admit to knowing all the victims, but their stories keep changing. They share family ties, painful memories, and a dark past. One of them is a new friend of Carmine’s invaluable sergeant, Delia Carstairs, as is the respected head of the mental hospital, who has been doing groundbreaking work rehabilitating one very difficult patient who is now her trusted assistant. When another vicious murder rocks Holloman, Carmine faces the revelation that two killers are at large with completely different modus operandi even as he barely escapes being next in the body count. Suddenly the summer isn’t so sleepy anymore.

A riveting mystery series by an author of astounding range and skill, Colleen McCullough’s Carmine Delmonico books take you back to an age of classic police work, before DNA analysis and computers. Sins of the Flesh is her finest work yet, pitting her beloved hero against every cop’s nightmare scenario in a plot that turns on the sort of science that McCullough herself knows so well.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
"In her enthusiastic style . . .McCullough delves into small town intrigue with well-defined characters and vivid descriptions. . . . Entertaining."
“The novel is a rich, tightly-woven tapestry of colorful characters and intriguing plot . . .Stunning, surprising, culturally shocking, The Prodigal Son is traditional McCullough at her best.”
"Just when it seems obvious who the murderer is, the evidence falls apart and it's back to square one. For those who enjoy drawing room stories, with many and varied characters, this will be an enjoyable read."
Library Journal
Summertime is not so easy in 1969 Holloman, CT, as Capt. Carmine Delmonico returns from vacation to find he must hunt for a killer whose victims turn up emaciated and emasculated. Then murder of a different sort occurs, and Delmonico has two chaotic cases to handle. McCullough's pleasing series continues.
Kirkus Reviews
1969. Someone is kidnapping, castrating and starving beautiful young men to death in suburban Connecticut. And wait, there's more. If Capt. Carmine Delmonico, of the Holloman Police Department, doesn't catch this new killer soon, he threatens to eclipse the record set by whoever was behind the disappearance of the Shadow Women, half a dozen 30-ish ladies who vanished from Holloman at the circumspect rate of one a year between 1963 and 1968. Inspired by the studio photographs the Shadow Women left behind, Sgt. Delia Carstairs has been brooding over the case with nothing to show for her sleepless nights. But that all ends when Delia's friend, clothing-store manager Ivy Ramsbottom, takes her to a salon at Busquash Manor, the palatial home that Ivy's brother, designer Rha Tanais, nee Herbert Ramsbottom, shares with his partner, dancer Rufus Ingham, nee Antonio Carantonio IV. The stars are out at Busquash Manor, and Delia gets a snootful of actors, singers, producers and artists before she goes home. The real attraction, however, is the tangled back story of the Carantonio family, which features irregular liaisons, family feuds, disinheritances and yet more disappearances dating back to 1925. Meanwhile, back in the present, Delia and Ivy's friend Dr. Jessica Wainfleet, director of the Holloway Institute for the Criminally Insane, preens herself on her success in curing her aide, Walter Jenkins, of his homicidal tendencies even as McCullough (Naked Cruelty, 2010, etc.) provides growing evidence that Walter's cure may not be quite complete. If you want to find out how the mind-boggling, murderous plots are connected to each other, you'll just have to read the book, maybe two or three times to make sure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476735337
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 11/12/2013
  • Series: Carmine Delmonico Series, #5
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 983,761
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Colleen McCullough

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.

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    1. Hometown:
      Norfolk Island, 1,000 miles off the Australian coast
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 1, 1937
    2. Place of Birth:
      Wellington, New South Wales, Australia
    1. Education:
      Attended University of Sydney

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 17, 2015

    Very disappointed.

    I bought this book because I like the author's other books I have read. I didn't even finish it. Just deleted it from my Nook! The more I read the less I cared.

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