Sins of the Flesh (Carmine Delmonico Series #5)

Overview

“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 ...

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Overview

“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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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/16/2013
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.)
Booklist
"In her enthusiastic style . . .McCullough delves into small town intrigue with well-defined characters and vivid descriptions. . . . Entertaining."
Mysteryandme.com
“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.”
Bookreporter.com
"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
2013-11-04
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: 645,059
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Biography

Colleen Mccullough was born in Australia. A neurophysiologist, she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, then worked as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. Her writing career began with Tim, followed by The Thorn Birds, a record-breaking international best-seller. The author of nine other novels, McCullough has also written lyrics for musical theater. She lives on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific with her husband, Ric Robinson.

Author biography courtesy of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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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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