The Skin Gods (Kevin Byrne & Jessica Balzano Series #2)

The Skin Gods (Kevin Byrne & Jessica Balzano Series #2)

by Richard Montanari
4.6 15

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The Skin Gods (Kevin Byrne & Jessica Balzano Series #2) by Richard Montanari

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Richard Montanari's The Echo Man.

With the breakneck pacing and intricate plotting of his most recent novel, The Rosary Girls, Richard Montanari established himself as one of the most exciting suspense writers working today. Now he proves himself a virtuoso with The Skin Gods, an explosive new thriller featuring Philadelphia homicide detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano.

It is the steaming heart of summer in the City of Brotherly Love. Back on the force after taking a bullet during the arrest of a sadistic murderer, Detective Kevin Byrne warily returns to police headquarters. He cannot shake the memory of the Rosary Killer’ s innocent victims–or his growing sense that the evil has not been vanquished. And when he and his partner, Detective Jessica Balzano, are called in on a bizarre case, Byrne’s gravest suspicions are confirmed.

A madman, dubbed The Actor by the homicide unit, is meticulously re-creating Hollywood’s most famous–and most gruesome–death scenes. The first murder is caught on film, spliced into a rented VHS edition of the Hitchcock black-and-white masterpiece Psycho. But in place of Janet Leigh is a real-life woman, and this time, the blood is red and the knife is real. Soon, more thrilling classics are turned into terrifying snuff films and placed on video store shelves for an unsuspecting public to find.

The key to this horrific puzzle could lie with any of The Skin Gods’ supporting cast: the A-list Hollywood director, the ruthless executive assistant, the convicted mass murderer–or perhaps someone else who has made a sinister art of gruesome violence.

Hot on the psychopath’s trail, Balzano and Byrne descend into the mouth of madness and beyond, deep into the depraved underworld of S&M clubs and the porn industry, where the worship of flesh leads to malevolent evil. Before the final credits roll, the investigators will discover that none of The Actor’s victims are as innocent as they appear to be, and that the clue the police need to prevent future murders might be found in Detective Byrne’s own dark past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345490957
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/14/2006
Series: Kevin Byrne & Jessica Balzano Series , #2
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 32,410
File size: 486 KB

About the Author

Richard Montanari is a novelist, screenwriter, and essayist. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and scores of other national and regional publications. He is the OLMA-winning author of the internationally acclaimed thrillers The Rosary Girls, Kiss of Evil, Deviant Way, and The Violet Hour. Visit the author’s website at

From the Hardcover edition.

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Skin Gods 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
ClarkP More than 1 year ago
Richard Montanari has delivered once again. This book is the follow-up to The Rosary Girls, both are gritty thrillers. The Skin Gods has great characters, real and believable. The plot was intense and disturbing. This book makes the reader question themselves as to what they would do if they were in the situation of the characters, which is a positive. If you enjoy intellectual stimulation then this is the book for you. Two thumbs up for Richard Montanari's The Skin Gods.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really exciting police thriller. This is the second in the Kevin Byrne/Jessica Balzano series and is just as good as the first. I found myself putting it down, just so I wouldn't read it so fast and make it last longer! These novels remind me of John Connolly's Charlie Parker books. A police detective with a tortured soul and a little ghost presence thrown in. I highly recommend these books!
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TWTaz More than 1 year ago
This is the second Richard Montanari book I've read (The Rosary Girls being the first), and I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, than the first one. I like the fact that the detectives have real lives with real problems and that they're not automatically thrown into a romance together as some male/female cop partners in other books are. Every time I thought I had the killer figured out, I only had to turn the page to rethink my theory! Kept me guessing to the end. Being a fan of horror/scary movies, this storyline and the references to the movies made me enjoy this book even more. I can't wait to pick up this author's next book!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Being a voracious reader of excellent mystery writers. I was nonetheless surprised at the talent of Mr. Montanari. He is now my number one mystery author and I can hardly wait for his next endeavor. He is one great scary scene setter. I am delighted to recommend his books to anyone who enjoys an intelligent written novel that will make you hold your breath at times. Kudos to Mr. Montanari for a great imagination...
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Philadelphia, a vicious sly serial killer enjoys reenacting famous death scenes from movies. He films his work and then splices its content in with originals like Psycho. After adding his real gruesome take to a video, he returns the revised film to the store so someone can rent his ¿director¿s¿ cut. People who have seen Hitchcock¿s Psycho for instance are in for quite a shocking ¿director¿s¿ cut.------ Philadelphia homicide detectives Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne investigates the homicides though the latter works part-time as he still recovers from a gunshot wound. Since the killer¿s is talented with his filming and cutting, in between Kevin chomping on pain pills, the two sleuths look into the local film industry for clues to include a major producer and pornography movie makers. The two partners also have baggage from their personal lives as Kevin struggles to stay connected with his teenage daughter following his divorce and Jessica worries about her preschooler after tossing out her womanizing spouse.------ The serial killer makes this a strong thriller as readers can envision his splicing his work into classic film scenes. This makes for an electrifying investigation mostly run by Jessica. Though the two sleuths seems to be overloaded with personal baggage that slows down the case, fans of police procedurals or gimmicky serial killer tales will take pleasure in reading SKIN GODS and obtaining the two detectives¿ first case together (THE ROSARY GIRLS).----- Harriet Klausner