The Stolen Ones
Richard Montanari
Mulholland Books 2014

Exciting from the get-go, The Stolen Ones by Richard Montanari is a complicated and intriguing mystery. It is one you definitely want to keep reading. Kindle version.

A gruesome and elaborately staged murder is the first of a series of interconnected killings.  Detectives Jessica Balzano and Kevin Byrne of Philadelphia’s Special Investigations Unit are on the case.

Luther, a man who inhabits and adeptly navigates the hidden tunnels beneath the city is a formidable, frightening, and calculating predator, whose disturbed and distorted past and motive for revenge drive him to embrace and even relish his killer persona.

Throw in a former state mental asylum for the criminally insane, unethical research, the unknown fate of two little girls, and you have yourself an exciting read.

The Stolen Ones by Richard Montanari provides a good dose of surprise and shock, and a strong sense of foreboding.

Many characters and intersecting plots, intertwined among the blurred lines between past and present, and a fascinating connection between dreams and reality make The Stolen Ones always intriguing.  Complications are unexpected and chilling.

Occasionally this reader had to regroup to figure out what’s going on, and who’s who, with a bit too much jumping around for my taste, but clarity is always forthcoming.  Likewise, the alternative language confuses for a while, but Richard Montanari succeeds at pulling it all together.

The Stolen Ones is definitely cringe-worthy.  To sleep “perchance to dream”…Here, thanks to Richard Montanari, Hamlet’s words could not be more frightening.