Book Review: The Stolen Ones by Richard Montenari

17899397Title: The Stolen Ones

Author: Richard Montenari

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thrillers

Rating: 2 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In Richard Montanari’s chilling new suspense novel, a sealed-off network of secret passages connects all of Philadelphia to the killer hidden within.

Luther Wade grew up in Cold River, a warehouse for the criminally insane. Two decades ago the hospital closed it doors forever, but Luther never left. He wanders the catacombs beneath the city, channeling the violent dreams of Eduard Kross, Europe’s most prolific serial killer of the 20th century.
A two-year-old girl is found wandering the streets of Philadelphia in the middle of the night by detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano. She does not speak, but she may hold the key to solving a string of murders committed in and around Priory Park.
As the detectives investigate, more bodies are found at Priory Park, and they’re drawn closer and closer to the doors of Luther’s devious maze and the dark secrets of Cold River.

I started reading The Stolen Ones, hoping I’d enjoy the book. The plot sounded great. An asylum for the criminally insane, catacombs, a serial killer channeling violent dreams, a mix of supernatural and psychological thriller. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that great.

We get introduced to main characters Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano, two detectives, rather shortly, which is all right, considering this book is number eight in a series. However, I didn’t mind, I got a well-enough grasp of the characters to figure out their personalities and quirks. Luther, the bad guy, was intriguing too. He was led by the dreams of serial killer Eduard Kross due to some psychiatric experiment gone wrong.

However, the writing was formulaic and too descriptive. The pacing was too slow, and for the most part, the book wasn’t suspenseful at all. I didn’t feel invested in any of the murdered characters. The main characters were likeable, but too standard. They don’t stand out from the dozens of other police officers and detectives playing roles in suspense novels. The conditions in the psychiatric hospital aren’t believable at all. I’m okay with embellishing things, or making things worse to fit the story, but it was way over the top here. That facility, Cold River, sounded like something from Shutter Island, or from American Horror Story.

The plot went in all kinds of directions, and it was disjointed as well. Not one of my favorite detective novels, I’m afraid.

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