Kiss of Evil by Richard Montanari
A Novel of Suspense

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Detective Michael Ryan died in Cleveland's Renaissance Hotel two years ago, murdered with his own weapon. A stunning fashion model was accused of the crime, then cleared-leaving a good cop's name forever tainted by these damning words: corruption, greed, and betrayal.

Since that time homicide detective John Salvatore Paris has worked long and hard to salvage his good friend Mike Ryan's reputation, but with no success. Now the beautiful suspect who walked away has perished in a fiery suicide. The circle is closed.

But the rash of brutal slayings that is rocking Paris's city suggest otherwise. The plague of terror and ritual sacrifice is savage enough to shatter even the most street-hardened cop's faith in justice and a rational world. Each murder is different, yet equally horrific. The street hustler, the suburban career woman, the dealer in religious artifacts -- the only evidence connecting these victims is a strange symbol carved into their flesh. And, perhaps, one name: Michael Ryan.

The truth Detective Paris's investigation uncovers is that these murders are the grim handiwork of one maniac, a merciless, vengeful killer wired into the soul of something ancient and terrible, brilliantly coaxing Paris's personal demons out of hiding and cunningly leading Paris to the edge of the abyss ... and over. Even those closest to the tortured cop -- his colleagues, his friends, and the enigmatic young woman who is rapidly becoming his obsession -- are suddenly not to be trusted.

As Paris is pulled into a place of shadows and sexual deviance, he finds himself right where the murderer wants him: broken and desperate, with the barrel of his gun pointing at his temple and the whole world watching.

But there is one last hope for Detective John Paris, one profound and frightening secret he must ultimately come to discover about himself -- sometimes, in order to catch a monster, one must be willing to summon the monster within. . . .

With his two previous novels, Deviant Way and The Violet Hour, author Richard Montanari established himself as a contender for the heavyweight crown in suspense fiction. With Kiss of Evil, his most relentlessly chilling, stunningly crafted, and superbly skilled work to date, he has earned his way into the ranks of Thomas Harris, John Sandford, Jeffery Deaver, and the other champions of the thriller genre.


About Richard Montanari

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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 "Kiss of Evil, Deviant Way, "and" The Violet Hour-"all published in more than twenty countries. Visit the author's website at "From the Hardcover edition.
Published April 1, 2001 by William Morrow & Company. 304 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Crime. Fiction

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The fashion model accused of killing Ryan was acquitted of the crime and later committed suicide, but Paris is convinced she was guilty and believes she may have something to do with the man the press is calling the "voodoo killer."

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Reviewing the Evidence

Just a few days before Christmas in Cleveland, and a serial killer who mutilates the bodies of his victims is on the loose.

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