June/July 1998

The Violet Hour

Robert Montanari
Avon, 1998 368pp
ISBN: 0-380-97592-0

review by Harriet Klausner

It might have been twenty years ago, but the pain is so strong, the memories make it seem like it occurred yesterday. Halloween Night of 1977 is a time of infamy in the mind of one person because that was when Julia Raines was taken away from him. A group of seven college students from the AdVerse Society of Case Western Reserve University hosted a wild, no-holds barred party, which resulted in Julia's destruction. The school's twentieth reunion is coming up, but if one person has his way, those involved in Julia's death will not live to see it.

Five people in various parts of the country in different professions have all received e-mail with four lines of poetry on it; a warning to them that they will be punished for what they did to Julia. Soon, one by one, the individuals involved are brutally murdered. Reporter Nicky Stella thinks he is on to the story of the decade when he discovers the ties that bind five people together. He never dreams that the real perpetrator is setting him up to take the fall for being a serial killer.

The Violet Hour is definitely one of the better serial killer books on the market today due in part to the audience's understanding from almost the start of the motives behind the murders. The incredible pacing swings between the victim, the reporter, and the killer without missing a beat. In spite of all the up front information, Richard Montanari still manages to set his readers up with many surprising twists and turns. The Violet Hour is a chill a minute thriller that will be thoroughly enjoyed by fans of the sub-genre.

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