When The Echo Man, by Richard Montanari, opens, we find famous cellist Christa-Marie calmly playing her cello as the man she has butchered bleeds to death. She doesn't have any remorse about what she has done and openly confesses to the murder, although she does admit that she is scared.
Many years later, the cops in the Phildelphia police department are shocked when they find a murder victim that has been shaved clean of all hair. A band of expensive paper is wrapped around his forehead. When they remove the band of paper, they find it was covering a laceration. One of the victim's ears has been mutilated and he was left naked.
Upon investigation of the victim's identity, they find that he was the prime suspect in a murder that had happened years earlier. His mutilated body was found in the same place that his supposed victim's body had been found.
This is the first in a string of murders that take place throughout Philadelphia, murders that terrify the residents of the city because of their brutality. All of the victims are found as the first one was – shaved clean of all hair, a laceration across the forehead covered by a strip of paper, and one of the ears mutilated. The murderer appears to be some sort of self-proclaimed vigilante, as all of his or her victims are suspected of having committed murder themselves and are found right where their supposed victims were left.
Bryne, a detective, discovers that the murders all have a musical theme. The lady, Christa-Marie, he arrested years before is the one holding the key to all of these killings. She has been released from prison and tells Bryne that she wants to help stop the murders. Was she really guilty of the murder she was imprisoned for?
Bryne, now suspected of being the murderer, plays a game of cat and mouse with the Philadelphia police department. On Halloween night, a night when many trick-or-treaters have chosen to dress as one of this crazed murderer's victims, so many things happen that even his partner wonders if he is truly innocent or if he has been playing her. Will he be able to prove his innocence and capture this truly insane killer? Everything ends just where it began – in the house of Christa-Marie.
Richard Montanari is one awesome writer. This terrifying book kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the last. If you are a fan of thrillers, you will love this book. I received my copy of it free of charge from Net Galley. If you would like your own copy to read and enjoy, I have provided a link to Amazon below. When you use the link below to buy a copy of the book, it won't affect your price any, but will add just a little to my income.