Serial K Returns

Fiction - Thriller - General
274 Pages
Reviewed on 04/08/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Brian Gallagher’s first novel was the award winning conspiracy thriller, Vatican Protocol. Gallagher's novel has been sold in more than fifteen countries and is available in print, Kindle and as an audio book.

His latest novels, Serial K, and Serial K Returns are a departure from the religious conspiracy of the Vatican Protocol. Serial K and its sequel, Serial K Returns are psychological thrillers that delves into the mind of a serial killer.

The son of parents who met in art school, Gallagher discovered Ian Fleming's James Bond in high school. He was later fascinated by Robert Ludlum's stories of conspiracy between religious factions, governments and clandestine groups, which continues to be a strong influence on his writing today.

He is a graduate of Milton College, where he studied history, political science and religion. Gallagher's long career as a software executive led to extensive and frequent travel throughout Europe. The combination of his education and European travel created the foundation for his historical and psychological thrillers

Gallagher's style encompasses the following:

*Thorough research leading to a historically accurate narrative

* Expose little known facts that will shock the reader

* Includes rumor, legend, superstition and purported facts into a plausible story line

*Provide factual detail for hotels, locations and as granular as restaurant menus

*Unmasks institutional and governmental hypocrisy where appropriate

*Create multiple plot lines that builds suspense and allows for a fast-paced tale

*Leaves the readers questioning if the story could be true

*Provides an outlet for social commentary

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

Serial K Returns by Brian Gallagher is a thriller that features a serial killer, an intense crime investigation, and the FBI working tirelessly to keep pace with a killer who works with a purpose. Craig Breedlove had once been a victim of abuse by a priest, and he has never gotten over it. This time, it is more than an urge. He’ll kill for revenge. He will kill for justice, and this time, he will raise the stakes. Readers are introduced to a thriller with very interesting characters, the kind they’ll read in the likes of James Patterson. Can FBI agents Lea Pucci and Ryan O'Callahan apprehend the killer and stop the dead bodies piling up?

Brian Gallagher has created a successful story that will have readers gripped, utterly seduced as they turn the pages, hoping for an ultimate confrontation between the investigators and the killer. The plot is wonderfully crafted, tantalizing, and loaded with instances that provoke curiosity and force the reader — literally — to keep on reading. The author seems to understand just perfectly how the FBI works. The characters are great and they all fitted perfectly into the fast-paced, dynamic plot. One of the things I enjoyed is the beauty of the language which features many powerful descriptions and great dialogue. Everything reads so naturally and it is hard not to believe that the story actually took place. Readers will also enjoy the psychological depth of the story, marveling at the author’s examination of the psychology of the killer. Serial K Returns is a captivating read, designed to keep readers glued to their seats until they turn the last page.

Sefina Hawke

Serial K Returns by Brian Gallagher is the sequel to Serial K and is a thriller novel. This is a book that would appeal most to an audience of adults and mature young adults who enjoy thrillers with serial killers. Craig Breedlove is a diabolical, sociopathic serial killer who has gone up against the FBI and avoided capture while targeting them. Craig Breedlove has decided to begin a new killing spree with targets inspired by his childhood priest molestation; he has decided to hunt down abusive priests who evaded justice for their crimes. FBI Agent Ryan O'Callahan and his ex-wife, FBI Profiler Lea Pucci, are back together romantically and professionally as they seek to catch the vicious killer before he can claim any more victims.

I did not read Serial K before reading Serial K Returns by Brian Gallagher and I found that while I missed Craig Breedlove’s early development into a serial killer and some character development of Ryan O'Callahan and Lea Pucci, I did not miss any plot elements. I found the book to have a fast pace with psychological elements that reminded me a lot of the Criminal Minds TV show. I personally really liked the fact that one of the main characters was a strong, independent woman who was also a profiler. I liked the psychological insights that Lea Pucci brought to the plot. There were a couple spots in the book where I was not sure who I was cheering for; on one hand there was the FBI team who needed to catch the serial killer before he claimed more victims, but on the other side the serial killer was killing abusive priests who should have been brought to justice long ago. I obviously disagreed with the serial killer being allowed to kill people, yet at the same time, when he was targeting priests, he had the feeling of a very dark vigilante.

Viga Boland

That sociopath, Craig Breedlove, who left bloodied, horrifically mutilated bodies here, there and everywhere in Serial K, is back to terrorize readers and victims once again in Serial K Returns, but now he is Milo Van Dolah. Returning with him is the beautiful FBI agent, Lea Pucci, and semi-retired author-cop, and Lea’s on-again husband, Ryan O’Callahan. Between shootouts with a Mexican drug cartel and chasing down Craig Breedlove aka Van Dolah, Lea and Ryan give readers a break from the ever-mounting tension of Serial K Returns by making love and enjoying good friends, fine foods and wine. As they do, once again Brian Gallagher delivers a satisfying combination of psychological thriller and romance that works beautifully for fans of thriller fiction.

Since the file on the Serial K murders was officially closed after it was decided the serial killer was dead, Craig Breedlove has been lying low. But you can’t keep a murdering sociopath down once the blood-lust hits again. This time around, he has a new mission: to avenge the abuse he suffered at the hands of a pedophile priest when he was a young boy. But he decides that what would make this round of serial killings even more fulfilling would be to enlist other men who have been victimized in the same way. So instead of one serial killer, why not a group of them? Retribution is swift, bloody and ugly as the group locate and murder pedophile priests. When the ever-alert and intelligent FBI profiler, Lea Pucci, senses this latest round of killings is the work of the serial killer everyone believed was dead, she’s on his trail quick-smart, even though this time she almost wants to applaud what this vigilante group is doing. The assassinations are heinous, but the reasons are understandable. Nonetheless, she and Ryan do their jobs and pursue Breedlove, a.k.a. Van Dolah. In doing so, Lea puts herself directly in the killer’s path. What happens next is for readers of Serial K Returns to find out. Will this serial killer strike again in yet another book? The closing lines of the novel will leave you wondering. Only the author knows what’s next.

Serial K Returns is a thoroughly absorbing, page-turning thriller. Brian Gallagher is adept at creating tension and suspense, but also at relieving it through romantic interludes and comic characters, like the moronic Ted, one of the abuse victims who simply isn’t bright enough to become one of the killing group, but who could unwittingly lead the police to Van Dolah. The novel is very current in both religious and political issues of today e.g. pedophile priests and Donald Trump…all of which makes Serial K Returns another great read from Brian Gallagher.

Lisa McCombs

Ah…retirement. Something maybe not planned as expected, but exhilarating just the same. “I’m going to pine trees, lakes, and cool breezes,” Ryan O’Callahan confirms when asked what he plans to do next in life. His years in government law enforcement have been exciting, but it is time to hang back and enjoy life. When his ex-wife/current lover Lea agrees to step down as a full-time criminal profiler for the FBI and join O’Callahan in Wisconsin, Ryan is certain that they can rejuvenate their relationship and he can devote many hours to his writing. His dreams are short-lived, though, when hours after moving into his new home their lives are threatened by a dangerous Mexican cartel. To top things off, retired Catholic priests begin popping up dead with all the trademark signs of a former crime spree solved by Ryan and Lea. But…the Ripper is dead, right?

Bryan Gallagher has done it again! Serial K Returns is even more intense than the first installment in the lives of two ambitious FBI agents who could not make a marriage work, but who fit together better than a hand in a glove. As Ryan O’Callahan and Lea Pucci continue to work together as professional criminal investigators, their devotion to one another continues to grow stronger and stronger. If this were not an obvious crime story, Gallagher could lay claim to the romance genre with his convincing and often humorous dialogue and intimate love scenes. Move over, Patterson. I believe that Brian Gallagher is here to stay!

Gisela Dixon

Serial K Returns by Brian Gallagher is the sequel to the Serial K novel about the life and mind of a serial killer named Craig Breedlove. Serial K Returns continues on from where the first novel left off and yet it is a standalone story all by itself. In this sequel, Craig re-emerges after a period of laying low to go after people with a vengeance. When a journalist publishes an account of him that he doesn’t like, the anger and hate inside him lead him to his first murder in months. As a result, Craig is once again caught up in his demons of anger, revenge, and murder. FBI agents Pucci and O’Callahan team together to solve this latest spate of murders while being intimately involved at the same time. This is once again a thriller full of twists and turns that is guaranteed to keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

I had already read the first book—Serial K—by Brian Gallagher and had loved reading it so I was excited to be reading the sequel. Serial K Returns is just as thrilling and engaging as the first one and the fear and thrill of the plot starts off right from the first page. There is a familiar cast of characters in this book and, once again, I found myself fascinated with looking at things via the mind and eyes of a serial killer. I appreciated the empathetic yet realistic manner in which Craig is portrayed, and the interpersonal relationships between the agents and the killer, among others, add an added element of suspense to the plot. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read.