The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer

A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery (Volume 3)

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
244 Pages
Reviewed on 05/07/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Darryl Greer for Readers' Favorite

The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer by Owen Parr is the third book in a crime mystery series featuring unlikely brothers, Italian-American Joey Mancuso and Irish-American Father Dominic O’Brian (don’t worry — the relationship is explained in the story). This time, New York City is being terrorised by a serial killer preying on young, professional women who seem to have a lot more in common than first meets the eye. As the bodies pile up and NYPD’s Midtown South Precinct cops are no closer to finding the killer, they enlist the services of a private investigative team, Mancuso & O’Brian Investigations. Joey Mancuso, a former member of the precinct’s homicide squad, has both friends and enemies there, but he is not one to be intimidated by those who resent an outside consultant being recruited into their investigation. With the aid of his brother and partner, Fr. Dom, Joey puts his Sherlock Holmes’ style investigative skills to good use and sets out on a dangerous path to find the perpetrator of these heinous crimes. His hunt for the killer almost costs him his life, but he’s not about to give up and eventually he discovers the shocking truth.

At first, like an Arthur Conan Doyle or Agatha Christie novel, a slow burner, the pace of Owen Parr’s The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer picks up along the way. Then it becomes a real page turner, a true crime thriller. The device of using a character who isn’t actually a homicide squad detective and casting him alongside a Catholic priest is unique, for me at least, and adds a dash of spice to the story’s flavour. The dialogue is script-like and believable, the scenes easy to visualise. In fact, at times the scenes are so graphic they are too easy to visualise — this book is not for the faint-hearted. Just as I was hyperventilating and the narrative edged towards what I thought was its dénouement, it took an unexpected and dramatic ninety-degree turn and went off in another direction. One surprise followed another. I was almost glad to reach the end so I could catch my breath. The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer is indeed a killer of a story.

Viga Boland

In The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer, Owen Parr scores again with another engaging thriller starring Joey Mancuso and his brother, Father Dom, and their detective agency’s clever crew of assistants. This time the gang is hell-bent on discovering the identity of The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer, an especially nasty serial killer who targets professional women who openly admit to being promiscuous in their leisure time…much to their misfortune. In this third book of the Joey Mancuso/Father Dom series, Owen Parr narrates in the now familiar laid-back, first-person voice of Joey Mancuso. This style makes Parr’s books so easy to read and enjoy, which, as he states on his website, is what he wants: “Through my novels, my goal is to entertain the readers and have them get involved with my characters and the plot.”

Well, get involved we do! Much to the chagrin and jealousy of the regular police investigators, Mancuso pursues clues in his own way and, as always, finds the true perp. But this time, as he follows his instincts, Mancuso feels a dread as the gorgeous murdered females, victims of death by choking during sex, bear a strong resemblance to the woman he loves, Marcy. Is that mere coincidence or just Mancuso’s concern for Marcy, an FBI agent, who has asked Mancuso for a short break in their relationship while she recovers from a recent terrorist incident? Taking advantage of one of Marcy’s BAU contacts at the FBI, Mancuso and his team zero in the killer’s profile. Then Marcy inexplicably disappears. Now the heat is on as Mancuso has more to worry about than this insane serial killer.

As the team rally around Mancuso, searching through all resources and following up on all possibilities to find Marcy, the novel moves rapidly to an exciting finish. And then, typical of Owen Parr, just when readers and all the book’s characters start to relax, believing the string of murders has ended, Mancuso’s gut kicks in with a twist that no one expects. What fun! I had previously read one of Parr’s stories starring Mancuso and his brother Dom so I didn’t hesitate to grab The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer. This author pulls us in and doesn’t let us go till the last word. I’m a fan. Check Owen Parr out. You’ll be glad you did.

Melinda Hills

Joey Mancuso is back, solving crimes and saving the city in The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer by Owen Parr. This installment, Volume 3 of the Joey Mancuso, Father O’Brien Crime Mystery series, has Joey dealing with a serial killer who is at least three steps ahead of him and his crime fighting team at every turn. With young women working in law enforcement related fields turning up dead in apparent extreme sex scenarios, the pressure is on to get this killer off the streets. The problem is, there is never any evidence. That doesn’t bother Joey, though, who uses his exceptional deductive reasoning and observational skills to put the puzzle together, one tiny piece at a time. When it appears that these particular murders may be personal and the killer is trying to make a specific statement, Joey goes on high alert. The action really becomes intense as the clues come together, and it is a fight to the death to end this savage affront to not only the crime victims, but someone close to Joey as well.

Exciting, fast-paced and full of amazing characters, Owen Parr’s third novel in the series - A Joey Mancuso, Father O’Brien Crime Mystery - is gripping and well worth reading. The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer is a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Sam Spade, with unique and fascinating back stories for all of the private investigators working out of their newly finished squad room in the back of a popular Irish Pub and Cigar Bar. The action keeps you reading because you are so drawn into the hunt for this killer that you just can’t put the book down. Intense does not even begin to describe the emotions that you feel as this story progresses! I loved the story, characters and overall flow.