The Skin Gods is the second in the Byrne & Balzano Philadelphia series of crime novels, taking place some time after the events of The Rosary Girls because of Stuff I Can’t Get Into (without spilling the beans on the previous book’s ending). The structure is the same as before, alternating narratives from the perspectives of the two detectives and the unidentified murderer.
What’s the killer’s thing?
Murder and mutilation of a wide range of people in the manner of famous movie murders, scenes which are filmed and spliced into video tapes for innocent members of the public to find.
What’s the situation with Byrne?
Suggestions of tainted evidence in an old case let a very nasty person out of jail while his conviction is reconsidered, and Byrne (who helped put him away) feels responsible for the woman said bad guy attacked and goes off the grid for parts of the novel to find out what’s going on and Put It Right.
What’s the situation with Balzano?
Still dealing with whether her husband is cheating or not. Has the joy of going undercover into the seedy parts of the film industry. Is still very good at hitting things.
What did I think of it?
Another enjoyable and pacy serial killer thriller (surely that’s a thing?), with some incredibly gory set pieces and a high level of inter-connectedness in the victims which strains credibility a touch but only if you stop to think about it, so I didn’t. Once again I thought I had worked out who the killer was only to get it totally wrong. Oh, and the FBI get involved in this one, and as someone who loves shows like Criminal Minds it was nice to see what it’s like from the local PD point of view when the Feds turn up. There is potential for the books to become a bit formulaic if the pattern in the first two is followed too closely in future volumes, but at the moment it’s still cool, largely because the two main characters are still flawed but immensely likeable.
I’ve already finished the third in the series and have started the fourth so that should tell you something. I may have said that before *tut* repetition, repetition :D