Synopses & Reviews
Boston, 1963. A city on edge. On street corners, newsboys hawk the shocking headline: KENNEDY IS DEAD. In the city's underworld, a mob war rages. But what terrifies Bostonians most is the mysterious killer who has already claimed a dozen victims, a murderer whose name is indelibly linked to their city: the Boston Strangler. This is the electrifying backdrop of William Landay's magnificent new novel, a story of one Irish-American family, a city under siege, and the long shadow cast by the most infamous killer of his day...
For the three Daley brothers, sons of a Boston cop, crime is the family business. They are simply on different sides of it. Joe is the eldest, a tough-talking cop whose gambling habits fast women, slow horses drag him down into the city's gangland. Michael is the middle son; a Harvard-educated lawyer working for an ambitious attorney general, he finds himself assigned to the embattled Strangler task force. And Ricky, the devil-may-care youngest son, floats above the fray as an expert burglar until the Strangler strikes too close to home.
As Joe's mob debts close in around him...and Michael becomes snarled in a murder investigation gone very wrong...and Ricky is hunted by both sides of the law, the three brothers and the women who love them are forced to take sides. Now each must look deeper into a killer's murderous rage, into their family's own lethal secrets, and into the one death that has changed them forever. As William Landay's complex, compassionate, and terrifying novel builds to a climax, two mysteries will collide and a shattering truth will be revealed.
"Set in Boston in 1963, Landay's engrossing crime novel is less about the titular strangler than the three Irish-American Daley brothers: Ricky, a thief; Michael, a lawyer; and Joe, a bent cop. A year earlier, the Daleys' father, also a cop, was fatally shot on the job, and the killer has never been caught. The father's partner on the force, Brendan Conroy, has insinuated himself into the family to the point that he's now sleeping with the brothers' mother, Margaret, and is a permanent fixture at Sunday dinner, much to the disgust of Michael and Ricky. Landay (Mission Flats) movingly explores the bonds of family and basic questions of honesty and loyalty. While the novel suggests another killer than the historical Boston Strangler, the emphasis remains on such themes as crime and punishment, love and honor, truth and justice." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Complex....This character-driven novel...[unfolds] against the backdrop of the oppressive atmosphere of 1963 Boston. People are reeling from the assassination of JFK and the still-on-the-loose Boston Strangler." USA Today
"Landay has a marvelous ear for dialogue and for relationship complexities, smartly emphasizing the impact of crime instead of on the crimes in particular." Baltimore Sun
"Mr. Landay combines a fictional investigation of the Strangler's killings with a chronicle of three brothers....The result is a gripping, atmospheric saga in which the official version of many matters (both criminal and civil) bears little resemblance to the truth." Wall Street Journal
"Good may triumph, but not at all clearly, and the many twists are truly shocking in the hands of this masterly plotter." Library Journal
"[Landay's] stellar craftsmanship shines through; if anything, The Strangler surpasses [Mission Flats]....It is difficult to escape the conclusion that The Strangler may well be the crime novel of the year." BookReporter.com
"In between a slow start and a coda too cute, Landay shows a truly sizzling Boston." Kirkus Reviews
In 1963 Boston, a city wracked by a mob war, people are terrified by a mysterious killer, known as the Boston Strangler, stalking the city, but when the serial murderer strikes all too close to home, the three Daley brothers--Joe, a cop; Michael, a prosecutor; and Ricky, a master thief--join forces to track down a killer with ties to their family's own lethal secrets. 100,000 first printing.
About the Author
William Landay is the author of the highly acclaimed Mission Flats, which was awarded the John Creasey Memorial Dagger as the best debut crime novel of 2003. A graduate of Yale University and Boston College Law School, he was an assistant district attorney before turning to writing. He lives in Boston, where he is at work on his next novel of suspense.
Review A Day
"[W]hen a book like The Strangler
...comes along and serves that typical thriller fare in a smart and surprising way, you sit up and take notice....Original? No. But Landay definitely tells that story better then others. His book has what you want: plenty of violence, suspense and family intrigue..." Anya Yurchyshyn, Esquire
(read the entire Esquire review