Roger J Ellory, The Anniversary Man
Roger J Ellory became a collected and sought after modern crime writer when his stylish thriller, “A Quiet Belief in Angels” (2007) won an important award in France. It was only his fifth published work. “The Anniversary Man” (2009) is his seventh book, and like his others it is set in the USA. This is a clever and absorbing detective story with rounded characters with an investigation into a serial-killer case. But don’t be put off by the background – see the reviews. The novel further enhanced Ellory’s growing reputation. It contains an appreciation by Irish crime writer Ken Bruen which gives us insight into this extraordinary writer.
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R J Ellory became a collected and sought after modern crime writer when his stylish thriller, A Quiet Belief in Angels (2007) won the important Prix Roman Noir Nouvel Observateur in France. It is not a prize for relative newcomers, with Ellory short-listed against Dennis Lehane, James Lee Burke, Don Winslow and Carl Hiaasen. It was only his fifth published work. The Anniversary Man (2009) is his seventh book, and like his others it is set in the USA. This is a clever and absorbing detective story with rounded characters with an investigation into a serial-killer case. But don’t be put off by the background – see the the reviews. The novel further enhanced Ellory’s growing reputation.
Plotline: Twenty years ago, John Costello’s life as he knew it ended. He and his beautiful girlfriend, Nadia, became victims of the deranged “Hammer of God” killer who terrorized Jersey City throughout the summer of 1984. This murderer went after young courting couples in an attempt to “save their souls.” Nadia was killed by the first blow of the hammer. John survived, but was physically and psychologically scarred to an extent that few people could comprehend. He withdrew from society, hid in his apartment, and now only emerges to work as a crime researcher for a major newspaper. Damaged as he may be, no one in New Jersey knows more about serial killers than John Costello. So, when a new spate of murders starts – all seemingly random and unrelated – John is the only one who can discern the complex pattern that lies behind them. But could this dark knowledge threaten his own life?
The Anniversary Man (2009) has several plot lines, which spread out from the vicious random attack on young courting couples in the mid 1980s. The survivor, John Costello, twenty years later is a researcher for a newspaper investigating a similar pattern of crimes. His personal struggle and ongoing attempts to find peace and contentment are simulated in other minor characters. Thus, as in the prose of Tennessee Williams and other American greats, the cast of characters and dialogue pick up on each other and reverberate throughout. It is hard-boiled with heart and soul. This edition was issued in a run of just 70 signed & numbered copies with an appreciation by Irish crime writer Ken Bruen. In his appreciation Bruen tells us why Ellory is such an extraordinary writer. He also says, “ Scorpion Press have selected R J Ellory for this special edition. Believe you me, to a writer, to be Scorpioned ….. is as good as winning an Edgar”.