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A Christmas Killing

by Richard Montanari

This week’s Friday read is from editor Ed Wood: ‘“The first time Detective Kevin Francis Byrne heard a reggae version of The Little Drummer Boy he was standing next to a pool of blood” – if there’s a better opening line to a crime story this Christmas I’d like to hear it. Richard Montanari’s short-but-bittersweet A Christmas Killing is a black bauble of a short story, a tale of an apparently routine murder in the toughest part of Philadelphia set in the late 1980s one yuletide. This is where we see Montanari’s detective Kevin Byrne cutting his teeth, his future partner Jessica Balzano no more than a child, his current cop companion a streetwise throwback named Sheehan. As in his novels, Montanari creates a powerful sense of place, and the story is just as ideal for people who have never read him before as for those wanting to go deeper into the Byrne’s background. And here’s a tip – the story will link into Montanari’s new hardback next year, ending with an event that changes Byrne’s life forever, so get on board now while the ebook is free.’

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