Publication Order of Carmine Delmonico Books
|On, Off||(2005)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Too Many Murders||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Naked Cruelty||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Prodigal Son||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Sins of the Flesh||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
One of the key ingredients in any suspense filled thriller is the protagonist who is relatable, seemingly attractive with an eerie personality that simply enthralls and captivates the reader. In view of this formula, it is submitted that Carmine Delmonico makes Colleen McCullough’s series of suspense filled thrillers worth your while as a reader.
Set in the 1960’s the first three books namely, ‘On and Off’, ‘Too Many Murders’ and ‘Naked Cruelty’ will keep you the reader on the edge of your seat. At each critical juncture, you think you know how the story ends and you are lulled into a sense of brilliance having figured it all out before getting to the end only to have your mind blown because somehow the books manage to derail what you thought to produce a remarkably coherent yet unexpected climax.
The main character, Carmine Delmonico is a dedicated detective, who is committed to solving the heinous crimes that spew throughout the books, by manic serial killers whose motives largely seem nonsensical until bits and pieces of the story paint a larger, heart-wrenching story that can, depending on your personality make you actually feel sympathy for the killer. However, Lieutenant Carmine Delmonico is lonely and elements of this lonesomeness come out in the story leaving you wondering about his own history. Of course, in some subtle ways which demands your full attention as a reader, McCullough gives you insight into his past.
The beauty about Carmine Delmonico in each installation of the book is that he does not always seem to have the answers and he does not always do the right things. This contributes to the unpredictability of the storyline. Moreover, he is not created with a super hero or demi god-like complex, the type of bravado that can have a reader disliking the main character. There are times when he genuinely seems clueless and at those times, you the reader are also similarly clueless so you sense his frustration with being unable to catch a break, feeling responsible for the killer’s next target and of course the knowing guilt he feels until he brings the killer or killers to justice.
Carmine Delmonico in ‘On and Off’
‘On and Off’ is what introduces us to Carmine Delmonico Parts of the corpse of a young female victim are discovered in a research center for neurology. Of course the center has big stakeholders vested in its interests therefore the murderer must be caught swiftly to avoid scandal. Of course, nothing breaks down a murder scandal faster that the feeling that justice has been attained. However this is not to be. Firstly, the murderer is smart, it is possible that he or she is a member of the research facility and he or she has had previous experience executing this kind of crime. It becomes evident that a certain type of woman is the target and in view of the tortuous ‘process’ the women are made to endure prior to death, it appears that the murderer is definitely a man.
However, this does not make Lieutenant Delmonico’s job any easier. The suspects are varied and seem to go from one end of the spectrum. Clearly this is one of the reasons the Carmine Delmonico books are described by some as being characterized as being, “mind boggling murderous plots”. All the suspects in ‘On and Off’ are high profile members of the community. They include the head of the institute itself, an internationally acclaimed epilepsy physician, an eclectic neurochemist and a wealthy and ambitious young Indian who is hell bent on winning a Nobel Prize.
Of course, no murder mystery reflects reality if media coverage and state pressure is not involved. McCullough includes media coverage in a way that mirrors the journalist/jackal dichotomy that some media personalities display when covering what they believe to be a high profile case, which this definitely is, in fact it is several.
For those interested in seeing strong female characters in suspense thrillers, there is also something for you. Business manager, Desdemona Dupre a well-educated, feisty, witty and sophisticated woman who presents herself as a femme fatal for Lieutenant Delmonico and her role is very interesting as it won’t be until the very end that she reveals her true cards.
Carmine Delmonico in Too Many Murders
For those of us who loved ‘On and Off’, ‘Too Many Murders’ is a treat as it just gets better. ‘On and Off’ will leave you wanting to see and learn more about the mystery that goes past the serial killers to the ultimate mystery in the books, Lieutent Carmine Delmonico himself.
The title ‘Too Many Murders’ speaks for itself, in just one day Chief Detective, Lieutenant Carmine Delmonico finds himself dealing with not one, two or three murders but twelve! The modus operandi in relation to each and the attendant details are so random that it leaves him and his team wondering if there are multiple killers on the loose. Naturally, they begin to work from this premise yet nothing makes sense.
Set in 1967 the issues surrounding treason and espionage in the midst of the Cold War also come into play as Carmine Delmonico also has to deal with the eerie Ulysses, a spy selling top secret information concerning local weapons company Cornucopias to the Russians.
Of course, there is also small town politics to content with and the academic rivalry fuelled by the allure of corporate backing which featured in ‘On and Off’ has not miraculously disappeared and once again it is not until the end that the reader finally has his or her epiphany to understand how the tangled webs of lies weaved in the community comes back to haunt the monsters weaving them.
We are sure that the reader will love ‘Too Many Murders’ for the simple fact that elements in the series are given continuity so Carmine Delmonico does not seem like a super hero flying through city to city to save the day. On the contrary he continues to be the hard working detective that everyone loves for his passion and dedication to the cause of crime fighting and bringing cold murderers to justice.Book Series In Order » Characters » Carmine Delmonico